Coupon Question and Answer: Ask I Heart Publix 1/23

coupon question and answer
If you have a question about couponing at Publix, this is the place to find the answer! Each week my buddy Christy over at Winn Dixie on a Dime and I have a little coupon question and answer session here on Ask I Heart Publix. Keep sending in those questions - we love to answer them! Just remember if we didn't get to your question this week...we will do our best to cover it another week!!

Remember--there is a tab at the top of the site under "About" titled “Ask I Heart Publix” where you can find the questions and answers from past weeks!

Here are this week’s questions:

  1. I know you run I Heart Kroger too…what's your third site?
  2. Can I use Military Store coupons at Publix?
  3. This item I want to purchase is never on the shelf at my store, but they do have it in stock - what do I do?
  4. Have you run into Publix cashiers or managers talking about a "new way to read coupon restrictions"?
  5. Do you still shop at the pharmacies or Target?

And here are the answers!

1.Ashley wants to know: I saw you mention in one of your recent posts that you run I Heart Kroger, too… what’s your third site?? :)

Michelle: I own I Heart Kroger and I Heart Saving Money in addition to I Heart Publix. I think you all know which store I Heart the most, though!! :)

2. Wendy wants to know: I have a few Military coupons that look just like manufacturer coupons. Can I use these at Publix?

Michelle: This is one of those things that will vary by store. Some stores will see them as a competitor coupon and other will not allow them at all. It's best to ask at your store. They will scan as a manufacturer's coupon though they are intended to be used at the commissary.

Christy: I have not run into Military store coupons in the past so I can't speak from personal experience here. However, I was under the impression that Military stores coupons are treated like any other competitor coupon…if your store accepts them as a competitor, then you can use them. Commenters - tell me if I am correct!

3. Anonymous wants to know: At the closest Publix to my house they sometimes have the item I want to buy (adjustable protective underwear) on their shelves. Most of the time they don't.

It's embarrassing enough to purchase this item without having to ask someone to check the back for me too, and it's inconvenient for me to drive another 20 minutes to another Publix. Is it possible to call Publix and ask them to go to the back and put the item on the shelf for me so when I go in I can buy it?

Michelle: Absolutely call ahead. You might even arrange for your store to make sure they order the quantity that you need ahead of time so that the shelves are always stocked. The grocery manager may not be aware that they are not keeping that item stocked. Calling allows you some anonymity and I am sure the staff at Publix would be able to help!

Christy: I would say that you should definitely call ahead of time to see if they have the item you need in stock, especially if this has happened to you a number of times. If it continues to happen - as in, the customer service desk tells you that the item is in stock but it's not on the shelf when you arrive - I would talk to a manager about the situation.

My thought is that it's better to have one embarrassing conversation with a manager, and have them correct the problem (those shelves not being stocked regularly), rather than have a series of embarrassing conversations with stock people or cashiers. Just my 2¢!

4. Laurie wants to know: I had quite a surprise at my local Publix last week. I had three BOGO free deals in my cart (ice cream, dog treats and bacon so not three of the same deal). I handed two coupons over for each offer (2 $1/1 ice cream, 2 $1/1 dog treat and 2 $1/1 bacon) and the clerk read the coupons and said she could only take one coupon for each deal (so 3 coupons, not 6). She pointed out that my coupons said “Limit One Coupon per Purchase” so only one coupon on a like item per trip (said it had nothing to do with the BOGO deal, just two same items).

I said every coupon says that, it means one coupon per item not trip. She pulled the manager over and he said the same thing (new explanation on how to read the coupons was just passed out) but he would accept all 6 since I didn’t know. I tried “contact us” on the Publix website and after typing everything out it came back as not found when I hit submit. Has anyone else run into this?

Michelle: You are absolutely in the right in this situation. You may have to remind your cashier that each item is a purchase. The wording on the coupon is just to prevent folks from using multiple coupons to discount one item (one purchase). Now, had the coupon said limit one coupon per TRANSACTION, the cashier would have been correct in only allowing one coupon to be used on those items.

Now, if they had indicated that you could only use one coupon due to the BOGO sale...that would have been incorrect too. That is specifically addressed in the Publix Coupon Policy: "For a buy-one-get-one free (BOGO) offer, each item is considered a separate sale."

No matter what the case was, it seems the cashier was incorrect. I am sure it was an honest mistake, she just did not understand the wording.

Christy: Michelle has it exactly right. If you continue to have trouble with a particular cashier or manager about this, I would talk to the store manager or even call corporate and talk to the district manager to get their take!

5. Happy wants to know: Do you still shop at pharmacies or Target?

Christy: For a while there I was shopping CVS and sometimes Walgreens weekly. But especially now, with a new baby in the house (he's doing GREAT by the way!), I find it harder to run those little "quick trip" errands that inevitably take an hour no matter how well you plan.

I gave up on Walgreens completely when they introduced their new "Points" system - it was just too much extra work. Now when I need a pharmacy deal I shop CVS…yes, they have stricter limits on deals, but I like how straightforward the ExtraCare Bucks system is. I do find that I can get really nice prices there sometimes…and in the weeks where I don't see anything I need, I just don't shop.

Target is on the other side of town (a 20+ minute drive) for me, so I don't get there often. When I know that I will be stopping by Target, I do check the blogs for any BIG coupon deals that I might want to grab. However, I usually end up at Target with my husband and kiddo in tow after we've gone out to eat (we call it our "married people date")….so you can imagine how much deal shopping I manage to get done on THOSE trips :).

Michelle: I have not kept up with the drugstore deals in quite a long time. Years ago, the systems were so much easier and the deals were MUCH better. Now, it requires so much effort  that I just gave up all of them. I just don't have the time to play the game any more and the deals just don't seem nearly as good. I will also add - I used to jump at every hot deal at the drug store and found I never used half of the items I bought. I spent too much time trying to stay on top of it all and rarely got deals for things that I actually used.

Also, I have become a real pro at knowing what we use and how much we use throughout the year. We just don't need a lot of things at my house. We are rarely sick and have yet to go through more than 1 bottle of pain medicine per year in the past 5 years that I have tracked our usage. Same goes for cold medication, eye drops, cough medicine...the list goes on and on. Unless you count the boys' Ovaltine and hubby's Diet Coke addiction - there is nothing we HAVE to have at my house. We are pretty easy going and not brand specific on anything - we use what I get good deals on. We do have preferred items and when I can get a deal I will grab it. But, in my world FREE Colgate toothpaste works just as good as the $3 Crest 😉

I do shop at Target but really it is just to get socks, underwear, birthday presents and things like that. The Target in my area is just a regular store and not a Super Target so I can't get the food deals that some folks can get with the bigger stores.

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


  1. Jenn says

    #3- it sounds like you shop at the store where I do :-( Mine treats me like a criminal when I ask for a rain check. They always ask if I spoke with stock, which I always do, and then they check their computer to make sure I’m not lying. Shopping at this store definately is not a pleasure :-(

  2. Karina says

    Do not be afraid to speak up. I had the occassion where an assistant manager refused to take my coupons (competitor & manufacturer) on an in-stock item, because it resulted in a penny overage per item. I calmly explained the error in his logic and non-conformity with the company coupon policy. He stated that the district manager instructed them and gave an example of another customer who evidently got significantly more overage per item than myself. He suggested I talk to the district manager. I declined and told him that I would shop at another store close to my workplace, who never caused a problem of this nature. I suggested that he review corporate policy and realize that he denied my business over $0.40 of total overage. I’m sure that was not corporate’s intention to lose business over such a trival amount. My coupon buddy, who definitely got an earful from me, later went to a store event (meet the managers event), where she shared the horror story. The next time she saw him he was bagging groceries. I decided to give the store a second chance. I’ve not seen the “assistant manager” title on his tag lately. But his attitude has greatly improved. I’ve had no problems from him since, nor any other personel concerning coupons.

  3. Milissa says

    My Tampa store, which is literally one minute away from my house, is always out of stock by the second and sometimes the first day of a sale. It is really unfortunate because in my area there are a lot of elderly individuals that do not even use coupons but still want to get the deal of the sale and only have that one day to shop. Most of the time I only want 2 or even 4, at most, of an item. So when I arrive at the isle and see zero, I get quite upset. The customer service desk is always a line deep, so many times I just say forget it. How horrible is it that I think couponers that need more than say, 4-6 items, should shop the last day of the sale? Many times I know people are just regenerating their stock pile and not living off the groceries that minute. Eh, a world were the shelves are stocked would be nice. Probably why I have become super lazy with coupons and just started shopping at Target.

    Regarding the underwear/depends (what-nots), have you considered shopping for them on sites such as, or I know many people do not use credit cards, so perhaps one could buy one of the disposable visa’s when they go on sale at Publix and use the card to buy the items off of the internet. I am not sure what the price comparison is verse Publix, but it would definitely be worth the non-hassle.

    Also remember, we all at one time, will have to buy what we consider embarrassing products, that is why they are there, because we need them. If you are still embarrassed, maybe saying they are for your mother or father would help?

    • Milissa says

      Also, try calling the underwear company. Tell them their product is never in stock and that you really need them. You might get a coupon out of the deal for your inconvenience.

  4. L.S. says

    Someone had left some Commissary coupons on the shelf for Goldfish crackers last week. I picked one up (since I routinely leave ones I don’t use or are about to expire within a day or two) and brought it to the cashier. She scanned it and everything went fine. I’m not sure if she didn’t read it or if they’re accepted at my store as a competitor, though I doubt it (I’m probably 30 miles or so from the Air Force Base). I’m just happy it worked, as long as it doesn’t cause the store any grief. I like to follow the rules :)

    • DontMisUseQs says

      Unless you follow up, you have no idea if the store was stiffed with these Commissary coupons(ie, not re-imbursed by the manufacturer)

  5. Toni says

    I’ve used commissary coupons at publix before (not the ones that say commissary ONLY though), and they went through as any other MQ. There was even an address for them to mail them to for reimbursement on them. I also live near 3 large military bases less than 30 miles from me as well. I live in a “military town”.

  6. Mark Michael says

    I’ve used military store coupons at my Publix in Huntsville, Ala. Has long as they don’t say military store only I’ve never had a problem.

  7. tracey says

    If anyone lives in the Panama City/Panama City Beach, FL area I highly recommend shopping at the Publix on Back Beach Rd. The one at Breakfast Point. I have been shopping there for over a year now and the SAME people work there now as did when I first started shopping there. Everyone is SUPER friendly, they cheer me on with my coupons, they even ask how I find all these deals. I always walk out of there feeling like I was treated so pleasantly. Stock people are happy to check for items when I ask. It has definitely been a true pleasure to shop at this store!! I email corporate a lot and brag about them and I’ve stopped the store manager before and bragged to him as well. EVERY ONE I’ve encountered in there is friendly and helpful.

    • Angie says

      I have been going there lately too. I dont mind the driving distance, they always have all the coupon booklets opposited to the store in LH or 23rd st.

  8. Melissa says

    I like Happy’s question :) Its interesting the different responses between Christy and Michelle. I am willing to bet it has something to do with double coupons and cheaper prices as well. The difference between no double coupons and double coupons is either getting Colgate for free, or paying $.89 for it, which in the couponing world is outrageously expensive. its very seldom where a personal care item ends up free here in FL, so CVS is an important part of my couponing. and they will give ECB’s back for buying Milk. This area doesn’t get the “$3.00” milk sale that you advertise regularly, ours is $3.74 a gallon year round.

  9. Ubiquitous says

    I never heard of “military coupons” before, but then again, Tallahassee has not military bases.

    I used to occasionally shop at Walgreen’s but totally gave up after they implemented their new system. I like CVS’s system and shop at Target when I can stack their coupon with a MFQ, usually for canned cat food.

  10. LaTonya says

    How do I find the postings of the deals where people display their shopping trips. Sometimes I luck up and find it. I can’t find the shopping trips anywhere today.

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