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:
- Does Publix accept internet-printed coupons over $5?
- Can I use a blinkie coupon at another store or keep it to use later for sale?
- Why can't I use SavingStar at Publix?
- Do you know why Publix uses LU#s on their coupons rather than barcodes?
- What do you think - can I donate food that has past it's "Best by…" date?
And here are the answers!
1.Laura wants to know: I recently took some internet coupons to my Publix and the cashier said that now they only can accept internet-printed coupons up to $5. This particular cashier is always confused about coupons, so I wanted to get more information about this.
Michelle: This is actually not a new policy…it is part of the written policy on Publix site. You'll need manager approval for any higher-value coupon. The website states:
Manager approval is needed for individual coupons above $5.00
Christy: Michelle's said it all with this one! I would suggest taking any coupons over $5 to your customer service desk for approval before you shop.
2. Cindy wants to know: Can I use a blinkie coupon at another store or keep it to use later for sale? I know it's meant to use right then since it's front of the product, but sometimes I know a sale will come up later or I can find a better deal at another store.
Michelle: There are no written coupon laws out there. Sometimes I think it would be easier if there were - tee hee! Personally I think using a blinkie at another store is absolutely fine.
When my boys were little and shopped with me, part of the fun was that each boy got to grab a coupon from the machine. I would then file them in my box and there is no telling where I used them.
Christy: I think blinkie coupons are fair game - they are there for you to take one or two. Since they are not attached to a particular product, I don't believe there should be an expectation that you will use the coupon right then and there.
I will usually save my blinkies for a sale too - might as well get the best deal, right?
3. Marie wants to know: I love the "additional" ways to save like Upromise and ibotta. My question is: I really like the savings offers that SavingStar has. Do you know why we can't use SavingStar at Publix?
Michelle: I have also taken advantage of the offers from SavingStar at Kroger. In order for the program to work you a card is required to track purchases. Since Publix does not have a loyalty card this is not an easy addition. I was hoping that since Publix participates in Upromise and that program is powered by SavingStar, that at some point Publix would be included.
I am guessing that a new card system would be required and maybe Publix isn't ready to add that to their plate. I have to admit I wouldn't mind the extra savings!
Christy: I've used SavingStar at other stores like Winn Dixie and I really like their offers too. I'm not sure why Publix doesn't participate. Here's what it says on the SavingStar site:
Nationwide, over 24,000 stores participate in SavingStar, representing over 100 retail chains. Click here to see a list of retailers. If your favorite store is not listed as a participating retailer, please let them know that you would like them to join SavingStar!
So I guess we need to start telling customer service how much we would like to be able to use SavingStar!
4. Nick wants to know: Is there a reason why Publix doesn't put a barcode on their store coupons? It seems like it would take more work for their employees to punch in the L.U. codes everytime. Places like Target have store coupons with barcodes, why not Publix?
Christy: I'd love to hear from the commenters on this one - anyone have any idea why Publix uses LU#s rather than barcode coupons? My thought would be that it may be a bit easier to input and maintain LU #s rather than barcodes…but that's really just a guess.
Michelle: I have no idea either...my guess would be that it is easier to program the registers with a number than reading a bar code. I would also like the scoop if anyone knows for sure.
I have items in my stockpile that have been bought over the last year that I won't be using. Friends of ours & their kids lived with us for most of last school year, and when they moved out, they left behind a fair amount of food. (Needless to say, we are now poster children for why you shouldn't invite people to live in your home for an extended period of time!)
I would like to donate it, but some of it is 1-5 months past its "best by" date. I hate to throw it away, but I also don't want to insult them by donating food that they will throw away. It's mostly pasta, pasta sauce, canned goods, Ready Rice (in the packets you microwave for 90 sec, not dry), snacks like Ritz Crackerfuls & Granola Thins.... What do you think?
Christy: I know that the food bank that I donate to asks that donation items be WITHIN the "Best By…." dates. It's too bad, because most of that food is likely perfectly fine to eat, but I understand that they need to draw that line or they might get donations of food that is YEARS past date, which they would then need to sort through....not the best use of their valuable time.
I would suggest that you explain the situation to your food bank and ask what they think. When in doubt about something like that…ask!
If your food bank is a no-go, you might want to explore other donation sites….like area churches, soup kitchens, etc, that might have different donation standards. Good luck!
Michelle: Ask your donation location. Many foods don't have expiration dates but "best by dates". Places that can't keep food on the shelf may happily offer a week old box of cereal to a family that might not eat otherwise. I think this will vary - before you throw all that food out...make a call!
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.