Skip to Content

The decline and fall of the Jewel Empire — A history in posts


I’ve been doing a lot of clean-up on Mashup Mom over the past week, including deleting a lot of old deal posts in order to pare things down and speed things up. Doing this in the Jewel category brought back a lot of memories (Fall 2009, anyone? 😉 ), but also leaves a basic timeline of changes that provide a fascinating microcosm of how couponing has changed over the past 8 years. No, not just at Jewel — but since Jewel is such a big part of the Chicago grocery landscape, it stands out most starkly there. (And I simply post about them the most, so the record is more complete…) So just for fun, let’s take a little trip down memory lane.

Jewel-Osco Couponing Changes Timeline

Check out this snapshot timeline of Jewel-Osco couponing changes over the years:

  • May 2009: Jewel stops accepting expired manufacturer coupons. On a fun related note — remember when Dominick’s stopped taking them in February 2011, and then pretended they never had? lol
  • March 2010: Jewel no longer allows the purchase of gift cards with another gift card. Fair enough.
  • July 2010: Project SHE (“simplify her experience”) starts cutting out name brand products in favor of store brands.
  • August 2010: Check out the OLD Jewel-Osco coupon policy from 2010.
  • April 2011: Catalinas now trigger on card pricing, not pre-card pricing.
  • September 2011: Updated Jewel coupon policy says they’ll take Walgreens Register Rewards. Alas, no longer.
  • January 2012: Jewel price scan guarantee changes so you no longer get the item free if it scans wrong at the register.
  • June 2012: Avenu digital coupons officially disappear.
  • June 2012: Gotta Love Lower Prices price cuts launch.
  • June 2012: Change over to Essential Everyday from Jewel brand.
  • June 2012: New Jewel Rewards card + Shell Fuel Rewards launches.
  • July 2012: New Jewel coupon policy adds overage, excludes coupons that say “redeeemable only at,” clarifies competitor store coupons.
  • January 2013: Jewel is being sold to Cerberus.
  • February 2013: Register issues with coupons, including reducing the second coupon to $0.00 on a BOGO sale (still not fixed in 2016…), not scanning coupons for overage per policy (still not fixed in 2016…), and more.
  • June 2013: Ad weeks change to start on Wednesday.
  • June 2013: Fuel rewards ends.
  • June 2013: “No card, no hassle” — Jewel does away with loyalty cards. Side note from that week about “everybody gets the same low price.”
  • August 2013: Site overhaul + new mobile app launch.
  • August 2013: Jewel says they’re not going to update their registers to fix the issues with coupons scanning at $0.00.
  • November 2013: Jewel coupon policy update does away with competitor store coupons.
  • February 2014: Slight register overage update — still requires manual cashier action.
  • March 2014: Jewel parent company buys Safeway.
  • March 2014: Jewel post-redeems coupons back 60 days, in writing.
  • June 2014: Red Alert Prices launch — see photos of insane new signage.
  • July 2014: Jewel coupon policy update now excludes all coupons from another retailer and manufacturer coupons that say “redeemable at.”
  • August 2014: Jewel data breach — and data breach update.
  • September 2014: Another Jewel data breach.
  • January 2015: Jewel MyMixx digital coupons launch. Related: How to add your MyMixx number to your SavingStar account.
  • March 2015: MyMixx heads up, not coming off properly.
  • May 2015: O Organics and Open Nature launch at Jewel, starts changeover to Safeway brands from Essential Everyday.
  • May 2016: Jewel clarifies yet again on Facebook that you can use a coupon on a free item on a BOGO sale, even though they have yet to fix their registers so these scan.

That about sums it up! Any other changes to Jewel policy and products you’d like to mention? How have these changes affected your grocery shopping patterns over the years?


Wednesday 24th of August 2016

When was the Progresso soup deal when cats just kept rolling... and rolling... and rolling. I had shelves full of soup for months. And made a huge donation to the food pantry! Those were the days.

Now I don't even bother with Jewel anymore unless I need something very specific or name-brand. I don't do much couponing at all. The deals just aren't there and its not worth my time. I just shop at Aldi and call it a day.


Wednesday 24th of August 2016

I see fall 2009 as the last hurrah. Pretty much Spring 2006-Fall 2009 they were giving away the store!! In all the best ways possible. I still get overage and free stuff...sometimes $1000s at a time. But it is like 2-3 times a year now instead of all year long. I think you missed the "all winetags are fair game....giveaway and subsequent take away.

Yes, we were given warning on the expireds change.


Wednesday 24th of August 2016

I remember the sale on Puffs in 2013 where I got 18 boxes for free. I still have a few left! I remember another time where my total fell below $0 after coupons and the register locked up. The cashier high-fived me!


Wednesday 24th of August 2016

I miss using the coupons for $2 off 4 12 packs of pop on those 4 for $8 holiday pop sales. The YourBucks thing was kind of fun. I think I still have a frying pan or two from when they did pot stickers. Also you forgot to mention "The Big Game" and how no one could ever find those rare pieces and those stupid store coupons. The Wheaton Jewel got rid of their self-checkout machines, which some people feared would happen to all locations. You also didn't mention the Jewel stores getting rid of all their gas stations. Probably the biggest thing that happened was that the idiots on that Extreme Couponer show tipped all the manufacturers off to the fact that some people were being excessive in their use of coupons and so the manufacturers decided to just about kill couponing or make it very difficult to get coupons other than buying a ton of newspapers.


Wednesday 24th of August 2016

I don't shop Jewel anywhere near as much I used to. I think there were entire months I didn't set foot in the store. Recently the loss leaders have improved, so I'm shopping there more, but man I miss the 'old days.' Such great deals!