October 30, 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:
- What are some items that do well being stockpiled?
- Are you supposed to tip the folks who take your groceries to your car?
- How can I figure out what percentage I’ve saved?
- How do you determine when to use a free coupon?
- Why are some of the things in your Sneak Peek not labeled as on sale in my Publix?
And here are the answers!
1.Elizabeth wants to know: I have a question regarding stockpiling. There are just two people in my family and I am concerned that I’ll buy too much or not enough of something when an item is on sale. For example, we go through those bagel/bread thins like crazy! They are 2/$4 this week but we already have 2 unopened packs in the fridge. Publix had that in store coupon so it would be a great deal, but I didn’t know how they freeze/keep? What are some items that do well being stockpiled? (Obviously TP, Paper Towels, etc). What about cereal and other food items?
Michelle: I have found it to be a little bit of trial and error. It will really just depend on your consumption rate. I try to get about what we will use in 8 weeks. There are really so many options with all the great deals that if you vary your menu you really don’t need a ton of one thing. When meat and dairy items are on sale, I will grab what I can store as we use these products on a daily basis…so there really is no way to be fully stocked.
Most things freeze with no problem. There are a few things that I don’t freeze…cream cheese, sour cream and leafy veggies just don’t hold up. Use the web to see what veggies you can freeze.
Christy: Same here…I pretty much had to learn by making mistakes. For a while there I thought we might be buried under an avalanche of cereal…so I learned that 10 boxes is about the max that my family of 2 should have at any one time :). You might want to try to keep a basic (dated) inventory of items for a few months – mark how many you have at your starting date and keep track of how many you add or subtract over that period of time. That should give you a good sense of what you need to have on hand at any one time.
I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping track of expiration dates, too…my rule is “if we can’t use it before two weeks of its use-by date, it goes in the donate pile.”
Michelle:Here is the answer from the Publix website: We pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service. That service includes taking your groceries to your vehicle. Tipping is not required. Several of you have emailed to let me know that the baggers are instructed not to accept tips.–thanks everyone!!
If you receive outstanding service from an employee at Publix you might consider sending an email or making a call to tell the manager about your experience. So many people are quick to report when things don’t go as they wish –it is just as important to share the positive experience as well!!
Michelle: I am lazy so I use an online calculator like the one here. But you can also do it manually: First, add the total amount spent out of pocket with your amount saved – this is the total value of your purchase. Then, divide your amount saved by the total value, and multiply the answer by 100.
Christy: I keep my free coupons in a see-through zipper pouch at the front of my binder to remind me that I have them. I wait until the last week the coupon is valid, hoping that the item will go BOGO so I can get two for free. If they haven’t gone on sale by that last week, I just use them as normal.
Michelle: Since I live in the land of half price BOGO it is not as important for me to wait for a sale since I will just get one free whether they are on sale or not. I do hold my free coupons as they can be great if you have a $x/$xx coupon! Not that I generally have an abundance of these coupons but… Say I had a $5 off $30 coupon–the more freebie coupons that will get me to closer to that $30 threshold means more of the $5 of free money can go towards something that I don’t have a coupon for.
5. Danielle from the comments wants to know: Sometimes I see things in the weekly ad or on your sneak peek that are not labeled in my store as being on sale. Do I go by what is labeled in the store as being on sale, or what is in the weekly ad? Can stores choose to only participate in some of the advertised weekly sales?
Christy: Always go by the ad in your store – it’s possible that a shelf tag didn’t get put up or got knocked off by another customer. Your store will always honor the price listed in their ad, and will give you a rain check for any items they’re out of.
Michelle: The ad I list is the metro Atlanta version of the ad. There may be variations in price or even ommissions or additions based on your area. The list I provide is meant to help you make a plan but you will definitely want to check out your ad to confirm items and pricing. If it is in your ad you should find the item at that price. If you don’t then you might be able to take advantage of the Publix Promise.The Publix Promise guarantees that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, they will give the customer one of that item free. The remaining items will be charged at the lower price.
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.