We've been answering questions for Ask I Heart Publix for over three 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:
- What is a “reasonable” stockpile to you?
- How do I know if something is a good deal?
- What’s the best way to search for a coupon on a particular item?
- What exactly does the phrase “Limit one deal per coupon per customer” mean on the Publix store coupons?
- Lately it seems like every time you print a coupon, you have to sign up for something first. How do you get around this?
And here are the answers!
1. Cathy wants to know: My question is about stockpiles. After watching the extreme couponers on TLC, I began to question -what is a "reasonable" stockpile? Maybe this would be a better question to ask all readers since this will vary so much. I saw some one say they want a stockpile of 100 boxes of cereal because that is a years worth for their family – that seems like a lot. Any information you can offer would be interesting.
Michelle: Yep...I think this is going to really depend on your family and your consumption levels. 100 boxes of cereal would be like a 5 year supply at my house so I would never ever think about getting that much cereal. A family who goes through 5 boxes per week might get 100 as that is a 5 month supply for them! Everything is going to be relative to your situation. There are very very few things that I would buy a huge amount of here at my house. If I could get trash bags, toilet paper or paper towels at a nice price I might just buy 100
Christy: I think everyone's stockpile really varies depending on their family's needs. I shop for just my husband and I so our stockpile is likely very different from someone who shops for three teenagers or a young baby. I can see going through a box or three of cereal a week if all your kids eat it every day for breakfast or snack - so 100 boxes isn't really that outrageous depending on who you're feeding!
2. Kamulah wants to know: How do I know if something is a good deal? For instance, my daughter wears size 5 diapers (I usually buy Pampers and sometimes buy Huggies). I haven’t been able to buy a jumbo pack for less than $7, a small box less than $14, or a big box for less than $38. Are these a good deal?
Michelle: We have talked about this before and it really is a very personal number based on your brand preference and consumption. If you only use Pampers or Huggies and then $7 may be a low price for that brand. If you were to switch brands or types you might be able to reduce that price. Over the past few weeks Huggies Little Movers were $3 and Huggies Slip On Diapers were under $3. Now if you will not use those types of diapers then even a super low price may be unimportant to you.
I always go back to the cereal example. Cereal can vary in price from 25¢ up to $4 per box depending on the sale and available coupons. If you go through 2 boxes of cereal each week you may be willing to pay up to $1.50 per box rather than having to pay the full price of $4+ per box. Here at my house I only buy cereal when it is under 75¢ per box. Cereal is not a necessity for us so I will only buy it when it is super cheap. You have to determine your buy it now price. That price will vary based on your usage. Keep an eye on the super deals and also think of creating a pantry profile. List all the things you use and the consumption rate. Note the best price and then shop accordingly.
Christy: We ALL wonder "is this a good deal?" from time to time. However, only you really have the answers to these kinds of questions, and it takes time to really know if your answers are correct.
If you are just starting out with couponing, here is the best advice I can give you: If you find a price that is lower than what you normally (without coupons) would pay, it is a good deal. If you find a price that is less than half of what you normally (without coupons) would pay, it is a GREAT deal. Buy a few if it is a good deal and as many as you can reasonably use in 2 to 3 months if it is a great deal.
You will find that your "GREAT deal" prices will be lower and lower as you keep couponing - so stick with it and happy saving!
3. Patty wants to know: I would like to know what is the best way to search for a coupon on a particular item. For example, I wanted to see if there was a coupon for Pert Plus shampoo and the search gave a lot of sites to go to but none of them gave a coupon. Can you give me some suggestions?
You can always use my Coupon Database here on I Heart Publix to look up available coupons. If you're looking for coupons that haven't been widely reported yet, though, your best bet is to look for the manufacturer's website...you never know what you might find!
You can also do a Google search to try and hunt down coupons...you never know what you might find
4. Sherri wants to know: What exactly does the phrase “Limit one deal per coupon per customer” mean on the Publix store coupons? Can I use only one of these coupons per shopping visit or can I still use one coupon per item during my shopping trip?
Christy: I read the phrase "Limit one deal per coupon per customer" to mean that you must have two coupons in order to take advantage of two deals, three coupons to take advantage of three deals, etc. I've used multiple coupons that say this in a single order numerous times before and I've never had a problem with it!
Michelle: This one is up for interpretation and can vary based on where you place the emphasis and you will likely get different answers based on who you ask! Personally I agree with Christy. I know the "per customer" addition to the phrase can throw people off. As always it is best to ask your store!
5. Carol wants to know: Lately it seems like every time you print a coupon, you have to sign up for something first. I get tons of junk email now from Macy's, Groupon, etc. I don't know if I can take any more! For example I tried to print the LaCroix coupon, and they wanted me to join Facebook--I DO NOT want to join Facebook! How do you get around this?
Christy: There's a pretty easy way to handle this...just create a new gmail account that you will use only for coupon registrations! That way all the marketing emails won't get in the way of your 'real' email and you can still print all the coupons as you would before! (Note: if you're anything like me, you should think about making the password for your coupon-only email VERY easy to remember. Sometimes you'll find out after registration that the company is going to email the coupon to you or you have to follow a confirmation link in an email they send you to actually get the coupon...and the last thing you want to do is forget how to access your own coupon email! )
Sadly, though, there's no way I know of to get around the Facebook coupons issue: if the coupon is on Facebook and you don't want to join Facebook, then you just can't print that particular coupon.
Michelle: If you are a couponer or a freebie sample requester then you need a secondary email address!! Google & Yahoo both offer free email accounts and they are super easy to set up. You always want to use a secondary email address whenever signing up for offers. That way your inbox will stay nice and clean.
The companies are rewarding you with the coupon/offer by agreeing to receive their emails, newsletters, etc. It is a great way to get their product some attention! You get a coupon and they get to send you occasional ads and reminders about their product and/or appear in your social media outlets. Fairly inexpensive advertising and very smart too! The social media outlets are big right n0w...companies are smart to take advantage of it!
As far as I know you can sign up for Facebook as John X. and then use that free secondary email address. You guys will have to let me know if I am incorrect. I don't think you are required to give any information that you feel is too personal. You just need to supply enough to get an account!
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. WE COULD REALLY USE SOME NEW QUESTIONS, SO BE SURE TO EMAIL OR COMMENT IF YOU HAVE ONE!