Safeway's Just For U Program

Safeway's Just For U Program

It really works (unlike their previous "digital coupon" programs).

Years ago when store discount program cards were first introduced, we were promised a fully customized shopping experience. That was the trade-off: you allow the store to see and track every item you purchase (by swiping your card) and in exchange they would give you coupons and discounts tailored for your specific shopping patterns. No more clipping coupons! Just your Club Card!
Well, a few months after they launched the Club Card, they went back to coupons. No one on the outside really knows why, but it fueled the conspiracy theorists who believed the Club Card was just about identity tracking all along, and that Safeway was just using the promise of coupons to lure unwary shoppers into their grasp.
 
Finally, about two decades later, that day has finally come!

In case you were wondering, while it's true that you have been given semi-tailored coupons at checkout, this is not quite the same thing. Those receipt-width coupons are courtesy of the Catalina network, which is why hard-core couponers call them "Catalinas." They are triggered by items that you purchase in that transaction, and are typically a competitor's product. For example, if you buy a bottle of Coke, you might be offered a Catalina for Pepsi. 

The Catalina system doesn't access your store discount card, and it doesn't "see" anything beyond the transaction you just made.
 
Once you sign up for the Just For U program, you will be able to load coupons onto your Club Card. By the way, this time when you load coupons onto your card, they really do load on there. Safeway launched an online coupon program a few years ago, but my experience (and that of many other people) was that the coupons didn't actually end up being pushed to your card. Which of course you only learn AFTER you pay for everything at the checkout stand.
 
I have been using Just For U for the past two weeks, and I like it. Every week I log into their website, and the system gives me about two dozen discounts for things I often buy. It really IS for the things I often buy, too - none of the Catalina's "Here try the other thing" deal. I buy Tampax Pearl: it gives me coupons for Tampax Pearl.
 
Once you have chosen all your coupons, you can print them out and take the list with you. This shifts the printing costs to the consumer, but at least it's easier to carry around a sheet of paper versus a handful of coupons. And you can write the rest of your grocery list on there, too.
 
Overall, if you shop at Safeway, I definitely recommend signing up for this program!