Here’s how I look at the Safeway ad to find the best deals (particularly as I did the weekly grocery deals and coupon matchups over the past seven years):
The best deals at Safeway are almost always found in one of three places: the front page, the $5 Friday page (if there is one), and an ecoupons page (if there is one). Now that Albertsons and Safeway are owned by the same company, their ads have been becoming more and more similar so this ad can be parsed similarly to Albertsons.
Safeway has, even before they combined with Albertsons, always has pretty decent meat sales, and those are featured on the front page. Any great sales on general grocery items will be featured on this page as well.
On the flip side, they rarely have great deals on produce and so only occasionally will the produce deals on the front page be amazing.
The second and third pages of the Safeway ad are usually meat, deli, bakery, etc., and with an occasional exception, don’t feature great deals or good coupon matchups.
Do be on the look out for Buy X, Save $X or especially “$0.88 when you buy 10” or similar sales – sometimes those are on pages two and three.
Pages four and five of the Safeway ad can sometimes have some good deals, particularly when matched with coupons.
Sometimes they’ll do “save $5 when you spend $25” sales that are hidden in here, which can be good finds, particularly if you are brand-loyal to the line of products that’s featured.
And Safeway’s last page is produce. Produce is just not something that Safeway seems to specialize in, and it’s rare to find a price here that will beat the prices at Sprouts or King Soopers (even the non-sale prices).
Again, that’s not to say never, but it’s rare so if you are cherry-picking the best deals, this is not a page I’d spend a lot of time on.
Safeway also frequently does a $5 Friday sale page (or sometimes a weekend sale). Where it is in the ad varies – in the online ad, it’s been a totally separate ad lately. This is where some of their best deals are so if you can plan to shop at Safeway on Friday, I’d definitely check out this page.
And often Safeway does an in-ad/ecoupons page that features great sale prices. As with anything else, not all of these items are a great deal but it’s definitely worth checking out the items. Be careful to note the limits on their ecoupon items.
One more note on Safeway: when they merged with Albertsons, they started publishing a “Big Book of Savings” every month like Albertsons. This contains some month-long sales and there are often some great deals in it, but most of the great deals are restated in their ad every week. There are probably a few deals inside that would make it worth a perusal if you have time.
If you are short on time but want to check what Safeway’s best deals are, I’d recommend looking at the first page, the $5 Friday/weekend sale page, and the ecoupons page if there is one.