October 3, 2012
If you have a question about couponing at Publix, this is the place to find the answer! Each week my buddy Christy over at Winn Dixie on a Dime and I have a little coupon question and answer session here on Ask I Heart Publix. 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!!
Remember–there is a tab at the top of the site under “About” titled “Ask I Heart Publix” where you can find the questions and answers from past weeks!
Here are this week’s questions:
- What happens to coupons once they are redeemed by customers like me at Publix?
- Do you have a schedule of when to clean out and organize your coupons?
- For rebates – am I limited to one per address- or one per person per address?
- How does a BOGO coupon work with a BOGO item?
- Are there are any coupon insert sites that sell whole inserts for less than the cost of a newspaper subscription?
And here are the answers!
1. Felicity wants to know: My question has to do with what happens to the coupons after they are redeemed by customers like me at Publix. I’m just curious how the store sorts or organizes them for submission back to the manufacturer and whether or not they match them to a report on store sales and whatever else might have to be done. This is just something I have always been curious about although I realize it isn’t your traditional coupon question. I’m an accountant by trade so I guess it’s in my DNA.
Michelle: I know we have a bunch of Publix employees who visit the site so maybe they can leave some details in the comments. I have always had an idea of what they do, but it is purely based on speculation.
Give us the scoop…inquiring minds want to know
2. Amanda wants to know: I have been couponing for four years now for my single girl life. I have recently began helping a family of three with couponing, and had to make the switch to the coupon binder…. Dun dun dun! Previously I did not need such an elaborate system, as I would print the coupons listed in yours and drugstore matchups. Now I’m finding that with my binder it’s overwhelming to organize coupons and sort thru expired. Any tips? I know to clean it out at end of the month, but thought maybe some folks had a schedule or other tips for me.
Michelle: I sort my coupons by category. I think is is easier to sort the coupons, find them and I can gradually clean it out as needed. I started with really broad categories and decided that lots of subcategories made my life much easier.
As far as keeping it organized – I am a pile person. I keep a little to-do pile on my desk and every Monday or Tuesday night I go through the pile and put things where they are supposed to go. This includes the many coupons I print or pick up throughout the week. As long as I don’t let my pile get out of control, I am able to manage my coupons.
Now, I am bad about cleaning out my coupons. I usually do it a little at a time when I happen to be looking for a particular coupon. I only go through my entire box about once every 3 months…that is about all I can squeeze in.
Christy: I used to have a binder too…but I found that it got really hard to keep organized when I started working with four sets of inserts and two sets of printables each week. Now I have the same sort of coupon box that Michelle has…and all those categories really help to keep me organized too! Plus, it is easier for me to flip through the coupons in the box than it was to work with binder pages.
I’m sure the commenters with binder will have some great suggestions for you as far as how to keep up with binder organization – but what I find to work best is to try to clean out one category per day. That way it’s not an overwhelming task and I can get through each section in a month’s time.
3. Carly wants to know: I have a question about rebates. If I want to submit a rebate for P&G am I limited to one per address- or one per person per address? Basically could I put my fiance’s name on the 2nd form and use our one address? I know I can only have one rebate per envelope. I did the Pantene deal at Publix and also qualify for my CVS purchases of Cover Girl and razors. I don’t want to miss out on any free money!
Michelle: This will vary and you’ll need to check the details in the fine print on the form. They will usually specify the redemption requirements and specifics. Usually there is also a number or website where you can contact them for help.
For those rebates that are one per address…I have been known to send out extra rebates and surprise my family members with an unexpected perk. If I am buying the items, someone might as well benefit.
Christy:For the most part, rebates are one per household…I can’t think of many recent rebates that allowed me to do more than one deal. However, as Michelle says, the fine print (or the customer service number) will tell you for sure if you can send in more than one per address. And if you can’t submit your purchases for the rebate for your household, then Michelle is right – why not surprise a family member with a little gift card or check?
Christy: This is a question we’ve answered a number of times but it always seems to come up again, so it’s probably a good idea if we address it every couple of months or so .
This will depend on the BOGO policy where you live. If you are in Florida, then you likely have what we call “true” BOGO (if an item is on sale for BOGO $5, then the first item rings up $5 and the second item rings up $0). In any other Publix state, you likely have “half-price” BOGO (if an item is on sale for BOGO $5, each item rings up for $2.50).
In “true” BOGO stores, you will pay nothing for both items -the store sale takes care of the cost of one item, and the coupon takes care of the cost of the second item. In “half-price” BOGO stores, you will pay $2.50 for both items – the store sale makes each item half price and the coupon takes care of the cost of the second item.
Michelle: I am always jealous of you folks with a BOGO coupon and true BOGO. I can’t complain too much…we get other perks here in the land of half price BOGO
5. Judy wants to know: I was wondering if there is service that you can buy 2 whole inserts of the coupons that you get in the weekly newspapers for LESS than the cost of the news paper subscription? I’ve seen a couple out there, but after adding in mailing/handling fee, it adds up to quite a bit more.
Christy: You might want to try out a few services and “test” out their shipping speed, cost, and coupon variety while you are making this decision..because whether or not a coupon insert service is right for you depends on a number of factors. You will want to keep in mind that inserts vary from region to region – so if you are buying from a service, you may get different coupon values (or different coupons entirely!) in those inserts than you would get in your local paper. You need to take into account how much you spend on the service, how long you will wait for your coupons (as opposed to having them delivered to your door on Sunday), and whether the coupons you get are better or worse when you figure out your best insert deal.
In my case, it is worth it to me to get my inserts delivered on Sunday morning – that way if I’m waiting for a particular coupon to use with a sale, I have more than a day or two to shop before the sale ends…and I like the coupon variety and values in my area as opposed to some insert services I have used, too.
Michelle: Honestly I think this is one of those things that will vary based on location. Since newspaper prices vary DRAMATICALLY it is hard to say for sure. I post deals where Florida folks can get a year subscription for like $25. That is unheard of here in Atlanta. The cheapest deal I have ever found was over double that price. So the added shipping fee of a clipping service is not that hard to swallow. When you factor in time and convenience, it may be worth the added expense. For folks who can pick up papers for just few cents, you are better off getting your paper from the store or an additional delivery.
Clipping services are just that …a service. They will likely be more expensive in order to be profitable. You will have to determine if the price is worth it for you.
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.