Why Is Safeway So Expensive?( 5 Main Reasons)

Why Is Safeway So Expensive?

Why Is Safeway So Expensive?

Safeway is a grocery store that originated in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has since expanded to other parts of California and Washington.

I know Safeway for its private-label products, such as:

  • Safeway Select canned vegetables
  • Organics produce items
  • Signature bakery goods

It’s the second-largest U.S. grocery chain behind Kroger, with 1,300+ stores located from Alaska to Florida.

Why Is Safeway So Expensive?

Many people have been wondering why Safeway is so expensive compared to other stores like Wal-Mart or Costco. Well, here are a few reasons:

Safeway sells more organic food products than other grocery chains that include fresh produce and packaged goods, they also offer specialty items and farmers pressure on the pricing of their products ,this pushes the cost of their products than other grocery stores.

Other Top reasons include:

1) Safeway’s prices may be higher because they sell more organic food products than other grocery chains.

This includes fresh produce and packaged goods from brands such as Annie’s Homegrown and Kashi Organic Harvest

2) They also offer specialty items that you can’t find at your average grocer, including Greek yogurt, lobster tails, high-end wines

3) Safeway may not be as competitive on price as the cost of goods rises (food inflation), while competitors try to maintain their low-cost image through lower quality items

4) According to a 2008 article by Seth Lubove, Safeway often finds itself with an excess supply of perishable goods such as meat and dairy throughout the week.

Because these items need quick sales lest they go bad. They lower prices on certain days of the week to move inventory.

Customers who do their shopping daily will only see lower prices for specific products on those days

5) In some cases where competition is present (e.g., Costco), Safeway may choose not to compete on price.

This is because it would rather keep its image intact than offer customers rock bottom deals.

Should I Tip Safeway Delivery Driver?

The answer is unclear because there are pros and cons of tipping, but it’s customary to leave a gratuity.

From an employer’s perspective, tips motivate drivers to work harder and deliver more orders.

People often want to reward good service for individual customers. This makes them feel like they got it from their Safeway delivery driver.

In other cases, people might not have cash on hand when the order arrives at their doorstep, so tipping is also a way of paying with a credit card.

Should you ever find yourself without cash or left feeling awkward about the money situation, there’s always an option to leave a note thanking them for their help.

As a side note, many people believe that tipping is only necessary when they order food and are home at the time of delivery.

This isn’t true. If Safeway delivers your groceries, drivers will drop off packages from many stores all over town. Say thank you anyway.

Can You Return Food from Safeway?

Yes, you can return food items to the customer service counter even if you had partially eaten or had passed their expiration date.

This is because most stores have strict quality control measures and would likely throw out expired or damaged goods before allowing someone to buy them.

All food items must remain unopened for you to receive a full refund or exchange. If you have opened the product, you will not get your money back.

But you may be eligible for an in-store credit that you can use on anything at Safeway.

Now, there are a couple of things you should know before returning food from Safeway:

First, if the item is “perishable” (such as dairy products), then you will only have 2 hours after purchase to return it.

Second, all returns are subject to your store’s discretion. For instance, some Safeways will allow returns on opened baby formula while others will not.

If you’re unsure about a particular product’s return policy, then ask someone in management before making your purchase/return.

Now that we’ve cleared up whether you can return food from Safeway let’s look at how much time you have to make your claim.

Suppose an unopened product has gone wrong or has a manufacturing defect.

In that case, customers must bring their receipt back to customer service within 90 days of purchase. They may receive a refund or credit toward another product.

If you opened the item, you would not get your money back. But you may be eligible for an in-store credit that you can use on anything at Safeway.

Whether you can receive a refund or store credit for your purchase is subject to your store’s discretion.

Since all returns are subject to store policy, this means that some Safeways will allow refunds while others will give you a store credit.

Is It Cheap To Shop At Safeway or Walmart?

So, the answer to this question depends on what you want to buy in your shopping basket.

If you don’t mind buying non-organic produce and frozen foods from Walmart, they’re cheaper than Safeway.

But if you prefer to buy certain brands and organic items, it will be more cost-effective to shop at Safeway.

This is because of their various suppliers and supplies. So look at prices before deciding where you should go for your weekly grocery shopping.

But keep in mind that both retailers offer great deals, so see what works best for your family’s needs.

The most important thing to do is compare prices between the two stores. This is because if you shop at either location.

It’s challenging to determine whether they are cheaper than the other one. For example, one-week Safeway may have fresh salmon for $9.99.

In contrast, Walmart has its brand of frozen salmon for $4.98 for a 24-ounce package.

This makes Safeway more expensive because it is $5 more expensive per pound than Walmart’s location.

And that same day at another time, Safeway might see Fuji apples selling for 29 cents per pound while Walmart offers their apple brandy for 19 cents per pound.

Safeway would be more expensive in that situation because it is 10 cents more per pound.

So, if you like certain brands, it’s essential to look at the price when comparing the two stores.

This is applicable until you find out which store has better deals and a lower price for those items.

Is lucky or Safeway cheaper?

Safeway is more expensive than lucky.

But, sometimes things are cheaper at Safeway, and other times they are more affordable at lucky.

Usually, if something is more reasonable at Lucky, it is by a few cents or pennies.

With Safeway, it will be a much more significant price difference (i.e., 10-20% less). Sometimes things are cheaper at both stores, but at around the same price.

Underneath this paragraph, I will show you some cheaper things at Safeway or Lucky using my local store (lucky) prices.

I will also explain why sometimes one is more affordable than the other.


Usually, meats are much cheaper at lucky because they have sales on beef. For example, right now, boneless, skinless chicken thighs are 10% off their original price.

Sometimes they can be very cheap (under $3/lb), so I usually buy them out of a lot when this happens since it’s such a good deal.

For example, twice I purchased 24 pounds of the cheapest ground beef they had ($2.49/lb).

They also take competitor coupons so that you can combine those with Lucky’s sales.

Safeway meets more expensive. This is because they rarely have any meat sales.

If they do, it’s only on select items and not always high-quality stuff. Safeway meats boast high prices than Lucky.

Milk and Eggs

Both stores offer organic milk, though Lucky’s milk is cheaper than Safeway by around $0.20/gallon on average.

They also provide free-range eggs. These cost more than regular eggs, but sometimes you can get lucky and find them at an average price.

For example, right now (9/9), Safeway has free-range eggs for a great price. They are two cartons for $5, making them much cheaper than regular eggs.

Grocery Staples and Other Items

Here comes the tricky part! Sometimes groceries staples can be cheaper at Lucky. But sometimes, they are more affordable at Safeway.

For example, I always buy my coffee from Lucky because it is.99/bag (compared to their competitor’s price, usually around $3-4).

The catch with shopping at Lucky is you have to buy the whole bag of coffee. This is because they won’t let you buy one or two bags of coffee.

So this type of deal only works if you drink a lot of coffee.

Also, Lucky has sales on spices and other grocery staples, which makes them much cheaper than Safeway. (e.g., right now, I spotted a $4 off a $15 buy for spices).

Safeway only offers one or two deals on groceries items per week. So you will have to be okay with waiting for the “good” deal if you want to save money.

Another thing to consider is that Safeway lets you use competitor coupons. This is nice because it allows you to stack discounts.

Lucky and Safeway are both grocery stores that provide convenience and competitive prices for most items.

The only area where one store may be better than the other is meat. This is because lucky has sales while Safeway does not.

Other than that, you can decide which store works best for your budget.

Is Trader Joe or Safeway cheaper?

The question of which grocery store is cheaper to shop at can challenge you. It depends on what kind of shopping you do and your home location.

The closest grocery stores are Safeway for many people, but not everyone has access to Trader Joe.

If you have been using Safeway as your go-to grocery for some time now, it may feel like a change going to Trader Joe’s.

This is because you may not be familiar with its layout or even what they offer altogether.

Safeway has many locations across the United States. They offer a wide variety of food and household items.

Some areas include pharmacy services as well. Trader Joe’s is an American privately held chain of specialty grocery stores based in Monrovia and California. Trader Joe’s focuses on providing organic foods at lower costs than traditional grocery stores.

Safeway features 1,500+ varieties of wine, including over 200 labels that are not available anywhere else.

This may entice customers looking to buy wines at discounted rates. But I found out that the cost per ounce of milk and eggs at Trader Joe’s is cheaper than at Safeway.

I did the study by comparing the price per ounce of over two dozen products.

The results were that the average price per ounce at Safeway was $0.20 more than Trader Joe’s, making it 20% less expensive to shop there.

This study considered both brand names and store brand items at each grocery store to give a fair assessment.

The critical thing for you to keep in mind when deciding where to shop depends on:

  • What groceries you need
  • How far away from your home the stores are
  • If there is a difference between prices per item or price per ounce.

Are You Supposed to Tip Safeway Delivery?

Yes, and No. This is a personal decision, but the company does not oblige you to.

You can always opt not to tip or give them less than 15%. Maybe they were rude or forgot something significant like eggs.

Whatever the case, there are no set rules for tipping at Safeway, so do what feels right.

The decision is yours! You can always opt not to tip or give them less than 15%. Maybe they were rude or forgot something significant like eggs.

Whatever the case, there are no set rules for tipping at Safeway, so do what feels right.


Safeway is a grocery store, so it’s no surprise that people wonder if they can return food from Safeway.

The answer to this question varies depending on the type and severity of your purchase. You’ll find specific information in our return policy for each department.

We have also provided details about what types of investments you cannot make at Safeway, along with pricing comparisons between different stores.

If you’re looking for more than just groceries or want to see which store has cheaper items, we suggest checking out both Walmart and Trader Joe’s.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

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