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:
- Can I use a paper coupon and a Upromise eCoupon on a single item?
- Do ibotta offers adjust in value depending on how many I buy?
- How does Publix choose which stores to accept as competitors?
- How can I figure out what percentage I’ve saved?
- What are your stockpile "rules"?
And here are the answers!
Michelle: You can get cash back from Upromise and use a paper coupon at the register on one item. Like ibotta, Upromise gives you cash back and does not discount an item at checkout. Is this the right answer...I honestly don't know. I have looked all over the Upromise site and could not find this question addressed. Let me know if I missed it. I have always used coupons with Upromise and never had issues getting my deposit.
2. Melissa wants to know: Is the advertised ibotta savings for 1 item purchased only, or is it multiplied by the amount you purchase (Save $1 if you buy 1, buy 5 - save $5?)
Michelle: You can only redeem the ibotta offers once. The only exception is if the same offer pops up for you again after you have completed a redemption - at that point, you can take advantage of the offer again.
3. Keilah wants to know: I'm wondering if you know anything about how Publix chooses their competitors. My store is across the street from a Fresh Market but doesn't consider them a competitor (the competitors they do accept are miles away). I'm pretty sure that there are other Publix stores that accept Fresh Market as a competitor...so I wonder why this is the case. This isn't a complaint because I really do love Publix - but I'm just curious.
Christy: I am always a little curious about this too. I would ask your store or assistant manager rather than Customer Service staff since the managers might have more information about the original decision about which stores to consider as competitors in your area. If you don't get an answer there, you might call the district manager to see what they have to say. It never hurts to ask...especially when you also express how much you love your Publix :).
Michelle: I have wondered the same as well. I am not sure the rhyme or reason and other folks are in the same boat as you. Many folks have the same issue with Target. Some folks have mentioned that even having them in the same shopping center doesn't guarantee that the coupons will be accepted. I would guess there is some rationale...I am just not sure what that is. Like Christy mentioned, you might ask the manager or DM for your area - maybe they have the scoop?!
4. Keyonda wants to know: How do I figure out my percentage saved?
Michelle: I am lazy so I use an online calculator like the one here. But you can also do it manually: First, add the total amount spent out of pocket with your amount saved - this is the total value of your purchase. Then, divide your amount saved by the total value, and multiply the answer by 100.
5. Krystal wants to know: When do you consider your stockpile for a certain item,"full"? Right now it seems like I have too much cereal, just enough of each type of condiment, and I am almost out of pasta. My kids will eat the frozen breakfast items as fast as I can buy them, so that area is fine.
I am finally starting to catch on to the cycles- for example, my first week couponing was a sale for 8 O'Clock Coffee, and I got a few bags. A few weeks ago, it went on sale again, so I bought 15 bags: enough to last me 3 months until it goes BOGO again. I had a great coupon combination for the cheap Olay bar soap and secret deodorant- but adding that to the Dove deal in the green flyer, gave me too many! I didn't realize they expire so soon. I have 5 or 6 boxes of Glad garbage bags, but I know that’s something we will always use up, and they dont expire.
When do you consider your stockpile of a certain item so full, that you pass up a sale/coupon combination? Would you get it anyway if it was free? What are your rules? I don’t want to be the couponer who buys things JUST because it is a good deal!
Christy: I think that the longer you coupon the better you will get at managing your stockpile, but I also think that we all struggle with this sometimes. I've been doing this for a year and a half now and I still mess up from time to time! What I do now is try to take an inventory about every 4 to 6 weeks. I think I've mentioned before that I keep a Sharpie on the fridge and I write the month & year of expiration on anything I buy as it comes into the house, which makes my inventory MUCH easier. If I have more of something than I will use before it expires, I donate it to my local food bank..I want SOMEONE to be able to use it before it's too late!
Michelle: You will be able to tell more as you go. I still find that I am always having to re-evaluate and inventory. Sometimes I stock up only to find that my family gets tired of a specific product. Other times I think I have enough to last me until the next sale and the boys go through double what I anticipate. I do my best to keep up but I make mistakes occasionally.
For items that do not expire that I know we will use (paper towels, trash bags, toilet paper, aluminum foil, ziplocs, etc) I buy when they are at my "buy it now" price! I don't care if I have 20 boxes of trash bags...if I can get them for $1 per box I will get a few boxes. You have to look at what you will use before they expire and also consider what you can store.
For the items where there are pretty frequent deals (toothpaste, soap, deodorant, etc...) I just make sure I have a 3 month supply and then only buy when my stock is low.
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!