October 2, 2013
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:
- Does Publix do special orders (ie, bulk orders) for sale items?
- Does Publix occasionally run specials offering you a deal to try their brand versus a national brand?
- What do you think – can I donate food that has past it’s “Best by…” date?
- What is the biggest shopping mistake you have made?
- What insert coupons do you get excited about?
And here are the answers!
1. Cindy wants to know: Does Publix do special orders (ie, bulk orders) for sale items? Sometimes I see BOGO items at stockpile prices after coupons, but I don’t want to clear shelves and I have never done this before at Publix. If they do special orders, how far in advance do I need to place my order to get the sale price?
Michelle: Publix will do special orders if they are able. Be aware that they may limit the number of items that you can order and you probably want to make sure the items will arrive before the end of the sale so that you can be assured to get the sale price. The grocery manager should be able to let you know how far in advance to place your order. Publix gets many trucks each week, so you should be able to get your items fairly quickly.
Christy: Yes, Publix will often special order for you. The few times I’ve special ordered, I’ve done so either a few days before the sale starts or on the first day of the sale, and my items have always come in before the sale was over.
2. lindab_29 wants to know: Does Publix occasionally run specials offering you a deal to try their brand versus a national brand? If so how does it work? Is it only on certain products? Only when announced?
Christy: Publix does have a program called “Buy Theirs Get Ours Free” that runs from time to time. The products included vary each time and are usually only good for a particular ad week. When you see the advertisement, you just buy the national brand product indicated and you will get the corresponding Publix brand item for free (no coupon required). There are usually 3 to 5 products included in a particular promotion so you have the option to get a bunch of freebies as long as you buy all the national brands
You can also use manufacturer’s coupons on the national brand items to make your cost lower – so this is a nice deal to take advantage of when it comes around.
Michelle: The “Buy Theirs Get Ours Free” promotion is a fun one. You just buy the national brand and you will get the corresponding Publix brand for FREE. It is the store’s way of showing you that their products are comparable to the national brand. They typically offer a group of similar items (organic items, breakfast items, snack items, etc…) Adding coupons makes the already great deal even better.
I have taken advantage of many of the promotions and can honestly say – we have enjoyed the Publix brand items as much as the national brand!
I wish their was a schedule for the promotion but it really seems to be hit or miss.
I have items in my stockpile that have been bought over the last year that I won’t be using. Friends of ours & their kids lived with us for most of last school year, and when they moved out, they left behind a fair amount of food. (Needless to say, we are now poster children for why you shouldn’t invite people to live in your home for an extended period of time!)
I would like to donate it, but some of it is 1-5 months past its “best by” date. I hate to throw it away, but I also don’t want to insult them by donating food that they will throw away. It’s mostly pasta, pasta sauce, canned goods, Ready Rice (in the packets you microwave for 90 sec, not dry), snacks like Ritz Crackerfuls & Granola Thins…. What do you think?
Christy: I know that the food bank that I donate to asks that donation items be WITHIN the “Best By….” dates. It’s too bad, because most of that food is likely perfectly fine to eat, but I understand that they need to draw that line or they might get donations of food that is YEARS past date, which they would then need to sort through….not the best use of their valuable time.
I would suggest that you explain the situation to your food bank and ask what they think. When in doubt about something like that…ask!
If your food bank is a no-go, you might want to explore other donation sites….like area churches, soup kitchens, etc, that might have different donation standards. Good luck!
Michelle: Ask your donation location. Many foods don’t have expiration dates but “best by dates”. Places that can’t keep food on the shelf may happily offer a week old box of cereal to a family that might not eat otherwise. I think this will vary – before you throw all that food out…make a call!
Michelle: I have one that jumps out because it makes me double check buying pasta sauce every time I pick up a jar! A long time ago I decided to stock up on Bertolli Pasta Sauce. I remember it was a good deal and I had gathered a bunch of coupons. I put 16 jars in my cart and continued to shop. At checkout my total was quite a bit higher than I expected. I had the boys with me so I didn’t have time to deal with it.
I got home and saw that I paid full price for almost all of my pasta sauce! I had accidentally grabbed Organic which was not included in the BOGO sale. I think I spent over $30 on pasta sauce – YIKES! I was so mad at myself and didn’t want to go through the trouble of dragging all those jars back to the store and admitting my mistake. Everytime I opened a jar of that pasta sauce I cringed – tee hee!
Christy: I make two big shopping mistakes from time to time:
1) I don’t make a list, but instead grab all my “these should be good” coupons and try to make a shopping plan on the fly. I really ought to know better at this point. I never save as much when I don’t have a list!
2) I make a list, but go shopping when I’m hungry. Not the best idea, as I’m sure many of you know! I always come home with impulse purchases that I don’t really need.
Christy: I’m always happy to see good value coupons show up for items we use every day. Off the top of my head, I’d say: Starbucks coffee, any high value non-dairy creamer, pasta, Rotel and other canned tomatoes and vegetables, and high value paper product & wipes coupons.
Michelle: Definitely Ovaltine I also was happy to see that new Mahatma coupon. In general I like meat coupons, cheese coupons and produce coupons. Like everyone – I like the ones for items that I use constantly!
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.