When it comes to grocery shopping, I am not very skilled at value shopping and saving money. The times I actually clip coupons or have them available, I forget to use them and even though I know I should, I hate the hassle and extra effort required. To make it easier, Safeway in Hawaii recently rolled out a new online customized savings program called Just For U that I recently road tested to see if it would work for me. Just For U sorts items, organizes and builds your printable shopping list and gives you better prices for certain items based on the purchase history on your Safeway Club Card. It saves additional money on products selected just for you, allowing you to save on the items you want without having to sort through ads and clip coupons.
There are 3 ways to save:
- Personalized Deals: exclusive to you deals and prices based on your buying history that you load onto your Safeway Club Card that are not visible or marked in the store.
- Coupon Center: You can load digital manufacturers coupons on your Safeway Club Card for additional savings. There are many pages of possible coupons but they are organized with the coupons for the items you use the most toward the top of the list. You can load the coupons onto your club card so there is no cutting out coupons or remembering to bring them to the store required.
- Your Club Card Specials: Alerts you to items you buy that are on the in-store club specials and adds them to your printable shopping list
The program is currently only in Hawaii and the kind people at Safeway invited me to try it out and blog about it. As a thank you, they sent me a $50 Safeway gift card to use on my groceries and were generous enough to provide an additional $50 Safeway gift card to give to a lucky reader. (More on that below) Disclosure: Although the gift cards were given to me as a gift for trying the program, my opinions about the Just for U program are my own and not influenced by the gift cards.
My Safeway Club Card was already registered online, so signing up was merely a matter of going to the website and entering a few more details. It was a little confusing and extra input was required to sign up for the Just for U program and the separate coupon program, (it would have been nice to sign up for both with the same info), but I got it sorted out and was ready to go.
Safeway is offering everyone who signs up with the program a free dozen eggs--so I got my first savings ($3.99) quickly loaded on my card. I then spent about 25 minutes looking through everything--my personalized deals, the club card deals, and the coupons and loading the things I wanted onto my card and shopping list. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of items that I use that showed up in my deals, so I took the opportunity to stock up on some staples. When I was done, I simply printed out my detailed shopping list which was organized by category and I was ready to go.
The list made the shopping easy--my normal lists are usually scrawled out and not as organized. ;-) Being slightly distrustful by nature, I was sure some of the prices wouldn't register correctly when my groceries were rung up, but everything came out. Between my personalized deals, club card savings and a few electronic coupons, I was able to save about $24 off of my $112 grocery bill (about 21%) and so I spent about $88 - the $50 gift card, and ended up with large load of groceries and non-grocery items for about $33.00 out of pocket. Not bad--especially considering the minimum amount of effort I put in. The program overall is easy to use, doesn't take that much time to use, and although I don't expect to save that much on every visit, it is a simple way for me to save and every little bit helps, especially here in Hawaii, where the price of groceries is so high.
***$50 Safeway Gift Card Giveaway***
Although the Just For U program is currently just in Hawaii, luckily for many of you there are Safeway stores all over the US and Western Canada, and my giveaway $50 Safeway Gift Card is good at any of them. If you live near one you are eligible to win this valuable prize!
I will do a random drawing for the gift card on Sunday, July 11th. You have up to 2 chances to win--you can do either or both--each counts as one entry:
- Leave a comment on this post, letting me know that you want to enter and include one simple saving/shopping tip you use.
- If you are on Twitter, tweet about this giveaway mentioning @debinhawaii & Kahakai Kitchen and leave a separate comment letting me know you did.
All comments must be left by midnight, Saturday, July 10th to be eligible for the drawing. (Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you win)
Mahalo to Safeway for providing such a great prize!
I decided to create a dish from a few of my Just For You purchases--namely a rotisserie chicken, canned artichoke hearts, large lemons, and Barilla Plus multigrain pasta (total savings: $4.10.) ;-) I was craving pasta salad and as usual, chicken piccata with all its lemony, capery goodness, so I decided to combine them into one and thus my Chicken Piccata Pasta Salad was born!
Chicken Piccata Pasta Salad
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
1 box farfalle (bowtie) pasta (I used Barilla Plus multigrain for 4g of fiber per serving)
1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 (or 2) large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can artichoke hearts in water, quartered
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
lemon vinaigrette (recipe below)
salt and black pepper to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain well and cool. Meanwhile caramelize onions in olive oil or butter over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. For the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the minced garlic to the onions to cook through.
In a large mixing bowl, add pasta, caramelized onions, garlic, artichoke hearts, chopped chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, parsley, and capers. Mix gently but thoroughly with the lemon vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve cold, with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp finely minced garlic
1 tsp honey or agave syrup (or more to taste)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Combine lemon juice, white wine vinegar, garlic and agave in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Notes/Results: Really tasty, it captured the essence of a chicken piccata and hit the spot for all my cravings. The multigrain bowties hold up well to all the goodies inside, and there is a lot of good tangy flavor from the lemon, artichoke hearts and capers. Next time I would double the amount of caramelized onions--they were so good I wanted more. The cherry tomatoes are not usually in a chicken piccata but they add bright color and a sweet taste that compliments the other ingredients. You could also poach or roast chicken breast for this salad but using a rotisserie chicken is so much easier. I added a touch of agave to the dressing to cut a little of the sour tang of the lemon and bring out the flavor. You could mix the grated parmesan right into the salad but I like to serve it on top to reduce the amount used. Like most pasta salads--this one benefits from a few hours in the fridge so it is an easy recipe to toss together in the morning and then enjoy when the day gets hot. I will make this again.
I haven't contributed to Ruth's Presto Pasta Nights for quite a while so I am sending this recipe along to this week's host, Helen of Fuss Free Flavors, who will be rounding up all the yummy pasta dishes on Friday.
Don't forget to enter to win the $50 Safeway Giftcard!