We've been answering questions for Ask I Heart Publix for over two years now, and we've definitely found that some questions keep popping up as new couponers write in. So every month we're going to feature a "Best Of" Ask I Heart Publix, where we post some of our favorite questions and answers from past weeks, months, and years.
Don't worry....we'll still be answering the new questions you guys send in, too, so keep sending in those questions! Just remember if we didn't get to your question this week...we will do our best to cover it another week!!
Don't forget to look under the "About" tab where you can find the questions and answers from past weeks!
Here are this week’s "Best of" questions:
- Can I “stack” coupons with different expiration dates?
- How can I print in black and white from Coupons.com?
- Does Publix accept a competitor’s rain check?
- How do you keep from going over budget when something is such a good deal and at its rock bottom price?
- Is there any way you could give us Thanksgiving/Christmas/baking price points?
And here are the answers!
1. Tina wants to know: I have a question about “stacking." I am new to couponing, and I just got all my coupons organized into a binder. I noticed that I have several coupons for the same amount off ($.40/2), but they all have different expiration dates. Can I “stack” these coupons with different expiration dates in order to get $.80/2?
Christy: You can only stack manufacturer and store coupons to increase your savings on a particular item. So if you have one manufacturer coupon for $.40/2 and a Publix (or Target, Sweetbay, etc) coupon for $.40/2 of the same item, you can use both coupons to get $.80 off of two of the item. However, if you have two manufacturer coupons for $.40/2, you can only use one of them per two items purchased.
Michelle: You can never stack two manufacturer's coupons on one item. As Christy pointed out you can use a store coupon with a manufacturer's coupon but that is the only time you can use multiple coupons on one item.
2. How can I print in black and white from Coupons.com?
Melissa from the comments had a great answer: “Under printer options you have the option to print in black and white only. I always use black and white coupons and have never had a problem. I have heard that some coupons will still print in color no matter what you do short of taking the color cartridge out, but that hasn’t happened to me yet.” I think Melissa answered this perfectly!
Just a note that my option is called grayscale (not black & white). I also have mine set for fast/economical printing. Helps me save ink and time
Michelle: Lisa, as far as I know--No. A rain check is given when a store is out of a product. Since Publix was not the store who was out of stock then they would not be the ones to honor the rain check.
Christy: To ask Publix to accept a competitor's rain check is essentially to ask them to price match other store's sales, which of course they don't do. I'd be VERY surprised if your store would accept it!
4. Mandy wants to know: How do you keep from going over budget when something is such a good deal and at its rock bottom price? I generally like to keep my grocery bill between $50-$60 but as the holidays approach and I keep seeing all of these items that I normally wouldn’t buy in bulk at such low prices I just can’t resist! Just curious to see how you guys handle staying on a budget when things are at such great prices.
Michelle: My budget is flexible so that I can spend more or less week to week as needed. I give myself a yearly budget for that reason. When there is a deal so good, I don't have to feel guilty about stocking up. When there is a really good deal on things that we will definitely use I make a point to get as much as we will use.
When I first started couponing I had a separate budget with money that I set aside for excess or stockpile needs. If you are just starting out and still building your stockpile you might consider adding $5 per week to that budget for those 'can't pass up' deals!
Christy: The longer I coupon, the easier it has gotten for me to pass up deals. I have a better understanding now of how much we will use and in what time frame. When I first started out, I overbought on some items - getting 6 or 8 when we would only be able to reasonably use 4 or 6 before the expiration date. Having to throw out expired items was the antidote to the "but it's so CHEAP!" syndrome for me.
If you REALLY have a hard time passing up the deals, though, you might want to look and see if there's a food bank in your immediate area. When I see fantastic deals and I know we won't use or don't need that item, I'll purchase it and drop it off at the food bank on my way home. It costs me pennies to do this, but it's really satisfying - you get all the great deals AND you help someone else put food on the table!
I can offer up a very rough list; commenters, feel free to add to it in the comments! These are the prices when I will do a big stock up. Higher prices mean I just get what I need for the moment.
5 lb. Flour - $1
5 lb. Sugar (regular) $1
1 lb. Baking Sugars (brown, confectioner) 50¢
Crisco sticks - $2
Large Crisco tubs - $1.50
Large Baking and cooking oils - $1.50
Baking morsels - 75¢
Bagged nuts - $1
Canned nuts - 25¢
Vanilla (& other extracts) - $1
Spices - 50¢ to $2
Turkey - $.69/lb
Ham - $1.29/lb
Stuffing Breadcrumbs - $1.50
Canned Pumpkin - 50¢
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.