Publix Coupon Policy Explained – How Many Coupons To Use?

Publix coupon policyI find that I am getting a TON of questions and comments asking about the Publix coupon policy.

I know lots of you guys are well versed in couponing and know the policy by heart. But, since we get a ton of new couponers visit all the time I was thinking maybe I’d start a new series of posts detailing the specifics on the coupon policy at Publix.

I am hoping that this will allow us to discuss a bit and also help educate some folks who may not know the policy.

This week we are going to answer Tammi’s question:

I have been couponing for a while now and have always stuck to the one manufacturer and one store coupon per item rule regardless if I’m using a Target store coupon or a Publix store coupon.  Specifically, I’m talking about store coupons that are for a specific product and not about money ($/$$) off your total order coupons.  Recently I have a friend that was allowed at their store to use a manufacturer, Publix store, AND a Target store coupon on the same item.  Personally I’m uneasy with this since I feel like it’s double stacking store coupons, but would a specific store actually allow this to drive more business?  This issue came up today with the upcoming deal on the All detergent.  If you bought 2 bottles at $3.50 each and used the $3/2 manufacturer coupon with 2 $1/1 Publix coupons and 2 $1/1 Target coupons you could net to free for both bottles.  Even though this may be allowed at some stores, it just isn’t sitting right with me so I wanted to get your take on it.  I feel that using coupons in this way will lead to stores not accepting Target coupons anymore if too many deals are netting to free or even overage situations.

Tammi, based on the printed Publix policy you are using the coupons correctly and your friend is not. The Publix coupon policy on Publix.com states the following “We will accept a manufacturer’s coupon and either a Publix or a competitor coupon on the same item.”

There are many reasons why your friend was “allowed” to use the coupons together. Maybe the cashier was new and did not know that the policy prohibits that many coupons on one item. It could be that the cashier did not actually know that there were that many coupons being used. Really, it does not matter the specific reason why it was allowed – it is improper coupon usage based on the written policy.

Remember, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and use coupons correctly.

I used the following analogy with a friend of mine and would like to share it with you guys. While driving, we are limited to a designated speed limit on a particular stretch of road – the speed limit is the rule that we are to follow. Many folks will use all sorts of reasons to justify breaking the rules…everyone else speeds, I was in a hurry, I wasn’t paying attention, I don’t know the speed limit. There are even folks who speed just because they don’t care about the the rules – they do what they want without regard to what rule is in place.

No matter what reason they use to justify their speeding, if they are caught breaking the rules, they may be subject to a punishment. Punishments may increase and become severe as more folks break the rules.

The same concept applies to a store’s coupon policy. No matter what excuse is used – you are still breaking the rules. Even though we may not always like the rules, they exist for a reason.

I hope this new series will help answer some questions and offer clarification for those with questions. Stay tuned for another discussion next week.

I’d love to hear your input on this. Feel free to share examples or your experiences. You can even make fun of my silly analogy – tee hee.

Comments

  1. Jess says

    I think it is GREAT that you’re doing this, and hope more posts like this are to come. Lately, it seems that many blog readers are using “YMMV” and “my store said this applies to this, and that applies to that” when they’re breaking the posted corp coupon policies. Your speeding analogy was right on! There’s no reason to use things we know aren’t correct, simply because we might be able to talk an employee into seeing things our way. We can all still get AMAZING deals without bending what’s truly allowed! Thanks so much for starting this!

  2. Tracey says

    Agreed. Im always so afraid of people taking advantage and breaking the rules. Its just gonna cause them to tighten the reigns. We are getting amazing deals the way they are. We do not need to take advantage of the system.

  3. Maritza says

    Just wanted to let you know that Publix will only receive one Target coupon only to use not per item. Must read the fine print that Target has, “Limit one coupon or offer per guess”. I was just informed by my Publix today about the change so find out by your Publx what is their policy on that.

    • Patricia S says

      My Publix will take a few Target coupons, but only one like Target coupon can be used, so no two for BOGO’s. I have really been watching my prices, as Target will take two and lately I have been finding that Target’s prices are dropping or are cheaper than Publix. I still love my Publix though.

  4. cari says

    question so you can only you and publix or a competitor coupon means if you are using publix coupons on a deal you cant use a 5 off 30 coupon as well?

    • JeffVL says

      YES!! Only me and me & Publix can.

      (actually – yes. If you purchased $30 of food before any Qs, you can use a 5 off 30 Q, too along w/ your mfr/publix/comp Qs)

  5. RN1 says

    Thank you, thank you for starting a series like this. I strive to use my coupons as honestly and correctly as possible, though sometimes I do make mistakes. I feel like using coupons dishonestly is akin to stealing. I appreciate you, Michelle, for running an honest site and encouraging appropriate coupon use. From posts like this, to the Target coupon post that was ever so popular to your rapid takedown of incorrect coupon match-ups, you do a great job!

  6. Linda Burgoyne says

    It seems like when Publix puts out their own coupon booklets/sheets of coupons, or the Advantage buy flyers, you really, really have to pay attention. Because some of the coupons will be Publix “STORE” coupons and some of the coupons are “Manufacturer” coupons. In the past I have made mistakes and used a coupon that came from a Publix booklet along with a manufacturer coupon, only to find out later on that I used 2 (TWO) manufacturer coupons for one product.

    I don’t have any problems with Target coupons. Target is NOT a competitor at any of my Publix stores.

  7. Stacie says

    Love this new series!!! @Cari, you should still be able to use a $5/$30 whether competitor or Publix you should be able to use that first and then use the rest of your coupons that are for specific products.

    • RN1 says

      That is always how I have done it without even questioning it. On that same note, I was reading something else and thinking about the current GABF Unilever coupon. With it being a $/$$ coupon for any Unilever product, can it not then be used with MQs and SQs? It is odd to me that they put the Clear PQ in the flyer along with the $/$$ Unilever coupon. My store said they could be used together and I read other stores are saying the same. With all that being said, I try very hard not to break the rules and to do things honestly but I guess I can see both sides of this one. What do you think?

  8. Laura says

    Keep it honest for the “coupers” in this world..who wants to abuse the system and then have it all taken away anyways?

  9. JeffVL says

    “I know lots of you guys are well versed in couponing and know the policy by heart.”

    One thing (rarely any difficulties @ Publix 4 me). It’s not whether you know the Q policy or not. It’s the multitude of interpretations by cashiers/CSRs/management at various retailers and the outright lunacy @ walmartz.

    • RN1 says

      Agree completely. Super frustrating when they make up rules. After the Dr. Pepper/Mountain Dew coupon fiasco, I didn’t shop at Publix for a few days. That was as long as I could stay away. LOL!

    • Tara Pugh says

      I know their policy why dont they is what makes me mad. Then one of my stores which I have stopped going to cause of how rude (Yes Rude at Publix cou;d mot beleive it when it happened) they got over a mistake I made I admitted I made one, I am human. I stopped going mainly cause it was becoming a problem to know what they were going to accept on what day. How they were going to handle Target or Winn Dixie Qs from shift to shift as the mangers changed over. I can say I have found me a new Publix that if I make a mistake for need somethiung explain are great to help.

  10. Pubublix says

    If everyone was had the coupon policy memorized then we wouldn’t have to worry about things like this. Target printable q’s say limit one offer per guest per day. The coupon policy says that any restrictions on the coupon must be followed. Can you imagine how many times this is abused every day of the week? Not only do I think that people need to watch their speed, but there’s construction barrels out and fines are doubled when workers are present :)

  11. Edie says

    My mileage varies by which Publix I go to within a 5 mile radius. I had a cashier today ask for EVERY SINGLE coupon if I had the items. I had like 40 coupons. Then, at a different publix later in the day (I forgot something), they would not take the publix online coupons (like the one for $2/2 hebrew national hot dogs) but just scanned everything else without a question.
    though, none of them seem to want to take the $5/25 from other stores.

  12. says

    your right my publix no longer accepts target as an competior and abusing coupons are only gonna make it harder on us true people. I was able to use target, kroger, and manufacturer. If we are not honest we will ruin it for everyone. And I just had a confirtation with an assosiate who was telling me one thing and i knew it was not correct. It seems that management does not keep them up to date of what is and what’s not allowed. OMG

    • Bryan says

      My personal rule is that I never argue with a chasier or a maanager about a coupon issue. It has to be very hard for them to keep up with all the Publix rules as well as those of the competitors. If I disagree with what I am told, I will put the item back and get it later or at another store. But I never hassle a Publix employee (and I doubt that Theresa or anyone that posts here would) for trying to do their job, even if I think they may be incorrect.

  13. Bryan says

    Thank you for this new series. Of course I like to save money, but like many others, I want to do it within the rules. In the future, it would like to see the series address the topic of stacking as it relaates to BOGO MQs. That is an area that totally confuses me at times. (The math for the recent Nabisco B2G1 MQ and the $1/1 TQ stumped me for some reason.)

  14. toni says

    I have been couponing for awhile and I asked this same question. My store in South Florida- does take all 3 -Publix, MQ. & competitor for one product. They started this about a month and a half ago and they have a written out policy issued by the store. At the time they also started following the only 1 Target Q as well as only accepting 1 $5/$30 per transaction- they used to take 2 if you spent the correct dollar amount. The cashiers are the ones that explained it to me and showed me the policy. I asked if they were sure because that isn’t how it used to be. The cashiers are always very diligent when checking me out and I am very diligent at following the store’s policy. I don’t try to put one over on the store. I have spoken with the store management about it. I understand that Publix has their policy posted online and I have explained some things in that policy to the store :-) I don’t think it is fair to say that people are taking advantage or are going to ruin things for everyone else. This is what my store does and I can’t explain why. Next time I shop I am going to ask about it again- it is not very often that there are 3 coupons at the same time-but it has happened a couple of times.

  15. Jay says

    Well i wanted to post on this cause i think its great michelle brought this up as all of u know coupons are confusing and yes when people read the coupon everyone takes a different idea out of it some make up an idea of what it may mean but if a coupon says max 2 per day or purchase that doesnt matter its two no matter if it says of the same of anythin its only two of that coupon. U can notice things are changing because before they used to say 4 like coupons and know they are limiting it more so if u guys are not noticing the signs i say u open your eyes as far as target coupons ive never been told i cnt use more then one but i dont regardless cause it tells you, you cant and just the other day publix was giving me a problem over the lipton tea they are b1g1 i had a coupon for a b1g1 i live in miami so we hav the true b1g1 free and they were saying i couldnt do that the manager kept sayin to me its impossible it could be free i said florida is the only state and they said that if it a manfacturer yes but not a target coupon so they were givin me a problem on the wrong subject cause the coupon was a manfacturer as you can tell every store has their own policy but we all know the policy, most people that work in the store dont know it. i think things should b done right and i dont pile my coupons together i make sure the cashier knows what they are for before she starts passing the items and lately i try to limit the target coupons and jus use publix ones they dont give me a problem with them. I feel that we shouldnt mess it up. when i think i need help or dont understand how it should be used i ask cause i rather do it right then ruin it for myself and all of you. Remember the person u give the coupon to doesnt know about coupons they just know if they scan they work you are the one wit the knowlegde not the cashier so make sure u know what your doin if not ask for help any one of us couponers will help.. God bless

  16. Patti says

    I have always used either a Publix OR a competitors coupon and if lucky pair it with a manufacturer. No Publix I know about would allow anything different. The person might have confused a Publix sale price with a coupon. In the case of of a sale, you still can use 2 coupons (store or competitor and manufacturer).

  17. Eliza says

    My Publix in Kathleen, Ga. will accept a Mfg. coupon and EITHER a Target or Publix. This works for me…as most of the time I can get a really great deal if the item is on sale, too. I do see some EXTREME couponers buying up ALL of the sale items which does not set well with me since it is keeping regular weekly customers from being able to take advantage of the sales/coupon offers. The same two EXTREMERS seem to be working together each week to clean out shelves. I am afraid this sort of stuff will keep us regular shoppers who get a couple of the deals from being able to get good stacking deals in the future. Thanks for all you do to keep us informed and up to date. You do an AWESOME job.

  18. Sharon says

    I don’t ever want to be known as the shopper who misuses coupons at my Publix, so if I’m not quite sure of a deal, I will stop by the customer service desk before shopping. It worked out well for the Dr. Pepper deal awhile back, and I’ll do the same today with my my $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons. Bryan, your advice of never arguing with Publix employees is great.

  19. Ami says

    Well.. At the store that is closest to my home, I have pretty much stopped couponing all together. The staff is really nice but the Asst. Store Manager treats me like I am a thief. I am convinced he follows me through the store. I am sure his view of couponers was probably “affected” by a shelf clearer or a dishonest person but we are all paying for it now. Management at this store has limited rainchecks to two deals. It’s terrible. I am honest to a fault. I have even gone back in the store after getting to the car and noticing that I have been given credit for one too many coupons. I know drive an extra ten minutes to another store where the staff is so nice and they bend over backwards to help. As for the Publix near my home.. I only go in there now in a pinch, like we needed lunch meat and bread for sandwiches on Saturday… There are never deli meat qs so it didn’t matter but I walked past deals I had qs for and didn’t buy them.. Don’t want to have management waiting for me at the register to treat me like a thief. My boyfriend thinks they have me confused with someone else or that they are just trying to get couponers to stop
    coming to their location and that I should continue going there.. Once again, not worth the hassle.

  20. Jayline says

    Ami I feel the same way but I don’t stop because that’s the only publix around here and I rather save then care what others think of me. Yes, I feel bad when they treat me that way but it’s just they hate when you save a lot and it gets them mad cause they don’t understand how to save so much I feel it could be jealousy or maybe they think they are losing money. Lately they have been really strict on the coupons at my store and they have been rude about it to. But I don’t feel like you should stop doing cause then they win let them follow and ask them if they need help just play around with them maybe they jus wan to make should you don’t take everything like others have but like I said don’t pay no mind keep saving.

    • Kel says

      I am well aware of the coupon policy at Publix. As a general rule I am very careful to follow it. BUT at the particular Publix I shop at via the store manager this store will except competitors coupons if they are no more than a few days expired. Technically this violates their coupon policy but as it was the manager that authorized use I have no problem doing this. I don’t mind asking for a manager if I truly feel that I am using the coupons correctly (I always have a current copy of their coupon policy with me). There is never a reason to be rude or difficult with either a store employee or the manager.

      There is another Publix near me that I REFUSE to shop at. They were violating their own coupon policies, to the point that I called their corporate office in Lakeland to report them (something I would never normally do). Such as refusing to except competitor coupons at all. The yellow and green flyers were not on display (they are suppose to be displayed according to corporate). The store coupons booklets that were suppose to be on the special displays were removed and a note was attached to the display stating that according to corporate policy that customers had to go to customer service to request a copy of the booklet. That was what finally ticked me off. I walked out of the store went home and called corporate and reported what was going on. It turns out I was completely in the right the store was violating its own policies.

      I popped in to the store a few weeks later and everything was setup correctly. So in my opinion, never intentionally violate the coupon policy it just hurts all of us, but if a manager decides to make a very minor change that is his or her decision. BUT the store has the responsibility to follow corporate policy to the letter. If the manager of the store I use decided not to except expired competitors coupons I would still shop there.

      • Linda Burgoyne says

        Kel, I have went to Publix store, seen that there were alot (probably a couple of hundred) advantage buy booklets up front in the roundabout. By the time I got ready to leave (I was in the store about 45 min.)they were all gone! I am glad that CS keeps some of the booklets and you have to ask for them. I have seen people take 20 or 30 or more of the booklets right off the roundabout and turn around and walk right out of the store without buying anything. As for any other coupon sheets or booklets, I always have to ask at cs. It is because of greedy couponers that they have had to resort to keeping them under “lock and key”.

      • Ashley says

        The store I go to requires the shoppers to ask someone at customer service as well. It does cut down on people walking out with 30 at one time but it only allows me to get one of each flyer per visit when I may be in need of at least 4. It would be nice if we were allowed to get more than one from the customer service desk.

      • RN1 says

        I am very thankful that my store keeps the flyers and booklets behind the counter. If they didn’t, I would never get a single one. We have one Publix serving multiple cities and a 3 county region. They write more rainchecks than any other Publix (according to CS). You can’t go in there one time without seeing at least 4 or 5 people with binders. There are times that even with the booklets being behind the desk that I never get one. For some reason they don’t send that many to this store. So glad you don’t have those problems at your store, but once again, I am very thankful the coupons/booklets/flyers are monitored. Rarely have I ever had them refuse me if I ask for 2.

  21. Ami says

    @Jayline.. I just go to the other Publix that is a little further away and the staff there is really nice and the manager kniws the policy and works hard to make sure her staff does too. Sorry you are having those issues and you only have one location near you.. If that was the case here, I would have called corporate by now.

  22. Tammy says

    I have been couponing for years and have had very few bumps in the road, but today I was a little surprised. I understand the policies and never knowingly abuse them. Here’s what happened: I purchased $55 worth of groceries which qualified me for a $50 gas card with $10 off. I then had about $40 worth of coupons. The cashier called a manager over to determine whether she could accept my coupons (this cashier has been around as long as I have been couponing and this has never been a problem). The manager said that she could accept all of my coupons EXCEPT my $5/$30. She wouldn’t accept it because it was off the total and she said it was in conflict with my $10/$50 gas card. I don’t see that this adds up since the $10/$50 is off the gas card and not off the total of the groceries. Opinions on this?

    • Ashley says

      I did that one time at my store and they allowed me to use the $5/$30 WD coupon with the purchase. They said the $10/$50 was a publix coupon and we can use one competitor coupon like that and one Publix coupon.

    • toni says

      I use a dollar off total purchase competitor every time I shop and I always use it with the gas card deal. And you’re right it is off the gas card not off your purchase so it seems like there should have been no problem.

  23. janine says

    I do know the policy by heart, but encounter a new interpretation each time I shop. My Publix recently decided that on Target printed q’s they will accept one per customer per day. I wished to use one for advil and one for Jimmy Dean sausage and was told I had to pick because I could only use 1. The changes are often and not discovered until I reach the register. :(

    • toni says

      So when they say 1 Target Q -they literally mean only 1 for your entire purchase? That doesn’t seem right. I thought it meant I could only use 1 of the same coupon for a particular product-so if I bought 2 of the same products I could only use 1 coupon. I’m sorry but doesn’t that seem ridiculous-why would Target have all sorts of coupons to print but only allow to use 1 every time you shop?

  24. Liz says

    Okay it was explained to me by a publix cashier she said “we accept, one manufacture, one publix and one other store” (in my case Kroger). So it can be ‘stacked’ in that sense.

    The ‘limit 4 like coupons’ is my question. Because the lady was having a bad day but she said they don’t honor that coupon’s policy….

    makes me mad because they are not losing the money. As a consumer, we are trying to buy the product but save money.

    • Tammy says

      Liz, the coupon policy is that you can use EITHER a Publix OR a Kroger, not both. The cashier didn’t know the policy. The Publix policy clearly states one or the other, not both. You can use the Manufacturer with either Publix or Kroger and that is where the stacking comes into play. On the limit of four, if that is stated on the coupon, then that would be from the Manufacturer. If it is on Publix, Publix told me once that they limit to insure supply on the shelves.

  25. Leilani says

    So I understand you post clearly but I have been noticing a lot of people using more then one publix coupon to complete their deals. For instance, someone has a publix coupon that states “buy 1 pampers/luvz get 1 pamper wipes free” one that states “$3.00 of Pampers/Luvs” and then a manufacturer coupon that states “$2.00 of Pampers”

    I told her that she could not use both the pq together as the coupon is for all items on the coupon not just for the wipes so stacking the pampers part with another pq for pampers is not allowed. Then you have people posting that they done it and Publix let them. This person wants to do what she is supposed to so I would like to know what is the policy on this?

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