Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cheers & Jeers! Local Shopping, Week 2 Lineup...

Last weekend I took the opportunity to do something I have been meaning to for a while... store reviews.   There are 6 local stores I frequent: Fry's, Walmart (2 locations), Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Safeway.  Some have been consistently a pleasure, some so/so, and one makes me cringe! So here goes, let's give credit where credit is due with Bargain Birdie's updated second edition of "Cheers and Jeers".

#1: Safeway- Duval Rd, Green Valley, AZ
CONGRATS! You have earned the #1 spot on my list this week! YOU GUYS ROCK! You always have coupons in your flyer, you make all manufacturer coupons worth $1, and you run some great sales.  Safeway does not price match, or accept competitor coupons, but they do have more opportunities to stack store coupons with manufacturer coupons and store sales.
Shopping trips to Safeway used to tend to be for very specific items like chicken, TP, and ice cream.  Now with the recent policy change at Fry's, and and my positive experiences here at Safeway, I have begun to familiarize myself with them even more. A recent, leisurely "store walk" proved most rewarding and pleasant.  The staff was helpful and even wrote me rainchecks over the phone to pick up the next day since I had forgot to ask while at the checkout!
Waiting in line can be pesky at this store, but once you get to the front of the line, the cashiers are pleasant and knowledgeable. I have not yet been made to feel like a criminal for having coupons, in fact... most of the cashiers seem genuinely happy for you for being clever! I love that Safeway is dependable to have items in stock, and rotating their sales often enough that I can rely on the ones I need coming back around before it is too late!

#2: Fry's- Rancho Sahuarita Blvd, Sahuarita, AZ
YOU HAVE BEEN BUMPED! Fry's is convenient, friendly, clean, and well organized, & Charlene is my new BFF at the customer service booth!  They run some awesome sales, but sadly they ended all manufacturer coupons worth at least $1! Fry's does not price match, and no longer accepts competitor coupons either. They often discontinue my favorite products, and are also often out of stock on some of the major sale/coupon items. They are attempting to ramp up their digital coupons and fuel rewards, but it is gonna take some serious customer appreciation to make up for the recent stab in the back...

#3: Walmart- Calle Arroyo Sur, Sahuarita, AZ
Now this is a tough one... This is by far the easiest, most pleasant Walmart to shop at on the face of the Earth!  It is always clean, never over crowded, friendly elderly greeters, and parking spots available that aren't miles away!  They also price match and give money back for coupon overages!  Problem is, this Walmart often does not have the items I need... not that they are out of stock, they just don't have them.  Also some things they do have will be in the back room for weeks, not on the shelf, and you need to ask a manager for them to get them out, or items are priced higher than other Walmarts.  All this can make coupon matchups here a challenge, but still worth the trips.

#4: Walgreens- Calle Arroyo Sur, Sahuarita, AZ
Ah, Wags... what can I say... Some of the deals I have scored here have been great, but your coupon policy is a pain in the rear.  Having to have the same number of items or more than the number of coupons is annoying, and not to mention you often don't have the items in stock due to the amount of couponers in this area (I assume).  This one can be hit or miss. This week however with a helpful, friendly staff, a couple of free treats, and two easy mega deals WAGs has wiggled it's way up the list!

#5: CVS- Continental Shopping Plaza, Green Valley, AZ
Only voted #5 because no big deals for me there this week. This CVS is always clean and well organized.  The staff is pleasant, and the coupon machine at the front of the store is genius!  This CVS is a little out of the way for the few items I purchase there, and many of their deals rely on register rewards which I tend to shy away from unless the out of pocket expense is minimal.  While most of the time I can get better deals at the other stores, I enjoy the peace and quiet of a CVS trip and the little surprise freebies they give you from that coupon machine really make my day sometimes!

#6: Walmart- Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ
Only voted #6 because I didn't visit them this week, so last week's review still stands for now: "Where other stores have failed, you have managed to have the items I needed in stock, cashiers who know what they are doing, and mangers who care and treat the customer with respect!  You also price match and give money back for coupon overages! Bravo and thank you!  My only "room for improvement" comment would be your over the phone customer service... this was frustrating to say the least, but this review is primarily based on in store service."

#7: Target- Spectrum Shopping Plaza, Irvington Rd, Tucson, AZ
Still last and certainly least, Target!  I know not all Targets are this unpleasant, but this is the only one even remotely close to me.  I do not look forward to shopping here.  This store is disorganized, the parking lot is a nightmare, the staff is often unfriendly and always unknowledgeable.  Products are always out of stock, the registers change coupon values, reject almost every coupon (cashiers need to override), and they have even refused legitimate coupons (even a manager!)!  The ONLY reason I still bother to try to shop here is that I can stack their store coupons with manufacturer coupons or clearance to get some good deals.  Only if the deal is really good do I bother with them anymore.

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