Coupon Question and Answer: Ask I Heart Publix 3/20

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 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. Can I use a Publix digital coupon more than once?
  2. I'm new…what is 'double couponing?'
  3. If I get a raincheck because a product is out of stock, can I also use my (now expired) coupons with the rain check?
  4. What's the website that tells you which inserts you can throw out?
  5. How often do you go through your stockpile?

And here are the answers!

1.Jennifer wants to know: JAs far as the digital coupons go, is it one “clipped” coupon for one item or is one clipped coupon good for multiple of the same item. So if the coupon was for $50/2 kleenex for example and I buy 4, would it register the coupon twice when my phone number is given or does it just behave as if it was one paper coupon?

From the FAQ page on the Publix site that you can access once you have signed up (bottom of page where you load the coupons).

How many times can a coupon be used?
The number of times a coupon can be used is up to the manufacturer, but most coupons can be used only once.

2. Jennifer wants to know: I'm new to couponing and I have a question. If you have a coupon for say $1/2 items, can you use 2 $1/2 coupons if you buy two items, or can you only use one of them?  Is that what people mean when they talk about double couponing?

Christy: No, double couponing is when your store will double the value of your coupons up to a certain amount (usually 50¢). In the scenario you describe, you would only be able to use (1) $1/2 coupon for every two items you purchase.

Michelle: Publix stores in some areas will double coupons up to and including 50¢. So a coupon that is $0.50/1 will double to save you $1 off one item. Coupons that are above 50¢ will be redeemed at face value. That's why often in the matchups you will see me low as $xyz.

3. April wants to know: My question is about expired coupons and rain checks. Recently there was a great deal on a particular item with sale price and coupons. However, there was only a couple day period you could buy the product before the coupons expired.  My store did not have any of the item, so I got a rain check. When I went back the next week, they refused my coupons because they were expired. They were out of the product, so I just assumed they would accept my coupons with the raincheck when the product was available. Was I wrong? What are your thoughts and/or experiences with this?

Christy: Many Publix stores will allow you to use your expired coupons along with your rain check, but you need to check with your specific store to be sure. Anytime I have coupons that will expire when my store is sold out of a deal, I always ask about whether or not I will be able to use my coupons when I get my raincheck. Usually my customer service rep will write a note on the raincheck to allow the coupons.

Michelle: In the Publix Q&A they specifically address this issue. All stores ulitmately get the final word...but you might remind them of this phrase on their website:

Q: What if I have a rain check and a coupon for an item, but the coupon is now expired, though it was valid on the date the rain check was issued. Can I still use the coupon on the item?
A: Yes, Publix will accept the coupon that was valid on the date the rain check was issued.

4. Sunny wants to know: I know that you have answered this before, but I didn't write down the website, so I am going to bother you for it again.

In the past you gave a website of someone that lets you know which inserts have expired.  I would LOVE to get rid of some of my inserts, but just don't have the time to go through them all and decide if I still need them or not.  Could you give me that info again?

To see which inserts it is safe to toss, you can head over to the Coupon Cleanout and register (it's free). Just select your state from the drop-down menu to see which inserts you no longer need to store.

5. Happy wants to know: How do you manage/maintain your stockpile? How do you avoid it getting bigger and bigger?

Christy: I've mentioned before that we have a pretty small house, so my stockpile is spread out a bit in the various nooks and crannies that I can fit it all into. :) Still, it's relatively easy for me to take stock of what we have. I still write expiration dates on everything I bring into the stockpile with a Sharpie before I put things away - this helps SO much when I'm doing a quick little inventory.

To answer your second question, my stockpile has actually gotten smaller in the last few months. I didn't really 'plan' it that way - but when the baby was born I took some time off couponing and we have really worked through a lot of the stockpile. I also find that it is a little harder now to just 'pop out to the store' for a quick I only end up shopping once a week at most, which also helps to keep it all in check. If you find your stockpile is getting out of control, I would suggest 4 to 6 weeks of ignoring those super hot deals that you don't really NEED - and only buy the things that are truly necessary. It should help a bit!

Michelle: I am actually working to dwindle mine down right now. I am usually pretty good about knowing our consumption rate but I am finding that as the boys get bigger their taste change AND they are eating a little bit more. I am also finding out that I don't use as many prepackaged goods as I thought I would.

As an example...I got around 10 boxes of mashed potatoes a while back because they were free after sale & coupon. My thinking was that they would be great in a pinch and hey...they're free. The problem is I don't typically use boxed potatoes so they never enter my thoughts when I am planning dinner. There are 2 pouches in each now I have a ton of boxed potatoes that need to be used up. I have done this with a multitude of items over the past few months and now it has caught up with me and I have too much food in my house!

To remedy this situation I am forcing myself to cook from the pantry and use up a bunch of stuff from my freezer as well. I like getting good deals on things but buying a few packages of many things can accumulate very quickly. If you don't make a plan to use it then you are wasting food AND money!!

This has been a little bit of a wake up call for me as well. I honestly thought I was on top of my shopping habits but a box or two of taquitos, mashed potatoes, rice mixes, and so much more adds up fast. Even if you get them at a good deal -- if you don't use them you are being wasteful. Note: I have plans to put together a bigger than usual donation box soon to get rid of items to make sure they can be used before they expire. That's another great way to control the stockpile too!

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. Kat says

    Michelle – for what it’s worth, the instant mashed potatoes make a great thickener for soups, stews and such. Just sprinkle some into your liquid until you get the thickness you want. It doesn;t affect the taste much if at all. There are probably other things you can use them for besides just eating mashed potatoes, but that’s a start.

    • says

      What a great tip!! Thanks Kat…I have a feeling that I will be using some of them for that. We are not huge fans of powdered potatoes (my husband loves them but he is the only one!)

  2. Judy S. says

    I just went to the COUPON CLEANOUT site that you posted here and my state (Alabama) isn’t in the box which has the states listed.

  3. Erin says

    I have a question on the Hallmark cards coupon in the current Publix ad – it says: Limit one deal, per coupon per customer.

    I want to buy 4 cards so do I have to do two separate transactions or can I use two coupons at one time to get all 4 cards at once?

  4. haley says

    Publix is the only store to shop for me. They are so friendly, accommodating, patient with your coupons & even will call a manager if they can’t get a coupon to work for you. They NEVER make you feel like you are a pain & will do ANYTHING to keep your business. The cashiers even offer their coupon sites to help you in the future. They became my “coupon friends !”. I always leave my coupons at the cashier that I can’t use in case they see anyone who could use them. I HEART PUBLIX

  5. Cheryl says

    This may sound weird to some but……… When I have cleaned out my pantry and find several things that have slipped by me and have expired, I put all together in a box and post on a yahoo group on line called “free cycle” for my area. I
    usually have a responder that wants them and will come pick them up off my front porch. I have found allot of things are still good a few months past their expiration date. Depending on what is is and how it is packaged:))

  6. Nicole says

    I was so excited abtou that Coupon Cleanout site when it was posted in the forum btu sadly they don’t includ emy state so here is another way to go about cleaning out if you ar enot included on teh site.

    Southern Saves dot come has the coupon database set up so you nan search by date. In the search box enter RP or SS and the date, if there are any coupons still unexpired they will be listed. Then you know which inserts you can toss and which to hold on to.

    On the expired foods: I also picked thi sup from teh forum. Stilltasty dot com lists food items by type and tells you how long after the “date” they should still be good. Between this for things I definitely will eat and donations for things I am tired of I almost never have to throw away food.

  7. diane says

    What do you consider a stock pile like qty wise. i have been couponing a year now and i love it. I was really hot and heavy on it while i was out on maternity leave and when i went back to work found it really hard to coupon and my pile has really nothing now and i recently quit work and now i am working on my stockpile again. so how much of one item would you consider a stockpile?

  8. Laura says

    As far as expired coupons with a rain check my store says they are only acceptable for 7 days.

    Stores do get to set their own rules on things apparently. I had a raincheck for sunlight dish detergent because it was out of stock the whole 3 weeks of that green flyer. The store had a note on the shelf tag for 2 weeks saying “see cust serv for a rain check” because they knew the warehouse was out of stock.

    Last week I tried to use my rain check at a store that had tons of sunlight but they said no way, OUR store does not give or accept rain checks on advantage flyers, only weekly ads, so you’ll have to go back to the store that gave you the RC. These stores are only 2 miles from each other.

  9. Jude says

    I wish Publix was standard on some policies — like accepting expired coupons on rain checks. I’ve been told, probably, five times in the last year that “Publix does not accept expired coupons on rain checks”. (No mention was ever made that some stores do and this one doesn’t.) I printed the Q&A on their site, a few weeks ago, and have taken it with me, the last few trips, but, honestly, I am usually just too tired to deal with it! I always decide to not get the items or to take my business elsewhere.

  10. Jamie says

    I was told today that a new coupon policy is coming April 1st and will replace the posted signs currently up at each store. One of the new rules will be, one X/X.XX coupon per PARTY. They said they have been debating on whether to consider husbands and wives two different parties to allow different transactions. This will eliminate different transactions method that many have been using to use two of the Winn Dixie 5/30’s that we all bought a thousand of with that recent sale. This will be an awful policy as now you won’t be able to stock pile quite as nicely. I have a gazillion of those things and will lose the money I spent to buy them all to use through Dec. I do not see the problem with doing two transactions to use those coupons – it really is ridiculous. Have you heard anything about this?

    • Amber McAndrew says

      That’s what I hear too. My store has already started that, but they have allowed me to do 2 transactions.

      • Kim says

        I work at a Publix & love my store manager. He refuses to hold lines up by having customers do more than one transaction. If you have the Winn Dixie $5/$30 you would just have to spend $60 to use both Q’s in one transaction. The Publix Q’s are more specific & most say limited to 1 coupon per customer per day.This one they do make us follow. The only way we can use more than 1 in a transaction is if there are more than 2 people like husband & wife & the total is equal to or greater than the 2 Q’s. Our store manager even says that a mother & baby are each a customer & that will qualify as well. I have gotten to the point of mostly shopping at the store I work at because the store closer to my house has different rules & I can’t keep up with each different store managers own policy.

  11. Susie says

    I’ve always tried to keep my purchases to around $30 for the Winn Dixie coupons and I’ve never done more than one transaction. There are times I will make two trips in one day; one on the way to work and one on the way home. I purchase the things I think they might be out of quickly first thing and the other things, later. The sales are good for 7 days at a time and I keep a list and coupons in my car and if I am near a Publix, I will stop at times and make additional purchases.

    This morning, I went to both Publix and Winn Dixie and purchased around $30 at each. I was in and out of both in less than 20 minutes including the drive (short) between both. Organizing helps. I had my list for both, the coupons clipped together for each and I did not let my eyes wander. I went straight to the items on the list, went to the cashier and left.

  12. Contessa says

    Michelle I know exactly what you mean – I had scads of those “free after Qs and sale” boxed mashed potatoes as well as the “free or moneymaker” maruchan noodles. I just could not help getting them as well as a few other free/mm items, like the 4 cent cans of Red Gold tomatoes (Kroger sale I think?) and so forth. I had so much of a stockpile of free or almost free items that I was afraid I was becoming one of “those” couponer/hoarders LOL. So, this week while spring cleaning I decided to cull my pantry and I came up with four shopping bags of items to donate to our church food drive.

    My friend who took the bags over for me looked at all the stuff I had to donate was so happy and astonished at the amount I was donating. All he could say wss “I will never make fun of your couponing ever, ever again”. That was enough for me.

  13. Kim H says

    If I find something in my pantry that is ‘expired’, I simply move it to the front to consume next or make a special effort to cook something with it. The only expired items I throw away are dairy, meat, and baby products.

    WedMD has a great resource for understanding those dates. (

    I hate to throw good food away! Of course if you have health issues, you may need to be a little more cautious.

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