The Everything You Need to Know About Shopping Fred Meyer Guide

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Everything you ever needed to know about shopping at Fred Meyer: Using Coupons, Clearance, Inside Tips, Special Sales & More

Of all the stores I shop, I frequent Fred Meyer the most. I’ve personally assembled the coupon matchup posts for over seven years now and have been able to learn how to maximize coupons direct from corporate. For awhile now, I’ve wanted to put together a post in plain English to help you make the most of saving money at Fred Meyer. I’m going to cover coupons, yes, but also share tips for clearance, sales trends, and special days to shop.

Using Coupons at Fred Meyer

In general, Fred Meyer is not a place to practice extreme couponing. This is because you’re limited to 5 like manufacturer coupons you can use, and many store coupons also limit quantity. However, Fred Meyer has great sales and generally low prices across the board, so it’s a great place to save on your overall bill and practice more of what I like to call common sense couponing.

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Here are some basics about using coupons at Fred Meyer:

  • You CAN stack store coupons and manufacturer coupons. Store coupons are routinely found in the weekly ad, monthly savings booklet, and on store shelves. They are also sometimes sent to email subscribers.
  • You CAN use printable coupons. Fred Meyer accepts printable coupons, but they must not be blurry or altered, and must scan properly. Only two Internet coupons per manufacturer are accepted per day.
  • You are limited to 5 like manufacturer coupons. For all insert and paper coupons, you are limited to 5 “like” manufacturer coupons.
  • Fred Meyer offers e-coupons. You can load e-coupons to your Fred Meyer card that will come off at the point of sale. Unless otherwise noted, these are manufacturer’s coupons and cannot be stacked with a paper manufacturer coupon. If you try to present a paper coupon, it will beep.
  • Fred Meyer does not offer overage. If your coupon(s) exceed the purchase price of an item, the cashier will make an adjustment. You cannot “make” money using coupons.

As always, it goes without saying that cashiers and managers reserve the right to decline any coupon at any time, for any reason. I almost never run into issues using coupons at Fred Meyer and find most of the cashiers at my store to be extremely coupon friendly. You may wish to print and keep handy a copy of Fred Meyer’s coupon policy.

Making Sense of Extra Bonus and Special Store Coupons

Fred Meyer is more than a grocery store; they offer apparel, sporting, home, furniture, toy, and other departments. Fred Meyer will regularly put out coupons good for these departments in their ads, and it’s important to understand how these coupons work as they can often be stacked!


Extra Bonus coupons tend to cover a large area of the store, such as the Home Department or Apparel. Always read the exclusions – these help you identify what you can and cannot use the coupons on. Extra Bonus coupons tend to exclude clearance and Price Blaster items.


Here’s an example of a store coupon that appeared in the same ad as the Apparel Extra Bonus coupon above. While you cannot stack Extra Bonus coupons, you CAN stack a store coupon with an Extra Bonus coupon. The tricky thing is these coupons appeared in completely different sections of the ad and if you were not paying attention, you might have missed they can be stacked!

In other words, you could do this to save on the purchase of socks:

  • 15% off Apparel & Accessories Extra Bonus Coupon
  • AND Buy one, get one 1/2 off socks coupon

This is exactly why I cover the non-grocery portion of Fred Meyer’s ad! I want to navigate all the coupons available to you to make sure you don’t miss them. Don’t rely on your cashiers to remind you if there is a coupon you can use.

Also, there is no harm in asking your cashier to scan an Extra Bonus or store coupon if you’re not sure it applies or not. The worst thing that can happen is the coupon will read “does not apply,” and you’ll move on. Sometimes I’ve had the pleasant experience of watching several dollars roll off my total, just because I asked the cashier to try to scan it.

Understanding Clearance at Fred Meyer

When Does Fred Meyer Clearance Apparel

Fred Meyer regularly has items on clearance in apparel and home. It will often start at 40% off clearance, and the most I’ve seen it go up to is 60%. Each store may be different, but it’s worth saying that sometimes the clearance will be interspersed in a department. For instance, when they move select items in the home department to 40% off clearance, you may find these items in the toy section, bedding, bath, kitchen, and lighting. There may also be special aisles or places in the store reserved for clearance. It pays to walk around sometimes!

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Important: remember that Extra Bonus and most store coupons exclude clearance. Sometimes I’ve found it’s almost better to jump on a 50% off sale with an extra bonus coupon than buy the same item on clearance. Case in point – the pressure canner above is on sale for half off. It’s not labeled as clearance! That means you could use a Home Extra Bonus coupon on top of it, if there was one available. I want to say a couple weeks after I reported this, this item went on 40% off clearance. That would be roughly $44.99 versus $59.99 on clearance. Pay attention.

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Another category of clearance to watch for is after-holiday sales. In particular, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving. In mid-summer, they’ll start moving items like patio furniture to clearance to make room for school supply displays.

I’ve additionally identified “hot spots” in the grocery section of my store where food and paper goods go to clearance. There’s one in produce, another in meat, another in frozen, and another near the dairy aisle. Last time I was there, I found 2 12-packs of Cottenelle toilet paper for $2.99 – AND one had a $1.50/2 peelie coupon on it!

Making the Most of Fred Meyer’s Reward Program


Fred Meyer offers a free Rewards program that’s worth signing up for, in my book. It won’t get you special prices throughout the store, but it will earn you valuable quarterly rebates. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Fred Meyer’s e-coupons, and they generally put out a FREE product e-coupon on Fridays.

For every 100 points you earn (about $100 spent), you’ll receive a $0.10 fuel savings as well, up to $1 off per gallon of gas. These can be redeemed at Fred Meyer Gas Stations and participating Shell Gas Stations. See more about the Fuel Rewards.


Occasionally, you can earn twice the amount of fuel points or Rewards points. This is usually done via a coupon or e-coupon. Make sure to pay attention to your ad!Fred Meyer Community Rewards

In early 2014, Fred Meyer added another layer to the Rewards program: you can now designate your purchases to benefit the local charity of your choice. You can do this easily over at the Community Rewards page. If you are a non-profit organization, you can additionally sign-up and encourage folks to designate their Fred Meyer purchases to benefit your organization.

Anticipating Doorbuster Sales & Special Discount Days


Fred Meyer loves putting out doorbuster and special sales of all kinds. You can usually expect these to happen for holidays (think Labor Day, Memorial Day) and there are usually many that happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Saturday morning is a popular time for these sales to occur (they often cut off at 1 p.m.). The special sales almost always feature high value Extra Bonus coupons and/or Savings Certificates which give you a $ off your total purchase. The special sales also tend to heavily feature items in non-grocery departments (gardening, apparel, toys, home, depending on the season).

There are two ways to stay in the loop on Fred Meyer special sales:

  1. Follow this blog! I regularly get early access to special sale ads and will dissect the best deals with you here at the blog in advance.
  2. Sign up for Fred Meyer’s emails. They do a good job of notifying you when they are coming.

Often, you’ll receive very little notice about the sales (maybe a day, at most), so they can be extremely easy to miss! This is why it’s good to anticipate when they may be coming.


Tip: one way I’ve found to anticipate special sales or events is by taking note when the Extra Bonus coupons do not run the full 7 days of the ad. Check out the coupon above – it’s for 5 days only. That would mean it’s only good through Thursday. As Fred Meyer sometimes likes putting out Friday – Saturday 2 Day Sales, it wouldn’t hurt to watch for a notice later in the week.

Why is this helpful? Suppose you are planning on buying apparel or accessories. You might wait it out a bit to see if a better coupon or sale might be happening later in the week.

Top Times to Shop at Fred Meyer

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While I like shopping Fred Meyer year-round, there are a few times to pay special attention to:

  • Founder’s Day sale. This week-long sale happens in May and what you’ll end up finding is lots of produce, meat, organics, and other generally good grocery stock-up foods on sale. The photo above was taken of my Founder’s Day shopping trip last year. I spent $98 on everything pictured.
  • Anniversary Sale. This week-long sale happens in September and is similar in many ways to the Founder’s Day sale. It’s a great time to shop! Last year, we also saw extremely hot e-coupons being offered during this time frame, including a whole roast chicken for just $0.91 (which was easily one of the best deals I shared in 2013).
  • Friends & Family Pass Days. About 2 or 3 times per year (generally August and December), Fred Meyer tends to put out an awesome Friends & Family pass that will yield you extra savings across multiple departments including home, apparel, electronics, nutrition, and private-label brands in grocery. This discount can be used on top of Extra Bonus, store, and manufacturer coupons. Even better, the pass has far fewer exclusions than most store coupons.
  • Senior Discount Days. If you are 55 or over, shop on select Tuesdays to save an extra 10% on most items.
  • Black Friday. Fred Meyer is a great store to shop on Black Friday. They tend to always offer all socks at half off, toys and games at substantial discounts, plus discounts on other items in home. I also find that the doorbusters and special sales leading up to Christmas are pretty solid. You can see last year’s Black Friday ad to get an idea.

If you enjoy shopping at Fred Meyer, please stick around. You will find the ad published to the blog here at 8 p.m. every Friday night – that’s earlier than it’s generally made available to the public. This is made possible through a unique relationship I’ve built with Fred Meyer. I also cover the entire ad, not just grocery. Additionally, I regularly report on unadvertised deals and special sales to help you make the most of shopping this store.

So there you have it! Please let me know what questions you might have about shopping at Fred Meyer or if you have any extra tips you might share!

18 thoughts on “The Everything You Need to Know About Shopping Fred Meyer Guide”

  1. This Saturday is the fucia event where the fucia starts are 5 for $3 and they will fill your planter with potting soil and plant them for you! I have been to this event for years and I love it.

  2. Over the last few years, I have transitioned from the extreme coupon mindset to the common sense coupon mindset and Fred’s has become my go to store on a weekly basis. One, because the have consistent sales on real food items that I keep (milk, bread, sour cream and cream cheese, and canned veggies) and weekly sales on quality produce. And two, because you do such a great job of covering their store! Thanks for all your work, it benefits so many households.

    • Yes, yes, and yes = could not agree with you more!

      Fred Meyer has great prices on real foods that benefit so many people, on a variety of diets. Their nutrition center carries a surprising number of items and brands at prices much lower than specialty & health food stores.

  3. Hi Angela,

    Have you found that Fred Meyer ever doubles coupons? I called customer service and they told me that they do this twice a year, but I haven’t seen it happen since we moved to town in December.

    Also, for the quarterly rebate, how long does it usually take to become available on your card? Mine never seems to arrive in the mail.


    • Nope, never seen them do this and their policy states they don’t. However, I’ve heard rumors of stores doing this – not sure if it’s a regional thing.

      The Quarterly Rebate always arrives as a mailer and you can see the schedule here:

      If you are not receiving it in the mail, it’s possible they don’t have your address (or a correct one) on file. A call to their Rewards customer service number at 1-866-518-2686 should straighten it out. Good luck!

  4. I hope they bring the extra saving booklet back to the scale it was – and full of coupons! It was handy to see everything that was on sale for the month as I usually only go grocery shopping once a month. I really appreciated all the coupons too. Freddy’s is my #1 store!

  5. Thanks for all the detailed info on stacking coupons at Fred Meyer. I feel like I have a much better handle on that now. Also, on a side note, adorable picture of Piper next to that FM haul. =)

    • Glad it was helpful!! It was the folks at Fred Meyer who clarified a lot of the stacking stuff for me – go figure!

      And thank you!!

  6. Have you noticed a trend on the clearance sales? I know I can walk in and the clearance will usually be an extra 40% off . But whenever they have the extra 70% off is when I stock up on out of season clothes and shoes for my 3 boys. A couple months ago I was able to get 2 jeans,2 shorts, a pair of shoes,4 t-shirts, and a coat for each of them for $186 total. I would prefer to repeat that amount of savings.

  7. Can you explain their Price Matching policies? I’ve been trying to find them online since Walmart up here in Spokane is no longer going to do Price Matching. I guess I could call but it’s probably something that would really ad to this blog post.

  8. Thank you, Angela, for this excellent post!

    I am wondering about Fred Meyer no longer accepting manufacturer’s coupons on marked down groceries (the ones with “Woohoo!” stickers). The coupons nearly always used to deduct automatically, but now they beep. Most cashiers won’t accept them, though once I was lucky enough to have a manager nearby who told the cashier that in such cases they needed a manager’s override. The next time, at a different store, I had $9 in coupons and thought it worth asking for a manager, but she made me feel like I was doing something wrong (though she did override them). The clerk said he was told in training that coupons were not good on “lowest marked price” items. Another clerk told me Fred Meyer had recently changed the way they coded the clearance stickers, which is why the coupons didn’t come off. It makes a big difference in my purchases whether I can use a coupon or not, so I would like to know what store policy is, if any!

    • Wow – I had never heard this before! I will most certainly look into it. It was my understanding that store coupons didn’t work on those items, but I’ve not heard anything about manufacturer’s coupons. I’m sorry of your frustration; but I appreciate you taking the time to let me know.

  9. I will now have to take a photo of the “sale” card hung on the aisle near the product I put in my cart, since I found two “sale” cards one day on my products, that were not honored at the register, as they weren’t logged on their computer. I explained to the clerk, but she argued with me and tried to shame me into dropping my polite insistance that I was correct. She finally took the wrong charge off, angrily. I went to customer service and I got two department managers to walk with me back to those sections and showed them the sale cards. They agreed with me. The clerk was insisting they were “buy one, get the second free” but the card specified “50% off” — nothing about buying two. I even got the “butcher” to walk back with me and he agreed that he, too, would read the card at the pork cut to be the sale I thought it was– it did not specify “family pack.” A very distressing experience.

  10. I discovered that the checkers at Fred Meyer will swipe coupons, then automatically stuff them into their collection box without verifying it will reflect via their computers. The customer MUST check their receipt, and may have to go to customer service (with their thawing ice cream) to get a correction. They may have to go back to your checker and try to find the coupon in the box, and once, it was an odd newspaper coupon that the service clerk could not find in the box, so I did not get my discount. Shopping is a strain anyway, and having conflicts like that are horrible, esp. when I hate holding up a line. (And I am very polite and reasonable.)

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