May 9, 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:
- If the coupon allows, is it ok to print multiple copies of internet printable coupons?
- What constitutes a competitor’s store brand?
- What is the best way to present your coupons to the cashier?
- How do I find out why my region doesn’t get $X/$XX coupons?
- Are there certain items or coupons to lookout for that are frequently money makers?
And here are the answers!
1.Michelle wants to know: Some printable coupons will let you adjust the number of copies you can print before it is sent to your printer. Do you think it’s a problem to print several copies as long as the fine print does not state one coupon per customer/household?
Michelle: If there are no specifics detailing the quantity allowed then technically you can print to your heart’s desire Most companies realize this is not in their best interest and either use print limiting software or specify a limit before printing. Of course common sense and consumption should be your guide when selecting how many to actually print.
Christy: If the coupon allows me the option of picking the number of coupons I print, I normally print 4 (that’s generally the max number of items that I purchase in a single trip). Personally I don’t see a problem with printing what you will use as long as the coupon doesn’t state that you can’t. Since I don’t abuse the system I just hope that most people will be like me and print only a reasonable number of coupons.
2. Gina wants to know: I don’t think I’ve ever seen this addressed: what constitutes a competitor’s store brand? Are Archer Farms AND Up & Up both considered Target’s store brand? What about Method? (Is there a list somewhere of “house brands”?)
Michelle: A store brand will only be available for purchase at the specified store. So in the example you used – both Archer Farm and up & up are store brands but Method is a national brand that can be purchased at stores other than Target. A quick product search will usually give you the scoop on the brand in question.
Christy: I can tell you for sure that Method is definitely NOT a store brand (since a number of stores carry it), but otherwise this may depend on your particular store. To the best of my knowledge there is no list of “house brands” so you’ll want to check with your customer service desk about whether they will accept a coupon for a competitor house brand…knowing how good Publix is, I doubt they’ll give you a very hard time.
3. Darla wants to know: What is the best way to present your coupons to the cashier? I have ‘free’ product coupons, B1G1, manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons. I’ve heard you should put them in a certain order (for example, B1G1 coupons last) for max savings?
Michelle: I always put my free items at the end of the belt so the cashier can find the prices easily. I actually usually have the prices ready for them. At my store they trust me – but in case I am at another store…they can easily find the price if they need it. I don’t think it makes a difference when you give the free product coupon…just as long as they can get the price quickly.
Christy: I think you’ll get a lot of different answers to this question because everyone has their own system (Commenters, tell us how you do it!). Personally, I’ve tried it a number of ways and I am most comfortable with handing over my coupons after all items have been scanned. First, I hand over any $X/$XX coupons, then as I usually buy multiples of each item I hand over each set of coupons individually – for example, (2) BOGO coupons for X product, then a set of (4) $1/1s for Y product, then a set of (4) $.50/1s store coupons for Y product. That way I can watch to make sure that each set of coupons comes off my total before I hand over a different coupon set…and the cashier can very clearly see how many coupons I am using for a particular set of items if there are any questions.
I’ve found that this works best and I have many fewer instances of “skipped” or missed coupons at the end of the transaction. I also always write down the amount of any item that I have a free or BOGO coupon for – that way if the cashier can’t find that particular item in the (sometimes very long) receipt, I can tell him or her what amount to look for.
4. Heather wants to know: I’ve noticed that when you post the deals for $5/$30 coupons at Publix, only certain counties are listed on the coupons. It’s very rare to find these available in my area. Are these coupons regional? If so, how do I find out what region my county is in and why we rarely get these deals?
Michelle: These coupons are released as a way to drive customers to stores in specific areas. They are going to want to get folks in the store in areas where competition is high. There are the occasional dollar off coupons that they put out with promotions, like the recent Spring Cleaning promotion coupon. Just when I give up thinking I will never see a coupon they surprise me and I get my hands on one
Christy: I’ve noticed this too, and I think there are a number of counties that have gotten these coupons because Publix is trying to get more shoppers in those areas. I have noticed in my 3 years of couponing that these coupons make the rounds so hopefully you will see one in your area before too long.
In the meantime, you might want to look at which stores your Publix accepts as competitors and see if THEY have $X/$XX coupons that you can get ahold of (since Publix will accept a competitor’s $X/$XX coupons). Winn Dixie $5/$30 coupons have been VERY easy to find recently with the Enjoy the City book deals so if nothing else I just use those when I shop at Publix.
5. Tonya wants to know: I have been couponing since last May and have a great stockpile now. I have just started to get the hang of money makers though. I did luck out with vitamins and tuna a while back, but usually it seems like by the time I have learned about them they are all sold out. Are there certain items or coupons to lookout for that are frequently money makers? Are there certain stores that have more frequent money makers than Publix? There are 5 of us including three kiddos so we go through a lot of food and diapers at my house. I would love to be able to regularly offset some of these costs with money maker items.
Christy: I may be in the minority here, but while moneymakers are great, they’re also kind of a pain. My stores always sell out of the big moneymakers when they come around and frankly I’ve stopped chasing them down for the most part…it’s just too much work for a lot of frustration.
That said, though, I completely understand the need to get your grocery totals down as low as you can. The most common moneymakers I can think of are Sundown Vitamins. Other than that, just keep an eye on coupon values. If you see a coupon come out that is a nice high value (about half the value of the item or more), then it’s likely that you’re going to find a good deal with that coupon.
Michelle: Moneymakers are few and far between now days. Coupon values are getting lower and lower – plus companies are getting smarter and using very specific language to limit the products that can be purchased with the coupons.
There is no way to predict a moneymaker…they are really hit or miss. Like Christy, I rarely bother with them or even hope to get them. My area has a very high rate of couponers. It is pure luck if I get the good deals so I just don’t hold my breath for the hot deals!!
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.