February 12, 2010
I love when you guys send me deals. I have noticed lately that I am getting more and more deal scenarios where people are unknowingly using coupons incorrectly. So I thought it might be a good idea to do a little post that might help clarify the correct way to combine coupons. One of the best things about Publix is that they allow you to use a manufacturer coupon in combination with a store coupon!! They also accept competitor coupons— so you have two options for coupon combinations. You can use a manufacturer coupon with a Publix coupon OR you can use a manufacturer coupon with a competitor coupon.
I know some of you are going to email me saying that you can use all three on one item (a MQ, Publix Q and a competitor Q). From what I understand this is not the general rule. There may be a few stores that allow this but it is not the majority and to keep things simple and ensure that the majority of people are able to get a deal I ONLY post about using a MQ with one or the other. As with any coupon usage it is your responsibility to know YOUR stores rules and policy. So if you are ever in doubt just pop over to the customer service desk and they can give you the scoop :-)
Now lets talk about manufacturer coupons as that seems to be where the confusion comes in with some. Most all coupons you find are manufacturer coupons. They are usually easy to spot as they have a bar code and will begin with the number 5 or the number 9. Here on the site I designate a manufacturer coupon by listing it in red. So when you see a match up for a product all the coupons in red are the various manufacturer coupons that are available for that specific product. I use the color green to designate store or competitor coupons:
Shedd’s Spread Country Crock, Regular or Churn Style, 15 oz tub or Twin pack, 2-pk , 7.5 oz tub, BOGO $2.03
-$1.25/2; $.40/1; $.30/1: $.50/1 Shedd’s Spread Country Crock Spread, any – 01-31-10 RP–MQ
-$.40/1 Shedd’s Spread Country Crock Spread, Any – 12-06-09 RP–MQ
-$.55/1 Shedd’s Spread Country Crock product, Publix coupon – Little book of big buys–STORE Q
-$.50/1 PRINT –MQ
In the above match up you will see that there is only one store coupon but a variety of manufacturer coupons available for you to choose from. I say choose because you will only be able to use one for each item you purchase. Even though one coupon is from the newspaper and one is a printable coupon you cannot combine them –they are BOTH manufacturer coupons!
The vast majority of blinkies, tearpads, peelies, hangtags, printables and insert coupons are all manufacturer coupons! So for each product you intend to buy you want to look through your manufacturer coupon options and choose the ONE coupon that you want to use on a specific product. Store coupons will typically state that they are store coupons. They will begin with a number OTHER than 9 or 5. Often Publix coupons are easy to spot as they have a LU number listed on the coupon rather than a bar code. There are some Publix coupons that have a bar code but they usually start with a zero and often also have a LU number listed as well.
It can be tricky especially when you come across coupons that may be misleading. Here lately there have been a few printable coupons that state “Retailer Coupon” but also begin with a number 5! I treat these as manufacturer coupons. They are no different that a manufacturer coupon that states “redeemable ONLYat Publix”
The best possible practice is to ask if you are unsure about a coupon! The easiest way to ensure that all stores remain coupon friendly is to make sure that we use coupons appropriately! To say that “the cashier accepted the coupon” or “the register did not beep when I used the coupon” is not a valid reason to use a coupon incorrectly.
It is just too easy to get a good deal using coupons appropriately!!
I know this is old news to many of you coupon pros but there are a lot of new couponers out there!! Please feel free to comment with any additional info!!