Coupon Basics Part Four – Couponing at Publix

I whole-heartedly believe Publix is the greatest grocery store on the planet!  While I occasionally stop by another grocery for an amazing deal, you can’t beat Publix’s commitment to service, cleanliness, and couponing. On top of that most of the people who work there are just plain old nice, which really does make shopping at Publix a pleasure.  (They don’t pay me to say this stuff, I just really love Publix!)

While I do sometimes hit the drug stores for awesome deals, I’ve found that it’s a better use of my time to focus on one store, even though I am trying to get in the drug store game a little more often these days! There are a lot of great deals out there at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid, but lately I’ve found it’soften not worth my time running around town when I can get pretty good deals at Publix. If I see a great deal on something I need I will definitely run to the drug stores or Kroger, but I limit that to maybe once per week and usually have it planned out well in advance. (Having a very busy three year old and two busy school-aged kids has definitely dampened my drug store shopping. Thank goodness Publix is nice enough to offer my little one a cookie & balloon when we walk through the door!)

Here are the basic coupon rules to follow at Publix:

Publix doubles manufacturers coupons up to $.50 in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina (they do not double in Florida  – I’m so sorry all you Florida readers!)  They do not double competitor or Publix store coupons.

Publix accepts certain competitor coupons.  In our area Publix accepts competitor coupons from other local grocery stores.  These include Star Market, Dollar General Market,  Kroger, and Target.  Some Publix stores will also accept competitor coupons from Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid, as well as other grocery stores in your area. Acceptance of competitor coupons definitely depends on your cashier and store management.  I’ve found that when I’m in doubt about coupon acceptance, it’s worth taking a minute to ask the management before going through the check out lane. 

The Publix Pharmacy will often accept competitor coupons.  If you have a competitor coupon for a pharmacy coupon, Publix will usually honor them.  For example, my store will take a coupon for a $25 Rite Aid Gift Card with new or transferred prescription (even though the grocery store will not accept a Rite Aid grocery coupon).

Always be on the look out for Publix store coupons.  Each month Publix comes out with a Green Health and Beauty flyer and Yellow Advantage Buy flyer. These will typically be located at the front of your store in a kiosk with other flyers. They also have other coupon booklets that are put out seasonally, so watch out for new coupon books! 

Publix allows one manufacturer and one store coupon per item. If you have a manufacturer coupon for an item, you can “stack” a store coupon (or competitor coupon) to get a greater savings on that same item. For example, if you are purchasing a pack of Huggies, you can use a $2 off manufacturer coupon along with a $3 Publix coupon to save a total of $5.  You could also use a $2 off manufacturer coupon with a Target coupon, but not a manufacturer coupon, Publix coupon and Target coupon (got that?)

The Publix Penny item is available Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when your sale ad starts.  You will find a coupon in your local newspaper on the day your ad starts for the penny item, and you must spend $10 pre-coupon to get the penny item.  So, if you have some great coupons you can often get this without spending hardly anything! (The Penny Item is not available in Florida markets).

Publix’s computers allow one coupon per item. Most stores will allow you to use as many coupons as you want. However, if the number of coupons exceeds the number of items purchased (for example you have 20 items and 22 coupons), the computer will question it. Typically your cashier will send for a manager and they will override it, however they have the option not to, so just be aware of this.  That being said, I have never had any problem with them accepting ALL my coupons!

One note on coupon acceptance – a lot of times it just depends on your cashier as to whether or not Publix will accept a coupon! They shouldn’t have any problems accepting your manufacturer coupons (they will check the expiration dates though), but not all will accept competitor coupons. If you feel that you are using a legitimate competitor coupon, kindly ask them to check with a manager. When I’m not sure about a coupon, I just nicely ask if it’s okay to use one or not, and typically they allow it. I’ve usually found that when I treat the cashiers with respect they honor my coupons – maybe that’s a good life lesson!

Are there any other tips you can think of while shopping at Publix?  I’ll add in Kroger tips tomorrow, and I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Be sure to check out Basic Coupon Lingo , How to Organize Your Coupons, my Super Cute Coupon Organizer, and How to Get a Stash of Coupons if you’re new to pinching a few pennies at your house!

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  1. Publix in the northern Alabama area will also accept Save a lot coupons including the $5/25 coupon

    Be nice to your cashiers. They are just trying to do their job. Remember you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    Be prepared to potentially spend some extra time in the check out lane. Depending on your cashier it may take up to 15 minutes to match up all the coupons.

    If you have a big stack of coupons and you know it will probably take a while I kindly let the person behind me know that I have a bunch of coupons and it might be easier to go to the next lane. Most people will gladly move to the next lane and appreciate you letting them know because their time is valuable as well.

    • Thanks Patti for the tips! I haven’t tried the Sav A Lot here in awhile, and the last I heard County Line was not accepting them, but they tend to change their mind quite a bit!

      It’s amazing what a little kindness does for your cashiers – mine are usually pretty sweet and it makes for such a happier shopping experience!

    • Patti – I remember when you called but had completely forgotten about that! So have you been using the Sav a lot recently at Publix on County Line? Thanks for the info!

  2. I love shopping at my Publix in Decatur, AL, but they seldom have coupon booklets. They will give you one of the advantage buy booklets if you go to customer service and ask. What is the secret to getting the other coupon booklets? I never see them in my store and when I ask about them at customer service, they say they don’t have any. I can go a Publix in Madison and coupon booklets are out front in the kiosk. I don’t understand.

    • Hey Sherry – Patti’s right, buddying up with a manager really helps! Another suggestion is to directly email Publix corporate HERE , and let them know you would like a specific booklet. I know another fabulous reader mentioned she tried that, and when I did the same (and highly commended Publix on their fabulous customer service), they got several books in and the manager called me (and lots of other readers!) letting us know he had our booklets. It never hurts to request, and most likely they’ll at least mail you one!

  3. I called when all the the stores stopped taking Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens coupons because when I would check out I was told they would only accept “traditional” grocery store coupons. Well I wanted to know what “traditional” grocery stores meant. I spoke to Mike who was the manager on county line at the time. I specifically asked if Dollar General Market and/or Save A Lot would be considered a competitor. He said he didn’t know because he had never been in those stores but would go in them to check. A couple of days later I got a call back and he told me that yes they were indeed competitors therefore would accept their coupons.

    It is really hit or miss with coupon books. I remember last year there was a really good book out that everyone was on the hunt for. I would suggest getting to know your managers at your store and buddy up with them to see if they might call you or hold some back for you. I would hate for you to drive all the way to Madison to only find out there aren’t any booklets.

  4. Thanks for the tips. I will try them all.

  5. Yes I have been using them at County Line. If you sign up for Save A Lots email list you will get a $5/25 coupon in PDF form. There is only about a 2 week window after you print it in which they are good though.

    • Hey Patti – I actually just added that to a post for the morning with deals – to be honest I had completely forgotten about those! Thank you!

  6. Kristin S says:

    Last Friday I had a cashier at the Publix on 72W in Madison tell me that they wouldn’t accept internet coupons anymore if they didn’t scan and had to be manually entered. I spoke with the assistant manager who apologized and told me that was not true….just an FYI if anyone else was told this.

  7. I noticed that competitor coupons are not doubled by the computer….is this an error by the computer or do they just not double competitor coupons .50 or less?

  8. What does publix give rainchecks on? I have often heard of people doing this but I wasn’t exactly sure what it entails?

    • Hi Tricia! You can get rain checks at Publix on any sale item in the store – if they’re out of an item that’s on sale, just go ask for a rain check and they’ll give you them (usually they have a limit of how many you can get, but typically it’s more than our family ever needs – maybe eight?) Hope that helps!

  9. Hi, I have a simple question that I’m unsure about. I know that you can stack coupons, but say I have 4 boxes of the same cereal and I have four mfg coupons, can I use all four of them because they each go with a seperate item? Or will they only let me use one because the coupons are the same? Thanks!!

    • Hi Brandy! You can use four coupons on four items (even if they’re BOGO) as long as they’re $1 off of 1 item. If you have coupons that are “$1 off 2 Kellogg’s” for example, you could only use two. Does that make sense?

  10. When using coupons from the Yellow Advantage Buy flyer, do I use 1 per item or will 1 coupon take care of 2 or 3 items. I seem to have read somewhere the answer to this, but I can’t find it. 😛

    • Hi Kim! You usually have to have a coupon for each item. You could always ask for them to use the code on both items, but I’ve never really tried. . . never hurts to ask though! Hope that helps 🙂

  11. Thanks!


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