The Safeway Return Policy is Blurry…We Bring It Into Focus

Updated March 27, 2024 by Kyle James
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Call me strange (and many do) but I love digging around the web, making phone calls, and asking employees about their own store’s return policy. So when it came to figuring out the return policy at Safeway, I knew I had my work cut out for me. This is because Safeway posts very little about it online, and they make it a very confusing policy on purpose so they have wiggle room. Here’s everything I discovered, I hope it helps.

The Safeway Return Policy is Blurry...We Bring It Into Focus

The Scenario…

I brought home a dozen eggs from my local Safeway and 5 of them were rotten, so of course it made me wonder if they were returnable.

Typically I would just throw the eggs away, but I figured this would be a great way to see what the ACTUAL return policy is at Safeway because I’ve read many varying accounts of their policy online.

Also, you CANNOT find anything on the Safeway website about their return policy, so I figured my eggs were a great case study to get some actual answers for all of us.

See Also: Here Are the 14 Cheapest Grocery Stores Near You

How Many Return Days Does Safeway Allow?

7 business days.

This information is nowhere to be found.

I searched their website, press releases, and I even looked at the back of their receipt with a magnifying glass.

I actually had to call Safeway customer support and ask what the heck their return policy was.

I was told that I have 7 business days to return my eggs for a full refund or exchange.

Do I Need My Receipt to Make a Return?


Even though Safeway was able to lookup my purchase using my Safeway for U information, I was told I definitely needed to bring my receipt with the eggs.

If I didn’t have my receipt, OR waited longer than 7 business days it would be LEFT UP TO the manager if they would accept my return.

Note: If you lose you’re receipt, and you’re a Safeway for U member (it’s free to join) they can lookup your order history and get you your receipt.

See Also: The Trader Joe’s Return Policy is Fantastic…Here are 4 Reasons Why

Where In The Store Do I Take My Returns?

When you enter Safeway to make your return, you can head for any open register, or better yet go to the customer service desk in the front of the store.

They’ll check the item(s), examine your receipt, and help you make the return or exchange.

Returns will go back to your original form of payment -OR- they’ll give you cash back if you wrote a check or used your debit card.

If you used EBT benefits, they will return the amount of the purchase back to your EBT card.

Are There Any Exceptions to the 7 Days?


I was told that all returns, with a receipt, after 7 business days, are handled on a case-by-case basis with the manager on duty.

I think it’s safe to assume that if you do NOT have a history of abusing their return policy, and have a legitimate reasons for making the return, you stand a good chance of having your return approved.

Legitimate reasons include a prematurely spoiled item, something foreign in the product, and potentially if you simply don’t like the taste of the product.

Can I Returned Opened or Unopened Food?


A perfect example is my dozen eggs that was clearly opened as I’d already used a couple of them before I found the rotten ones.

If you’re trying to return a box of cereal that’s almost empty and you’re reason for the return is “you don’t like the taste” the manager on shift is probably gonna deny your return.

But if you just opened the cereal and it’s smells weird, there is a 95% chance Safeway will accept your return or exchange if you bring it back within a few days.

See Also: How to Use Apple Pay at Safeway + Insider Tips

Can I Return Alcohol?


Actually, I should probably say, “Probably, no.”

Most states prohibit the return of alcohol, opened or unopened but NOT all states.

Do a quick Google search for “does my state allow me return alcohol” to see what you find.

Also, it’s worth noting that you might be able to exchange unopened alcohol, but it will be at discretion of the Safeway manager.

Do I Have to Make My Return to the Safeway Where Purchase was Made?


Safeway definitely wants you to bring the item back to where you bought it.

I think this is so they can determine if the food item is bad or rancid, and that way they can remove the item from the shelf for health reasons.

What About Fresh Fruits and Veggies?

You CAN return them.

As long as you have your receipt are in return window you should be good to go.

See Also: The ALDI Return Policy Might Be Better Than Safeway’s Policy

Can I Return Meats Past Their “Best By” Date?


It’s my understanding that Safeway will take back meats that are past their “Best By” date, but still within the 7-day return window.

I’ve been told this is typically handled on a case-by-case basis and the manager has the authority to not accept the return.

If you work at Safeway and have more information on this, PLEASE let me know in the comments.

Can I Return “Heat to Eat” Meals That Are Terrible?


I found examples online of people being able to return these premade meals at Safeway.

Do Safeway Members Get a Better Return Policy?


Whether you’re part of their rewards program or not, you get the same exact 7-day return policy.

Any Other Items That CANNOT Be Returned?


Besides alcohol, you cannot return the following items:

– Baby Formula and Baby Food

– Tobacco Products

What’s the Policy on Grocery Delivery and Pickup?

Really quite good actually. 

For some reason, Safeway does a nice job of breaking down their return policy when it comes to grocery delivery.

Safeway offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on your grocery delivery orders.

You can either have the driver return the item for you, or you can bring items back yourself.

Safeway asks you to call them at (877) 505-4040 to let them know that you want to return item(s) in your order and they’ll tell you how to proceed.

Ask the Reader: While I did a deep dive on the Safeway return policy, I feel I still might be missing some unpublished information…if you work at Safeway or have some insider info, PLEASE let me know in the comments.

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.


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