Reader Spotlight: A Bag Full at Walmart or a BUGGY Full at Publix

reader spotlight

Today we’re going to hear from Julie, who wrote in with the story of how she used to shop and how she started couponing. I think this is a story many of us can relate to....we've all had that "ah-HA!" moment where we realize that there is a better way to do things. Take it away, Julie!

I was always a religious Walmart shopper. I would spend an average of $85 a week for my husband and I...and for this amount of money, I was only able to purchase the BASICS of what we needed, never any extras.

One night I came home from work and switched on the local news. They were running a teaser for the 10 pm broadcast which featured a local woman who used coupons to shop at Publix and who claimed to save an enormous amount of money doing it. I had to see this, so I set my DVR to record it in case I missed it.

When I sat down to watch the news, I was amazed. The woman showed off an envelope stuffed full of coupons that she was intending to use on her next shopping trip, and she gave a short run down of how she planned to use them. She mentioned that she read this blog among others, saying that all the work is done already...all she had to do was follow the suggestions for which coupons to use.

Needless to say, I went straight to my computer and started learning. I spent several months learning all the rules and went to a local couponing class run by a local blogger. I started trying my hand at couponing and started to save at least 50% or more each shopping trip.

I still spend anywhere from $60-$150 each week, but now we have two kids who require diapers and formula! I find myself cringing when I have to go to Walmart between trips to Publix and often tell my husband that I just spent $x at Walmart for two bags of groceries when that could have bought a buggy FULL at Publix!

Thanks for sharing your story, Julie!

I can always use a few new volunteers for the Reader Spotlight – so please write in if you have a story to tell! Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @!


  1. lisa says

    I cringe at even thinking about going to Walmart. I LOVE publix. If for some reason I am forced to go to Walmart (usually by my husband, and for something publix doesn’t sell),the whole time I’m in there I comment about how none of the aggravating things (that usually happen in there) would of happened at publix…LOL….

  2. says

    I can so relate! I can’t believe how much I used to spend at Walmart! It almost makes me sick! I’m so glad that I don’t have to shop there anymore! It’s almost like couponing has freed me! :)

  3. Teri says

    I just thinking of walmart. I like you, used to shop at walmart thinking I was saving money until I discovered I heart publix. now I never even go to walmart. don’t miss it 1 bit I have all name brands wonderful food excellent bakery great meats… and I have extra money to shop at whole foods. thanks I heart publix.

  4. ann says

    i hate walmart or being a wal martians thats what we call people who are there , shopping at a place where they allow that type of people wearing no underwear or bras or houseshoes and pjs in the store grosses me out

  5. Shemetha says

    Go Publix! I cringe at having to go to Walmart too. I save so much more by going to Publix. Don’t believe those Walmart commercials saying their prices are cheaper than Publix.

  6. Christie says

    I laugh when I see the new “Hellmart” commercials. I too was always a Hellmart shopper until I got into couponing. I have been there a grand total of four times in a year and a half and only for non grocery items. I considered myself cured! And thanks to Michelle and this website, a serious love affair has developed between my wallet and Publix! :)

  7. angie says

    There is a WM just 1/2 mile from home and publix is about 7 miles. Needless to say, I dont mind the drive – I still save a TON!! i’ve been trying to help a friend coupon for the longest and she thinks Im crazy for driving to publix since wm is right around the corner. Well, not long ago I provided her with $1.5o diaper coupons and I had just gotten the publix booklet with $5 off I also have wd $5/$30 well, she has a 7 mo old little girl and she was going to shop at wm, but she opted to take my suggestion to go t publix since she had the px q for it – the scenario would have been

    2 boxes of diapers @ 24.99 x 2 – $49.98 minus $1.50 p/box $46.98 plus tax
    or pbx diapers $ 24.99 (i think they were on sale)$49.98 – $5 w/d q less $1.5 ($3) mq less $5 pbx q ($10) = $31.98 plus tax..$16 for a BOX

    Now she is always asking about couponing and since she doesnt have internet t home, I help her out to print several q’s I may think she would use.

  8. NiaLee says

    I used to be a die-hard Wal-Mart shopper but I am totally Team Publix now. I agree, those commercials and ads in the Sunday paper about Wal-Mart being cheaper than Publix are bogus! If you coupon a BOGO or Advantage Buy like the Mott’s Apple Juice boxes I bought this morning – you can always beat Wal-Mart’s prices. And an added bonus is that Publix is a better company overall than Wal-Mart. There’s a documentary out there (can’t remember the name) that uncovers all of of Wal-Mart’s dirty laundry.

  9. ashley says

    my son couldn’t find a backpack he liked at target or at the mall.. so i said ok we’d go to walmart.. he found one there thank god and a lunch box, together they were less than $20, I figured since I was there i’d pick up a few basics like tp and paper towels, because i needed them and i didnt have any coupons for them and its usually cheaper for that stuff there, also just picked up a few other things so I could just go home after the trip and not have to go anywhere else (I was exausted from the day) um what i thought would be a $50 trip turned into a $95 trip.. i get in the car astounded and i get home look at my reciept and of course some things i had picked up were priced wrong or in the wrong space on the shelf and of course my family had already opened them!!! so it blew my extra cash for the week I’m still boiling about it.. I hate walmart, thats what i get for going there i guess! i always hear people saying how much they love walmart.. I HATE IT! lol and i always have a problem using coupons there and they do not accept competitors because no competitors state a $ off the amount for a specific product..

    • Teri says

      I feel your pain. This happens to me almost every time I have shopped at a WalMart in the past year. They are not the cheapest, even on the non coupon items. I did a price check of over two hundred items…and I must say…I was shocked. But, it was a learning curve. Just take items up to the self scanners on the floor…and I now don’t waste my time. I buy most non food items online for the extra credit or use coupons from other stores….:)

  10. Jennifer M says

    I actually did not even know what “wally-world” was until I was 15. I had never been in one (well one, but I was like 3 and I don’t remember much about it). When I first turned 18, I would buy some things at walmart. I used coupons back then, but not the right way. I would be sitting there with my budget and have to put things back because I wasn’t about to go over just because I was at the register. Now, I go into Walmart once in a blue moon. My most recent trip was 2 months ago for the cheap air filters for the hall return vent. Wouldn’t you know they were sold out of the size I needed in the cheapo? I nearly hit the floor to pay $15 for two of the “Good” ones.

    Oh, and their price matching is a joke. I had the ToysRUs ad in hand and wanted to price match the Guitar hero game and controller for 9.99. I spent 45 minutes waiting for a manager and he told me no. I called corporate, and guess what they told me? Try Another Store. OMG (although I did because ToysRUs is the opposite direction from my house about 15 miles each way from my work, and traffic is horrible!) I did end up getting it at the other store after only a 15 minute wait. (Just for a manager to come down and turn his key because it was a large price match). Still, it wasn’t really worth spending my whole lunch break and then some!

  11. May says

    I find it funny the radio commercials I hear saying women are taking their publix receipts to walmart and realizing they could be saving so much more if they shopped there, well those women obviously must not coupon the sales!

  12. julie stebbins says

    I drive 20 miles each way just to shop at the nearest Publix and i live in a city, not the country! Our city is getting 2 stores next year and we can’t wait!!!

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