Couponing at Publix
I firmly 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.
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 Publix alone. There are a lot of great deals out there at Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid, but lately I've found it's not worth my time to run 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 two year old and two older kids involved in sports every night 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. I know the rules in Florida may be a little different, so if you're in Florida you probably need to check with your store.
Publix doubles manufacturers coupons. Publix will double your manufacturer coupons up to $.50. They do not double competitor coupons. Most Florida stores do not double manufacturer coupons.
Publix accepts competitor coupons. Many Publix stores will accept competitor coupons from Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid, as well as other grocery stores in your area. My Publix here in North Alabama also accepts Target, Kroger, Star Market, Southern Family and Kroger coupons, however they will not take Food Lion or Harvey's as they are not local competitors. Acceptance of competitor coupons definitely depends on your cashier. I've never had any problem with them accepting Target printable coupons under $1, but some cashiers will not take other computer generated coupons (i.e. Rite Aid $4 off $20). However, if the coupon is professionally printed (from a newspaper ad or local coupon book) I have never had a problem with it.
Look out for Publix store coupons. Publix puts out coupon pamphlets monthly. Each month they have 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 always keep your eyes out for a new book!
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) with it 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.
The Publix Penny item is available Sunday and Monday of each week. Each Sunday Publix puts a penny coupon in the Sunday paper for a “mystery” item that you get for $.01 with a purchase of $10. You must spend $10 pre-coupon 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.
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!
Also, IT IS NOT OKAY TO COPY INTERNET PRINTABLE COUPONS ON A COPY MACHINE. Typically you can print two coupons per printer, and that's it. Recently I was in my Publix store, and talked with one of the managers about this. She said Publix is looking out for fraudulent copies, because they only get reimbursement from companies for the ones printed legitimately (you'll notice that each bar code on your printed coupons is different, that's why it takes a few seconds for each to print). There are some printable coupons that come in PDF form and can legitimately be printed several times, but be sure to read the fine print to make sure it's okay to use more than once. I guess I just feel that since Publix is so generous with their couponers it's important that everyone treats them fairly too.
Check back early next week for the a post on building your stockpile. And don't forget to look back tomorrow morning for the Penny Item – happy shopping!
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