I am so excited about the new feature and love that there was such a great response from you all!! Actually there was such a great response that I needed a little help!! My buddy Christy over at Haphazardly Hobbying was kind enough to give me some help to get ten of your questions answered. There was no way we could get to everyone --if we didn't get to your question this week...don't worry we will do our best to cover it another week!!
I am going to start a new tab at the top of the site where I will do my best to organize the information so that it can serve as a quick reference!
Now let's get to the questions!!
- Can I stack manufacturer's coupons with a Publix coupon that reads "may not be used in conjunction with any other coupon"?
- Can I stack a competitor's coupon with a Publix coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on a single item?
- If my Publix doubles up to .50, how does a manufacturer's Buy One Get One coupon work for an item that is under $.50?
- I live in the land of no doubles. When Publix runs a BOGO sale, and my coupon is $1/2, do I have to buy 4 for the coupon to work?
- How does a manufacturer's 'Buy One Get One' coupon work if Publix already has the item on BOGO that week?
- Is it 'against the rules' to take a peelie coupon off an item even if you're not going to buy it that day?
- What do you do when you have several rebate items on the same receipt, and the rebate you to send in an "original" receipt?
- Are you supposed to tip the folks who take your groceries to you car?
- Is there a pattern to the frequency of items going on sale, and if so, is it the same for most items? How do I know when to really stock up on an item?
- I've been couponing for a few months and am regularly saving about 50%, but so many people in the Weekly Totals are saving 80 and 90%!! What am I doing wrong?
On to the answers!
- Jennifer wants to know: Can I stack manufacturer's coupons with a Publix coupon that reads "may not be used in conjunction with any other coupon"?
- Michelle wants to know: Can I stack a competitor's coupon with a Publix coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on a single item?
- Masa wants to know: How does a manufacturer's Buy One Get One coupon work for an item that is under $.50 if your store doubles?
- Heather wants to know: I live in the land of no doubles. When Publix runs a BOGO sale, and my coupon is $1/2, do I have to buy four of the item in order for the coupon to work?
- Brittany and Tiffiney want to know: How does a manufacturer's 'Buy One Get One' coupon work if Publix already has the item on BOGO that week?
- Cathy wants to know: Is it 'against the rules' to take a peelie coupon off an item even if you're not going to buy it that day? What about tearpads?
- Deborah wants to know: What do you do when you have several rebate items on the same receipt, and the rebate you to send in an "original" receipt?
- Kristy wants to know: Publix is so nice to have people help you out to your car with your groceries and load them for you, are you supposed to tip them?
- Laura wants to know: Is there a pattern to the frequency of items going on sale, and if so, is it the same for most items? How do I know when to really stock up on an item?
- Shawna wants to know: I've been couponing for a few months and am regularly saving about 50%, but so many people in the Weekly Totals are saving 80 and 90%!! What am I doing wrong?
Most stores will allow you to use both coupons as the wording is understood to mean that you can't combine that Publix coupon with another Publix coupon. The majority of manufacturer coupons have similar wording. This verbage is necessary to prevent people from stacking multiple coupons to get an item for free. Since Publix allows you to use a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon you should be able to use one of each per item purchased. Be aware that each store can decide whether they will allow you to stack the coupon.
Publix coupon policy allows you to use one store coupon and one manufacturer's coupon per item. A store coupon is either a Publix coupon or a competitor coupon. You need to choose one- so when choosing between the competitor's coupon and the Publix coupon, choose the value that is higher to get yourself the best deal. Note: there are the occasional stores that will allow the use of all three but I do not post a scenario using three as that is not available for the majority of folks.
Masa let me know she purchased an item that was .45¢ and she used a BOGO coupon. When the cashier typed in her discount she received a savings of .90¢ (the .45/1 coupon doubled). I'd say this is a pretty rare scenario since most BOGO items are usually over .50¢ but just in case...the register is programmed to double any coupon amount .50¢ and under when the coupon begins with the number 5.
No, you only have to buy two! Even though the items are BOGO, the cashier is still scanning two items- and that's all the register needs in order for the coupon to work. Both items in a BOGO are a purchase so you are entitled to the discount!
If your store has true BOGO and you're using a manufacturer's BOGO coupon on a Publix BOGO item, both items are free! (You'll still pay tax for each one if the items are taxable, though.) Essentially, the manufacturer's coupon "pays" for the first item and Publix gives you the second for free.
If your store rings BOGO at 1/2 price you will get one item free with the coupon but you will have to pay for the 2nd item. The second item that you are paying for rings at half price so it is a good deal but not as good as folks with true BOGO!
This is a HUGE area of debate among couponers! Honestly this is purely an individual decision--I can't give you a definitive answer as it would be completely opinion based. I think it best that you go with your gut and do what you feel comfortable doing. If you don't want to snag a peelie then don't do it. If you choose to snag a few then be sure an be kind and leave some for your fellow savers. This idea really applies to any coupon--peelie, tearpad, blinkie, booklet, etc... common courtesy is a good thing in my book :-).
This is a good question. I never like to go against what the rebate form says because I'm always afraid that they'll refuse the rebate and I'll lose out on that "free money." Usually, though, I know what items have rebates on them when I buy them, and I make sure to do separate transactions if I'm going to need more than one "original" receipt. Better to be safe than sorry!
Here is the answer from the Publix website: We pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service. That service includes taking your groceries to your vehicle. Tipping is not required. Several of you have emailed to let me know that the baggers are instructed not to accept tips.--thanks everyone!!
If you receive outstanding service from an employee at Publix you might consider sending an email or making a call to tell the manager about your experience. So many people are quick to report when things don't go as they wish --it is just as important to share the positive experience as well!!
Sale items usually cycle every three months. I'd say that after a few months of couponing regularly, you'll start to recognize a really good price (it varies depending on the particular item), and you'll know to really stock up. If you want a hard and fast rule to go by as you get started, I'd say that if the item is 75% (or more) off its regular price, you should really stock up.
For example, when Simply Smart milk - it's our favorite - goes on sale and I have coupons to pair with it, I'll buy as many as I can fit in my freezer. Other things like yogurt go on sale ALL the time and I usually only buy what I can use in a two or three week period at most.
You will also see certain items on sale at certain times of the year. If you think about when an item is likely used-- that is when you will see the best sales. Coupons and sales on pumpkin will be more likely in November than in July. Barbecue sauce will be at the lowest price duing the summer. You will want to snag turkey and ham at their lowest price around Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter! Soups are cheapest in winter months and ice cream deals are more likely in the summer! Of course there will be sales throughout the year but if you are looking to stock up on an item you will want to get it while it is "in season."
I am going to let Christy take this one as I have been couponing for a while and I think it is better answered by someone who is new"er" to couponing
I have to say that about three or four months into couponing, I was in the exact same boat as you. I was saving a lot, but nowhere near as much as most of the people I'd read about online. Around six months in, though, I really started to see a change in my percentage saved. In my opinion, there are three major things that changed for me:
a) At three months, my stockpile was good but not great - I had a lot of SOME of the things I needed to get through the week, but not MOST or, better yet, ALL of them. At six months, though, my stockpile had really rounded out nicely, and I had a two-three month supply of nearly everything I use on a regular basis.
b) At three months, I was still figuring out how to tell a good deal from a really great deal, because EVERYTHING seems like a great deal when you're first starting out with couponing, right? This meant that I'd buy a bunch of, say, frozen pizzas at $3.50 each because "I'm saving 50%!! Woohoo!" Now, though, I know that I just won't pay more than about $1.50 for a frozen pizza. I know they have been that cheap before, and I know they will be again, and I'm willing to save my coupons until I see a really great price in order to get the best value for my money. Speaking of coupons, too - at three months, I was as excited about a $.75 coupon as I was a $2.50 coupon. I know now what coupons are going to make for a really good sale price down the line (like the $3/1 Snuggle that just came out), so when I see something like that in the insert preview, I'll plan to get my hands on a ton of inserts that week. The more of an item you can buy at a rock-bottom price, the better your overall percentages are going to be.
c) Around the four month mark, I started really looking at the super-expensive items on my grocery bills - things like laundry detergent (we were Tide people), etc - and tried to find ways to reduce what I spent on those essentials. You can get creative here - I actually ended up finding a recipe to make my own laundry detergent (it's here, btw) and gave that a try. It ended up working great, and it really reduced my monthly totals - or just try to evaluate what you're spending the most money on and try to find a way to reduce it somehow. This step is different for everyone, of course - only you know what your family needs and where it can be flexible - but you may find areas where you can significantly reduce your totals.
I hope our answers to these questions were helpful! Make sure you 'tune in' next week for even more Q&A with I Heart Publix. If you have a question you'd like to see answered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.