April 11, 2012
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!! As always a big thanks to my buddy Christy over at Winn Dixie on a Dime who gives me so much help to get the questions answered.
Remember–there is a tab at the top of the site called “Q & A” where you can find the questions and answers from past weeks!
Here are this week’s questions:
- How do I know which coupon inserts should be in my Sunday paper?
- Can you explain how Publix rain checks work?
- Do you factor your printing and ink costs into your savings?
- What is the best day to shop at Publix?
- Where is a credible place to trade coupons?
And here are the answers!
1.kZ wants to know: I do not subscribe to our paper, I just go to the store on Mondays when I usually can score the Sunday paper for $0.75 instead of $1.50. I do check for the inserts before I buy them, but how do I know what ones I am checking for? i.e. does Red Plum always go, does SS always go, how often does P&G, GM, etc. insert. The week before SB Sunday there were two SS inserts, and I went back for two more papers since the Q’s in the inserts were so good to me. This week when I checked (and yes, I went through the entire rack) I could only find the Red Plum insert in any of the papers. Then it occurred to me that perhaps SS took the week off. So how do I know for sure?
Christy: Michelle posts the Sunday Coupon Insert preview each week on Thursday or Friday…just keep an eye out for that post and you will always know which inserts you can expect in each Sunday’s paper.
Michelle: Yep, I post the preview at the end of the week so you will know what to look out for. The inserts we get will vary each week. You can see the complete 2012 Sunday Coupon Insert Preview to see what you will find in the coming months.
2. Ashley wants to know: Can you please explain the mechanics of rain checks? I’ve heard that getting rain checks for produce is a good way to save on fresh fruits and veggies, but how many can I get and for how long will a rain check be honored? I’ve been hesitant to ask for rain check so far, but they might help me save in an area I haven’t explored yet.
Christy: My store will only give one rain check per person (per visit, of course). Generally you can’t get a rain check unless the store is actually out of the item – so it can be a good idea to shop on the last day of the sale when they’re most likely to be running low on the inter you have in mind.
It is my understanding that Publix rain checks are good indefinitely. I have rain checks from last year (sometimes I forget to use them ) that my store has accepted without a problem. As always this can depend on your store so you might want to check with your Customer Service desk for their input.
Michelle: Rain checks are offered by the store as a courtesy when an advertised sale item is out of stock. Often there is an item limit per rain check. At my store there is a limit of four BOGO deals (8 items). Also, there is a 30 day expiration from the date written. Based on Christy’s response it looks like it will vary by store.
Keep in mind that rain checks are only to be requested if the store is actually out of an item. A rain check is not meant as a way to extend a sale for your personal benefit.
Michelle: No – I have a separate budget for office supplies. Like all of my budget categories I have a yearly budget and try hard to stay within that number. I typically get my year supply of paper in August with the school supply sales so I rarely have to spend a ton of money on paper. My husband bought me a great printer last year that is a dream come true when it comes to ink usage. I rarely have to change out the ink and when I do, I use rewards from the office supply stores in conjunction with coupons and sale.
If you print a lot, you might be better off spending a little money on a new printer that isn’t an ink hog!
Christy: I don’t factor paper and ink into my weekly savings, since I have a separate “Office Supplies” budget that I keep for those expenses. Printing coupons can get expensive, especially if you print in color – so I always suggest that you print in black & white (and if you’re in the market for a printer, choose an inexpensive laser model – I can get months worth of printing out of a single toner cartridge, and I print a LOT).
Christy: This really depends on your personal preferences & schedule. I like to shop on the first or second day of the sale when possible, since I know that I should find everything I’m planning to purchase (and the store isn’t very busy in the middle of the week). However, there are some benefits to shopping other days: Saturdays and Sunday you will often find people handing out coupons in-store (which is always fun), but the store is generally busier and lines may be longer – and shopping on the last day of the sale is a good plan if you want a rain check for a particular item, as I mention above. Commenters – what’s your favorite day to shop?
Michelle: I like to shop early in the week usually on Monday or Tuesday. I go very early in the morning so that it is not busy and I can scan the store without a ton of traffic Shopping at the end of the sale means that most of the unadvertised deals have been reported. I also have any new coupons from the inserts that came out the weekend before I shop.
Wednesdays are my least favorite day. Lots of folks choose to shop the last day of the sale and it is senior citizen discount day so it it typically very crowded. Maybe I will have to our together a poll to see what everyone’s favorite shopping day…it might be a fun to see the results.
Christy: The I Heart Publix Forum, of course! The IHP Forum people are the best – you will almost always be able to find someone who has what you need, and I’ve had nothing but great experiences trading with forum members.
Michelle: The folks on the forum are great. There is also more than just trading going on over there, it is a great place to “hang out” with like minded folks. Definitely check it out.
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.