Saturday, January 30, 2010

Understanding Safeway Coupon Policy

I've noticed a lot of confusion regarding the use of coupons at Safeway, and even information on their facebook page that contradicts their "Official Policy" online. Here is the information you can find on Safeway's website regarding coupons.

  • We can only accept Printable Coupons if they scan properly at the register.
  • We will not accept Printable Coupons for "FREE product" (i.e., no purchase required). Buy-one-get-one-free coupons and other varieties that have a purchase requirement are acceptable.
  • We will not accept Printable Coupons for more than 50% of a product's value. For example, a $2 off coupon will be acceptable for a product that sells for $5 or more, but a $2 off Printable Coupon for a product that sells for $2.25 will not be accepted.
  • Printable Coupons will be rejected if they appear to be distorted or blurry, or are altered in any way or copied.
  • Printable Coupons are non-transferable, and should not be copied, scanned, sold, traded, or otherwise distributed to others. They have unique serial numbers printed on them and follow an industry-standard format.

Frequently, Safeway's own printable coupons are the only ones that do not scan, but I've never had a problem with them choosing not to accept the coupon. Also, they do occasionally release printable Safeway FREE item coupons (with minimum purchase requirements) and these are always accepted. The bit about not accepting a coupon worth more than 50% of an item's value is confusing because no one is really sure if they mean "regular value" or the "sale value". I've seen different stores interpret it both ways, so it's best to ask someone working if you're concerned. Some stores (and Safeway's Facebook page) are suggesting/enforcing a one like coupon policy for printable coupons, and if that's the case they really should update their website to reflect this new policy. One of my local stores occasionally restricts you to 2 like printable coupons because they know that's all one computer can print.

Making Sense of Store Coupons:

  • Explains a difference between Super Coupons and regular store coupons, and that the wording "Limit one coupon per purchase" on a Super Coupon means that only one of it's kind can be used per transaction.
  • This document also clarifies the minimum purchase requirement of Safeway coupons: To use store coupons that include a minimum purchase requirement, you must spend a minimum dollar amount on that shopping trip. You will reach the minimum purchase amount based upon total purchases before your Club Card discount is applied. This total will include the coupon item's regular price, not the discounted price. For example, the regular retail price of a box of Cheerios (before coupon and before Club Card discounts) will count toward the minimum purchase required in order to use the Cheerios coupon. EDIT: this segment has been changed since I originally posted this policy to state that the minimum is now based on sale price. You can read more about this change in another post.

I think this is a great page to print for your coupon binder (or file) because it clearly explains that you do not need to spend the full amount of the minimum purchase in cash to use Safeway coupons. This helps keep your spending down!

My favorite find of the day, however, pertains to the stacking of ecoupons with each other. On the page addressing CouponLink FAQ, you'll find this little Q&A gem:

  • Can I combine coupons? (in reference to "digital coupons")
  • Yes, you can theoretically combine coupons. This can happen if a manufacturer offers a coupon to multiple coupon providers. However, the price will never go below zero.

True, it doesn't clarify whether or not we can stack paper coupons and ecoupons, but it seems to say that the stacking of ecoupons is "theoretically" acceptable to Safeway. If you have any other questions about Safeway's policy that I can help you with, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email!


  1. This is a great explanation. I've had mixed results using coupons at Safeway. I need to print out a copy and bring it with me, so I don't run into more problems. I've never had a problem with eCoupons at Safeway though. While their policy is slightly vague, I would think if they didn't allow stacking, the coupons would beep when scanned.

  2. I just bought some Granola Nut Clusters yesterday on sale from reg pr 3.49 to 2.50 and unknowingly had several ecoupons from the past loaded on my card plus a $1 off paper coupon and they took 4.40 total off my one pkg of 2.50 clusters. I thought they would only take one ecoupon from Shortcuts and one ecpouon from Cellfire etc.

    I do have a queston:

    My SW store is a stickler on rules and also seems to make them up as they go reguarding couopons. On the part about no printables worth 50% or that REG price or any given SALE price? Thanks.

    My SW also will not take more than one LIKE printable cpn per visit...which makes it tough when something is BOGO or the 'must buy 4' type sales. And once they would not let me use a coupon that had more than a 12? week in advance exp date. It was during the cereal sale in Aug and I had a bunch of Kashi printables that expired Dec 31st and they would not take them. I don't see either of those in the rules above. Where do they come up with this stuff?! I really dont like conflict so I dont ever push it. Dont they realize I would be spending more if I could use them?!


    (signing in as it keeps telling me my email has illegal characters???)

  3. I've never heard the bit about an expiration date more than 12 months in advance and since it's not officially part of their policy- I would definitely ask for a manager on that one. As for the 50% IP rule, no one has been able to get a clear answer. I do know that one of Safeway's affiliate stores is trying to rework this policy to make it more clear so maybe we'll be able to get more clarification soon (I sure hope so!).

    As for the 1 like printable coupon per transaction, I wonder if speaking to a manager might help? I'd just explain that since most coupons can be printed twice per computer, it'd make sense to allow customers to use two at a time. They might just agree with you, especially if you explain that their current rule is actually causing you to buy fewer items.

  4. Thanks for responding. I may just have to get brave and take in the printed sheet and try my luck. Doesnt seeem right if it is not in the official rules. My Safeway is the hardest on allowing coupons so unless I have ecoupons to match I end up going to another store so it is indeed their loss.

  5. K~I had the same thing happen to me today at the Redmond Safeway regarding only accepting 1 printable.