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In 1915, Marion Barton Skaggs, an ambitious young man, purchased his father’s tiny grocery store in American Falls, Idaho. The chain operated in two separate businesses with the help of his five brothers. They had a business strategy to offer customers cheaper prices, and to expand by keeping a lower profit margin. This strategy proved to be spectacularly successful, and by 1926, he owned 428 Skaggs stores in 10 states.
In the same year, Marion doubled the size of the business by merging the company with 322 Safeway (formerly Selig) stores, and changed the name to Safeway, Inc.
Today, there are more than 2,200 Safeway stores and they all share the founder’s value vision. Due to their commitment to providing exceptional service while offering affordable prices, Safeway has become one of the largest food and drug retailers in the country.
Therefore, we've decided to share with you 9 easy ways that will help you save money while shopping at Safeway.
1. Use the Safeway Club Card
The Safeway Club Card allows you to enjoy exclusive savings in Safeway stores and anytime you shop online at Safeway.com. With your Club Card, you’ll have access to special money-saving promotions, eCoupons, fuel discounts, and the Just For U program that will help you save money while shopping.
Club Cards are only available at your local Safeway store, but you can print the application at home and bring the completed form into the store.
When you want to use your Club Card, simply swipe it or enter your phone number associated with the account at checkout, and the savings will automatically be deducted and appear on the receipt.
2. Join the Just For U Program
Safeway's Just for U program is designed to offer customized deals to all members. It tracks your purchases (via your club card) and uses the collected information to offer coupons and deals targeted specifically to you.
To start, you first have to sign up for your own Just for U account, which can be done at any store across the country or online. Next, log into your account through the Safeway website or app (Android and iOS). It will be automatically connected to your Safeway Club Card.
Once logged in, you’ll receive digital coupons, club deals, and personalized deals based on your shopping habits. New deals are available every Wednesday, but you have to log into your Just for U account to add new discounts and coupons to your card. Please note that just because new deals are listed in your account, it doesn't mean they have been loaded on your card!
Digital Coupons – these coupons are only available for Just for U members. You save them to your card and use them at the checkout. The discount comes once you scan your Safeway Club Card. Safeway offers both store and manufacturer coupons and members can save as many coupons as they like.
Now, if you really want to save money at Safeway, you should take advantage of their amazing coupon policy and combine store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and deals (also known as stacking). Therefore, before shopping, make sure to log in and “load” the deals onto your card. And in case you forget to do so and do not use their smartphone app, simply ask a Safeway employee to give you access to a computer to load the deals.
Personalized Deals – this is an amazing perk, and our favorite one of the Just for U program. Safeway tracks items that you frequently buy and offers periodic savings on those particular products. By doing so, you receive personalized deals on items you really want to purchase. These will usually be amazing (cheap) prices on specific items just for you. With that being said, your personal deals won’t be the same as anyone else’s, as no two people buy exactly the same products.
For example, if you tend to purchase bananas frequently, Safeway will offer you a special price like $.45/lb and you can purchase as many pounds as you want. Once you reach checkout and scan your Safeway card, the price will be automatically adjusted and you’ll get your discount. And if you manage to find another coupon for bananas, you can use it as well.
In addition, Safeway will also show you prices of the same item at places like Amazon and Walmart so that you can see how much of a discount you are getting.
Club Specials – these are unadvertised deals available in your area that won’t be displayed in the weekly ad.
3. Use Catalina Deals
Catalina Deals, also known as Yourbucks, are a great way to save money at Safeway. A Catalina Deal is a coupon that prints out at the register once you complete a transaction. Catalina Deals are triggered by items that you purchase but require a certain dollar amount or quantity of product to be purchased. When you meet the requirements, a Catalina will print for a certain amount off your next purchase. In most cases, this could be any item in the store; however, sometimes the promotions will be available towards a specific product or a brand.
Catalinas are usually manufacturer coupons which can’t be combined with other manufacturer coupons. However, if you stumble upon a store coupon, you can combine it with the manufacturer coupons.
4. Collect Fuel Reward Points
One of the perks of having a Safeway Club Card is collecting the fuel points. By doing regular shopping at Safeway, you’ll earn 1 point for every dollar spent on pharmacy and grocery items and 2 points for every dollar spent on qualifying gift cards. Once you accumulate 100 points, you’ll receive 10 cents off per gallon on a single fill-up at participating Safeway stations.
5. Pay Attention to Grocery Markdowns
The best way to save money at Safeway is to take advantage of grocery markdowns. Safeway will mark down items for a few reasons:
The item is close to the expiration date
There was a change in packaging
The product is damaged
They need space to display something else
They no longer carry the product
Unfortunately, the days and times for markdowns vary by location and it will be difficult (if not impossible) to know exactly when they’ll reduce the price. Therefore, you should always open your eyes and check the whole store, especially the deli area. In addition, try to find orange markdown stickers – they offer an extra 50% off whatever the lowest marked price is. So for example, if a product is marked down 50% off and has the orange sticker, you’ll get an addition 25% discount, and only pay 25% of the price.
6. Use Rebate Apps
Rebate apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Shopmium offer cash back on items that you purchase on a daily basis. They all work pretty much the same – you download the app, register, and locate offers. Once you activate the rebate (by doing simple tasks that last less than a minute) you just go to the store, scan the barcode, and upload the receipt.
After a while (it varies from app to app) your account is automatically loaded with points that you can redeem for money (usually via PayPal).
If you would like to learn more about these rebate apps, you can read our Rebate Guide.
7. Shop on Friday
Every Friday, Safeway has a special discount on a select number of items and offers even greater discounts than during the regular week. These “sales” last only one day, so make sure to be there and purchase the discounted products before they sell out. Some of the better items to watch for include seasonal produce, organic meats, deli offers, and Luvs diapers.
8. Use the Grocery Delivery
If you do not prefer online shopping but are curious about the price of an item, simply visit the Grocery Delivery section of the Safeway website and find the price. Please note that online and in-store prices are usually the same, but can sometimes be slightly different.
9. Find the Safeway Produce Magazine
You can sometimes find Safeway’s Fresh Ideas magazine in the produce department. This free magazine usually contains high-value produce coupons that will reduce the price on items you purchase frequently. If you can’t find the magazines in the store, ask the local produce manager to show you where they are displayed.
Saving money at Safeway isn't that difficult. You first need to sign up for the Club Card and join the Just For U program. These two easy steps alone will lead to big savings.
In addition, you should take advantage of Catalina Deals and always use rebate apps that offer cash back on items you are already purchasing. If you can, do your shopping on Friday when there are special discounts on several products, and pay attention to grocery markdowns and orange mark down stickers.
Finally, look for the Safeway Produce Magazine to find special coupons and don’t forget to save money on fuel by collecting points.
This guide was published on February 24, 2017, and last modified on February 24, 2017.