Why I don’t post Safeway deals each week

Some of you that are just joining me have commented that I don’t post Safeway deals each week. You’re right, I don’t. Here’s why.

1. I am only one person. Truth be told, there are lots of stores in my area: Fred Meyer, Albertsons, QFC, Safeway, Top Food… but each store takes considerable time to do matchups for each week. I realized early on that two stores was my limit. I wanted to be deliberate about which stores I wanted to follow. For grocery stores, I think Albertsons offers consistently better stockup promotions. And for great deals on healthful, everyday groceries, I like Fred Meyer. I feel these stores complement one another in what they have to offer.

2. Safeway gave me headaches. It seems that if deals don’t work…they are Safeway deals. I’ve had more readers leave comments and email me about their Safeway trips gone awry than any other grocery store. There seems to be little to no consistency in how they handle coupons from store to store, and even within stores. On a personal note, the very first time I tried to use coupons at a Safeway, I was belittled by a cashier who told me to “read the coupon!” Guess what? She was wrong, but since I was new, I ended up leaving discouraged and frustrated. A few months later, I had an equally frustrating encounter with a cashier who rolled her eyes at me at another Safeway store. Not good.

3. Safeway has a wacky, ever-changing coupon policy. Did you know technically you’re not supposed to use a printable coupon if it exceeds 50% of the item’s value? Don’t believe me? Read this. I’ve also heard of cashiers randomly telling customers that they will only accept ONE kind of a coupon per shopping trip (so if you want to buy 2 cereals with 2 coupons…you wouldn’t be able to do so). Their “Super Coupons” frustrate me since they require a minimum purchase, and I recently heard of how a local Safeway harrassed a couponer – pulling her aside simply for using printable coupons and questioned her if she was practicing coupon fraud. When I tried emailing Safeway awhile back about their policy, they were evasive. While I understand not all Safeway stores are like this, I tire of hearing these stories. Bottom line? Safeway is not reliable for being coupon friendly. And personally, I’m not a huge fan. Since this is my experience and my blog, this is what I’ve decided to do.

4. Our Safeway stores don’t double coupons. Many other Safeway stores do, ours don’t.

5. Safeway’s prices are high. In general, I feel your coupons can be better matched up at other area stores.

I completely understand and fully expect that not everyone reading this will agree with me. And that’s OK! There are many wonderful local blogs that regularly cover Safeway matchups. I’m just not one of them. That being said, I am known the feature the occasional Safeway deal – such as the Ziploc one currently running. The same way I’ll occasionally mention a Top Foods, QFC, or Summit Trading deal.

What about you? Do you like Safeway or not? Have you had issues with their coupon policy, or is your store coupon friendly?


Comments

  1. Sarah McKinney says

    Angela,

    You do an amazing job of featuring all of the deals that you do. By the way, I love the new set-up of your blog. It looks great. I personally prefer Safeway, but that is because the Albertson’s near our house isn’t very nice. It does seem that Albertson’s deals are better than Safeway’s, just wish our store was nicer and then I would likely go there.

    Great job on all of the information that you put together.

    Sarah

  2. says

    I totally agree with the ever changing coupon policy. I fortunately have found a Safeway that works. I make my way to it on occasion, but the hassles outweigh the benefits, even with the “good” one.
    Thanks for all you do with the other stores, I appreciate it!!

  3. Karen says

    My Safeway is one that reinforces the no printable over 50% and only one printable of like type (by cpn number, not product type). And one time I had a printable that had an exp date 4 months in advance and they would not take that coupon. I just went last Tuesday and ended up NOT getting a bunch of things cuz it was against one rule or the other. I wanted to use my BOGO Nabisco Facebook cpn with purchase of milk but just read another blogger say her Safeway would not take those. And the cashiers are not terribly friendly there, coupons or no coupons. They all seem like they are just waiting down the clock til quitting time. I have a headache after I shop there nearly every time. Our Safeway does not have doubles either.

    Unfortunatly Safeway is the store with the lowest prices in my area. And the only one that uses the e-coupons as well. My fave area store has much higher prices and also does not let you stack one of their store cpns with a manuf cpn.

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to cover Safeway. Maybe you could team up with another blog and trade posts and link to their weekly Safeway post. I have seen other bloggers do that. I do have other blogs in my feed reader that cover Safeway but they all seem to have the double cpns available there.

  4. Becky says

    For me it totally depends on the cashier. There are some great ones at my store and some not so great ones! My store does not double coupons either-i so wish they did! I am just glad you do the FM deals!! Thank you

  5. Amy says

    I live in the Portland Area (which does do doublers) and I have been happy with couponing at Safeway. I go to the same Safeway useally on the same day each week and there is one cashier who shares deals with me. I have had way more trouble at Albertson than Safeway, but the Albertson closest to me is really unkept and dirty. I very rarely go there for that reason. I totally understand why you don’t post Safeway deal. Once you have has a bad expericence it is hard to go back somewhere. Thanks for all you do. You even inspired me to start doing freezer meals. Now I don’t know how I survived with out them.

  6. Summer says

    I live in Humboldt County, CA and I often resort to shopping at Safeway because we have limited options. I don’t save nearly as much money on groceries as I did when I lived in Portland. Lucky for me my mom still lives there and sends me coupons and the “doubler” on a regular basis, but most of the cashiers at my store don’t even know those exist and it’s always a two-man process. It also really bothers me that Safeway really jacks the prices up in my area… I probably spend at least an hour more writing my list than I used to and my grocery bill has increased by about $20.00. But the farmer’s market is back for the season and the garden is growing!

  7. angela says

    I appreciate the stores you do cover and all the other articles on your site. I shop at Safeway very little. I too was accused of coupon fraud when I was new to couponing and didn’t really know how to handle the situation. Now I am pretty confident when I use coupons.
    Thank you

  8. Elise says

    Overall, I agree with all your points! It’s so discouraging that they don’t double coupons and I’ve had some difficulty doing deals. If it’s a really good one, like the Coke promo this week, I’ll still try to do it. I lucked out and got a great (young male) cashier who didn’t give me any trouble ;)

  9. Cindy says

    I personally have more problems at Fred Meyers than any other store I have shopped at. But that being said I think it really depends on the cashier you get and not the store. I also think you are making a great decission because the match-ups take alot of time and your family and sanity is more important than a store matchup.
    I have a question about Albertsons doublers…. I just heard from the manager at Albertsons that they no longer adjust double coupons. Say you have $1 off gum but the gum is $1.78 they will not let you use a twice the value coupon. Have you heard this?

    • arussell says

      Nope. I’ve not heard that. That sounds to me like an individual store’s decision. I think cashiers have something to do with it…but store policies also set the tone if the store is going to be coupon friendly or not, ya know?? Fred Meyer goes out of its way to be coupon friendly…at least at my store. They place store coupons on shelves for customers and offer a coupon exchange right when you walk in. I always notice these sort of things. I hope you have a store you like to shop at that is coupon friendly! ;)

  10. Jennifer says

    Safeway cashiers are always rude to coupon users. They treat me like I’m stealing! Safeway is 10 minutes closer to me than any other grocery store and I dred going in.

  11. Meg says

    This isn’t totally on the subject, but one of the main reasons I read your blog is that you cover Fred Meyer, which almost no one does.

    I also love posts on Top and Summitt trading.

    I do think SW has some screaming deals every once and a while, but there are plenty of blogs that cover them regularly.
    I also def. see your point on the ever changing rules.

    Anyway, I love that you do deals unique to the area, and I hope you keep it up about all kinds of deals.
    I’m looking for vacation/outing deals right now.
    I missed the Great Wolf Lodge sale, and I’m soooo bummed about that one.

  12. CJ says

    I haven’t had bad experiences at Safeway, but my local Fred Meyer is soooo coupon friendly and the cashiers are so supportive that I prefer shopping there. I agree that a bad experience can really turn you off of a place, that is how I feel about Albertson’s. I still shop there because I can’t pass up the doubles, but I dread it.

  13. Marci says

    Hey, its your blog, you decide! I definitely agree that the cashier makes a difference no matter what store you are at. I’ve been accused of coupon fraud at Albertsons, but now I just go to one Albertsons that is totally coupon friendly and have had NO problems.

    Also, I too agree that Freddies is VERY coupon friendly. I love Freddies and even though I usually don’t use a ton of coupons there, my bill tends to be much lower than if I went to Albies or Safeway and didn’t use coupons. Personally, I’ve only been to Safeway once since I’ve started couponing, I didn’t have any issues, but I just really had to limit my grocery stores to 2-3 stores, which is still a lot!!

    Keep up the good work, I love that you cover Freddies and that you keep your posts to legitimate deals that aren’t a waste of time. Thanks!!!!

  14. says

    I use safeway for the random rocking deal and ONLY when I can go through the self scanners. Mine doubles and the self scanners let you scan your own coupons and just slide them in a slot. I would NEVER cheat the system and always follow the rules with the self scanners but I can tell you from personal experience at Safeway it is WAY better than hitting up a cashier with a coupon. I mostly shop at King Soopers (Kroger) also higher priced like safeway but the coupon policy is clear, easy and the cashiers are always friendly and accomodating!

  15. Paula says

    I agree that it has more to do with the cashier than the store. I was at Fred Meyer today and was totally frustrated by the cashier’s lack of knowledge about how to put the coupons in if the machine beeped, which you can bet it did, repeatedly. That being said, I generally love FM and appreciate your deal matching! Later I was at Safeway, had no problems, and the manager even gave me a free item when I couldn’t find the brand I was looking for. I’ve never personally enjoyed shopping at Albertsons, and tend only to go if there’s a great deal. Every store, every cashier, and every personal preference is different!

  16. sally says

    Hmmm, I guess I will put in my 2 cents here: before I started coupon shopping like I am now, I would have to agree with you. But for the last few months my shopping deals are better at Safeway than Albies and here is why: ecoupons is a big part of it for me, at my Safe the cashiers are AWESOME and at my closest ALBIES the cashiers are horrible (at least the daytime ones are, the night cashiers are funny and happy and excited)… things don’t always go as planned, but most times I come away with amazing savings at Safeway and its just not worked so good for me at Albertsons since I guess the Quaker Oatmeal deal, yep that long. But thank you for all you do for all us faceless people who follow you. Cheers.

  17. Meladee says

    I had two different Albies tell me last week that they would not price adjust anymore and refused to give the item for free (which they would have been with doublers)…the item was then politely declined. The stores visited were in King, Pierce Counties.

    Fred Meyer in Twin Lakes, Federal Way refused to take multiple identical coupons about three months ago. After trying in vain to rectify this situation, found the obvious misinformation was made by some well-meaning loss prevention employee. The store manager called me, per my request. After being told that they have the right to decide how to accept coupons, I agreed…then said I too have the right to shop at the stores that accept Q’s the way the manufacturer intends them to be used. One could tell the lights came on when I asked her if the manufacturer only wants me to buy one bottle rather than three. Upon our meeting, she became convinced that we can again use multiple coupons for the same, multiple products.

    Though this can be extremely frustrating and sometimes even humiliating, we all must fight to preserve the privilege to use Q’s when we are absolutely certain we are in the right. Not only will we pave the way for fellow couponers, it will affect all of our bottom line for many years to come.

  18. Roni says

    Unfortunately, Safeway is one of the only stores in my area that Advertises in my area where I can match up coupons ahead of time. So I do appreciate the time you take to do the occasional post.

  19. Kristen says

    I think you do a great job with Albertson’s and Fred Meyer. When I lived there I went to the Safeway once. I left with little food. Their produce that day was HORRIBLE!!! Also, the cashiers left something to be desired personality wise.

    Thanks,
    Kristen

  20. Jennifer says

    I agree 100% with you. I ONLY go to Safeway, if it’s a super smokin deal on something. Every time I go, I know it’s going to be a battle.

    I love your Fred Meyer’s match-ups. I check your blog regularly and appreciate all the work you do. I live 5 minutes away from a FM, so it’s nice to not only go to the most convenient grocery store, but get deals there too. Thank you!

  21. Dsperin says

    For the most part, I avoid Safeway like the plague. The one time that I really tried to ‘super coupon’ there, the manager (who happened to be cashiering) was so freakin’ rude to me! This was when Nabisco Wheat Thins were on sale for $1 w/club card, and Nabisco had just released the $1/1 coupon on Facebook and ALSO when the Pace Salsa was to be free with coupon as well. Well, I had a bunch of IP’s, and this lady ran to the customer service desk and returned with the coupon policy that stated that they wouldn’t accept IP’s that took off more than 50% of the value. I said, “Ok. Thanks anyway.” That wasn’t enough for her apparently, because she then began to berate me and ‘explain’ to me that the reason why manufacturers put out coupons is so that we try their products. There I am, a 27 year old woman, being lectured in public! And THEN, she held up my IP’s and read to me the fine print that states that a legitimate coupon will have the dot-com barcode–except that when she went to show me that it was missing, it wasn’t!

    Oooh! I was SO mad that I actually contacted corporate! Safeway corporate didn’t console me much, and for that I am 90% anti-Safeway. I will be convinced to enter when deals such as $3.99 for the 2lb loaf of Tillamook are happening, but not for much else!

    *Sorry for the ranting! :)

  22. kimi says

    I appreciate all of the time and hard work you put into creating a great couponing site. I am a newbie and am only using a few coupons at a time so the transactions seem to go smoothly. I try to aim for cashiers who seem to be in a good mood and not grouchy and ready for end of shift or their break. :-)

  23. Kacey says

    I am with you on this one. The one time I tried to use a large number of coupons at a Spokane Safeway to get some cereal (which happened to be free after coupons) the customer service guy was very rude and turned me away. He refused to do the transaction for me and insisted that I speak to the manager (who of course was not in). I came back on Monday and spoke with the manager and he gave me a sob story about people not couponing correctly but reluctantly agreed that there was nothing wrong with the transaction I was doing. I am very new to couponing and an experience like that was not only embarassing but made me question what I was doing. As a rule, I stay away from Safeway now. Thanks for your great blog!

  24. Shari says

    I only go to Safeway if the deals are beyond free. You just keep doin what you’re doin. I soooo appreciate you-and I’m nooooo big fan of Safeway for all the reasons you mentioned——you are golden in my book. Thx bunches!

  25. says

    I totally agree with this post on Safeway. Yeah they have a few “hot” deals each week, but not enough for me to really go into, especially with their coupon policy. I recently shopped there twice within 6 weeks, and the cashier was the same, and I didn’t have ANY issues & really got to use my coupon swag & save some cash.
    My norms are Freddies, Grocery Outlet, Target and winco.

    I did run into Alberstons yesterday only because we were out of creamer, and I was at the dollar tree. I heard my cashier & another cashier talking about coupons being an issue. my cashier said he didn’t care, and just took them all from a customer, the other cashier said that manager has been complaining about the internet coupons, and how they are probably fraudulent. I stepped in and gave them my opinion, and the lady said they take internet coupons but not for anything free because they are usually fraudulent.

    I think the store companies need to be “educated” in the customers who use coupons. Then have a program to teach the stores managers & their cashiers, instead of the customers being treated like criminals. When that happens I usually stop shopping at that store after I let the manager know my feelings.

    Great post!

  26. Lisa says

    I love that you do the Fred Meyer posts, that’s good enough for me! I agree with you that Safeway is very expensive, and I never shopped anywhere but Fred Meyer before I started couponing.

    I’ve heard that at Safeway the morale is pretty low right now; the recession has caused them to be way more competetive with pricing, and there are other issues that put stress on the employees. But I’ve never really had a problem with coupons there, or at Albertson’s. The only place I’ve ever had a problem with coupons is at Fred Meyer with their clearance-marked items-they are very stubborn about that, which is ridiculous because I’m buying something with a coupon that they are this close to throwing in the garbage. And I NEVER shop at Wal-Mart anymore because they are so very hostile towards couponers.

  27. Jenni says

    Thanks so much for what you do. I shop a lot at Fred Meyer because even their in-store coupons are good deals. I am new to the manufacturer’s coupon thing and I haven’t doubled in years, so I’m learning! But I avoid shopping at Safeway because sales items don’t always ring up correctly. I make sure I double check as the cashier is working, but if there is an error, the cashier can’t fix it – you have to wait at customer service for the adjustment.
    Thanks for all your info and I am glad that everyone who has posted is so positive and supportive of your work!

  28. says

    I too am from Humboldt county, and we are limited on grocery stores. That being said, I love my local Safeway. For the most part, they are always kind and helpful. Of course I have had a few cashiers who aren’t as friendly, but I have learned to avoid them, and choose the ones that are! It’s just like any other store, they’re are both good and bad cashiers.

    As far as saving money, I do about 90% of my shopping at Safeway, and I have cut my grocery bill dramatically. I used to drive into Winco, and always thought I was getting great deals, but once I started couponing, I went to Safeway and immediately saw my grocery bill go down. And since Winco, doesn’t have a weekly sales ad, it’s to hard to plan ahead. Safeway is definitely my favorite store!

  29. Tracy says

    Thanks for explaining this to us. It’s very interesting that “Customer Service” is not the same in each store that you go to. I live in the Portland area & shopped at Albertsons recently. I was not looked at or acknowledeged by one person working there. (I probably saw 5 or 6 employees!) I’ve found the Safeway that I’ve shopped for @ 18 years has great customer service & have never had any couponing issues there. One cashier even congratulated me on my savings one time! I do appreciate all of you hard work and dedication to your blog. I have managed to find some great deals or freebies from your posts. Once you become very familiar w/ couponing, it doesn’t take a large amount of time to price match-so I’m fine w/ checking out SW deals on my own.

  30. AlysonRR says

    I’ve only couponed three times at Safeway. I had to go to customer service EVERY time for errors on the receipt because the coupon didn’t correctly post. Each time they did give me the $ difference, but I don’t have the time to discuss my transactions every time I go shopping. Won’t use Safeway much in the future.

  31. Rachel says

    That’s too bad to hear about Safeway, but I think it really does depend on where you go. The new one out here by me is FANTASTIC! I’ve been going there since it opened and I’ve developed relationships with many of the cashiers so I’ve never had a tough time using my coupons. The only time I’ve ever been given grief about anything was at albertsons. I always feel kinda strange going in there because they read each of my coupons, hold up the lines, and even question me on a lot of things that were totally legit! I’ll go for the doubler’s but not much else. Freddies is definitely my favorite though… It is clean, organized and extremely friendly.

  32. Jazzie says

    My comment is about clerks in general. I feel they need to be better educated about coupons. I had one bad experience at Walgreens. I used a coupon for a purse size hair product that made it free or nearly free. The clerk said the coupon wasn’t good on the trial size. She went on berating me about coupon fraud. It made me feel like I was a thief and it was humiliating. No where on the product did it say it was a trial size plus it was not even in the same aisle where the trial size products are displayed. The coupon was a regular coupon and not an internet printed one. Since then I don’t shop at that Walgreen’s very often.

  33. says

    I dislike Safeway’s coupon policy which is why I don’t shop there. Albertsons and WinCo are much closer to my home (I try NOT to shop at WinCo due to the poor produce and all the meat recalls). I also shop Target which has a small grocery section but WILL price match the grocery stores inserts.

    As for the Albertsons’ policy on doublers and exceeding the amount. If in doubt contact corporate. If I buy an item that’s on sale for $1.78 and I have a coupon for it for $1 off and can use a “Twice The Value” coupon BUT only if I’m purchasing something else. That is, if I was strictly buying just that one item and expected to get $2 off $1.78 it won’t be allowed BUT if I were buying something with it (a piece of fruit for example) to either zero out the total or I have to pay a few cents then the coupon and TTV coupon is allowed.

    Oh, and before I forget. Albertsons does not have “doublers”. I’m guilty of calling it that, as are many other people, but I’ve been told by corporate the reason why their TTV coupons are NOT doublers is that if it was a doubler they could not allow it to be used with DND coupons. TTV coupons CAN be used with DNDs.

  34. Mamanard says

    One Safeway in particular I HATE!!!…On one recent trip, The “ass. Mgr.” came over from across the store, stopped the cashier, and pulled out all my items and counted them and read all my coupons word for word before she would allow me to pay. She “TARGETS” me….for being a coupon user…and I never try to do anything that isn’t 100% legit! Don’t know what I did to get on her bad list….

  35. arussell says

    First off, thanks for keeping the conversation respectful, everyone!

    I also want to mention – I personally shop at different stores for different reasons. Some of you have hinted at this already. I like Albertsons for their promotional items to stock-up, I LOVE Winco for their bin items (I bought a HUGE bag of oatmeal, flour, cornstarch, and yogurt-covered pretzels for a song there last week), and I LOVE Fred Meyer for healthy basics such as produce, dairy, and meat. It’s OK to shop at different stores for different reasons. I try to shop at no more than 2 stores each week and do them back-to-back.

  36. Jen says

    Wow, reading all of these stories makes me feel very fortunate that the stores in my area seem to be very coupon friendly! I used to shop mostly at Fred Meyer and Safeway for groceries. Now I primarily shop at Fred Meyer and Albertsons. I had always perceived Albertsons to be more expensive, which without the coupons, I still think it is. Now that I am learning the art of using coupons, I am saving so much money at Albertsons! I do still shop at Safeway for meat….the store near me has a great meat department and butcher. Luckily, I have never had a cashier problem at any of these three stores in my area, and one checker at Albertsons even commented on how impressed she was that I got the Tree Top Apple Juice boxes for free! I feel fortunate that the checkers/managers at my local stores (Hillsboro, OR) have all been very friendly and have never given me grief over the coupons I have handed to them. Some have even asked where I got the coupon from!

    Thanks Angela for putting together your list of deals for FM & Albertsons! I really do appreciate it, and it has helped me out a TON! I have no problems looking on my own at the Safeway ad, or looking at another blog to take advantage of someone else doing the work for me! I realize that you and the other bloggers do this as a service to the rest of us, and should not be expected to put together deals for every single store out there.

  37. says

    Personally, I am able to do really well at Safeway once or twice a month because of eCoupons (and fortunately my Safeway is very coupon friendly). This being said, I think your Fred Meyer posts are fantastic (your the go to FM girl :-). Keeping your focus so specific makes you very consistent and I always know what blog to hit when I want to know what is happening at Freddies. Great work!

  38. Heather says

    When I started couponing, I included Safeway in my shopping. But, they were typically very unfriendly to me. I’ve had clerks question my coupons, question my transactions, and just be skeptical of me overall. Plus, my Safeway store doesn’t double internet coupons. So, I’ve decided to stick to Albies and Fred Meyer, also. I’ve gone for a REALLY, REALLY good deal–but Safeway is not a regular store for me anymore.

    • arussell says

      I’ll do my best to make a trip out this week! In the meantime, if you head to categories, look for the “Winco” tab and click on it. Also, this is my FAVORITE blog on Winco deals: http://www.nwcouponlady.blogspot.com/ Please check her out – she does a PHENOMENAL job of covering Winco!

  39. says

    You go girl my favorite thing you said in this post is it’s my blog so we will do it my way. I love a girl who stands up for herself!

    By the way totally off subject I went to order my son’s high school graduation sheet cake from Albertson’s bakery and the sweet lady that works in there told me that pretty soon there will be a $10.00 coupon for graduation cakes coming up soon in a flyer! I am keeping my eye out! She said it has to be on 1/2 a sheet cake or more which just happened to be what I ordered! $10 off is HUGE!

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