Albertsons 101

by Melody on January 2, 2010


There is definitely an art to shopping at Albertsons.  It’s not difficult, you just have to know a few simple tricks.  I will not argue with you if you tell me that they are more expensive than Winco or Walmart.  If you were just doing an item-by-item comparison, generally the discount stores would come out on top.  Where Albertsons gains their advantage is through their fantastic promotions they run weekly.  Again, you just have to know how to use them.
For more information about Albertson’s coupon policy, go here.  

INSTANT SAVINGS DEALS
These are very straight forward.  Purchase four of one like item or from a participating group of items and receive an instant dollar-off savings.
For example:
Purchase 4 boxes Post Shredded Wheat $2.50 each
Receive instant savings of $4
Like buying each box for $1.50 each!
Make this an even sweeter deal by adding coupons into the mix.  If you had 4 $1/1 coupons, these would each be 50 cents each!
CATALINA DEALS
First off, a catalina is a coupon that prints off after your transaction has been completed.  These usually come in this form: purchase certain dollar amount of participating items and receive certain dollar amount in a catalina coupon good on your next order. These will generally be listed very clearly in the weekly ad, with all items that are included.  I suggest taking your ad with you when you shop.  It’s very important that you buy the correct item in the correct size for the catalina to print.  Since it doesn’t print out until you have already paid, it is a lot harder to correct and usually involves a trip to customer service.

For example, purchase $20 in participating General Mills product, get $5 off your next order:
Purchase 11 boxes of Cheerios $1.88 each
Total: $20.68
Receive $5 off your next order (like getting each box for $1.43)
Again, make it even sweeter by adding coupons into the mix.  Use (11) $1/1 coupons and your total out of pocket will be $9.68.  Receive $5 off your next order, like getting each box for 43 cents!
There are also unadvertised catalina deals that are not in the weekly ad.  Sometimes, after your transaction is final, you will receive a catalina-type coupon that shows an upcoming deal.  For example, your coupon might say during these dates, purchase 5 boxes of General Mills fruit snacks and receive $3.50 off your next order.  Sometimes you can even double dip your promotions, if an item is part of two overlapping catalina deals, makes for a pretty sweet price! 

BONUS BUYS

While you are out shopping, keep an eye out for green price tickets placed over the original sale ticket on the shelves.  These are called bonus buys.  Most of the time, it just means an item is going to expire soon, you’ll see these a lot in the dairy section.  Combine these with a manufacturer coupons for some really inexpensive items. 

DOUBLE COUPONS

I saved my favorite for last!  Every so often, Albertsons will issue a set of three “Twice the Value” coupons.  These will either be in the weekly ad on Wednesday or in a special insert on Sunday (another reason that getting multiple Sunday papers is worthwhile!).  Once or twice, I have even seen them inside of the regular sections of the paper.

You can pair up a “Twice the Value” coupon with a manufacturer coupon to double it’s value, up to $1.  You can use three per transaction.  The coupons do say only one set, per family, per visit.  You will find each store seems to have their own policy.  My favorite local store will let me use as many as I want in multiple transactions as long as I am not holding up the line.  My suggestion is to ask the store manager at your local store and check their feelings on it.  Much easier to do multiple transactions in one visit than to drag yourself (and your kiddos) to the store multiple times).

These can be combined with any of their promotions they are running at the time, including instant savings and catalina deals.

 
Example on how to make “Twice the Value” coupons work for you:

Purchased:
(2) 64-count tubs Huggies wipes $2.79 each
(2) Coffeemate creamers on bonus buy $1.50 each
Subtotal: $8.58
- BOGO Huggies wipes coupon (subtracted $2.79)
- $1/1 any Huggies wipes coupon
- (2) $1/1 any 15 oz or larger Coffeemate coupon
Subtotal: $2.79
Used (3) Twice the Value coupons (subtracted $2)

Final cost: 79 cents for all three items!

I know Albertsons is not going to be the store of choice for everyone.  Since it is where I do the majority of my shopping, I will post their weekly deals every Wednesday and list coupon matchups.  Give it a try if you have one nearby, try out a few of their weekly deals and see what you think.  Contact me if you have any questions!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess December 31, 2010 at 5:15 am

Melody,

I had an Albertson's checker get very fussy with me in a situation like above. She argued that using the "doubler" on the $1 coupon would make the item more than free (like your $1.50 Coffee Creamer). And would not allow me to use the doubler on that coupon. Would you let me know if this is/is not policy there?

Thanks!
Jess

Reply

Melody December 31, 2010 at 5:40 am

Jess,

I actually wrote this post about a year ago when they were still allowing overage and I forgot to update it.

They won't allow overage anymore but they should double your coupon up to the value of the item. With the coffee creamer for example, she should have taken your $1 man. coupon and doubled it up to 50 cents, making it free but no overage.

They don't have to double up to a full $1, they enter in the amount so it shouldn't have been any trouble. I don't think they have a written policy anywhere about the rules, this is just what I have been told by a few managers and several cashiers.

Sorry for the confusion in the post! Thanks for calling my attention to it so I can update it.

Reply

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