December 18, 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:
- Is there a limit to how many coupons I can use in a single transaction/trip at Publix?
- Is it okay to stack a manufacturer’s free item coupon with a store coupon (or vice versa)?
- Have you ever needed to take a break from couponing, and if so, how difficult was it to start again?
- Are there ANY Florida Publixes that double coupons?
- What are your stockpile “rules”?
And here are the answers!
1.Missi wants to know: I’ve heard that you can’t use more coupons than items, and your coupon savings can’t be over $50 in one grocery order. Is this true? Is there a limit to how many coupons I can use in a single transaction at Publix?
Publix registers require that the number of coupons and items purchased be equivalent. If you have more coupons than items, a manger override will be required here too. Many people prefer to do multiple transaction to avoid these issues. I typically shop with my boys and live 20+ minutes from my store…so that is just not an option for me!! If you think you will need an override for either reason you might consider talking to a member of management ahead of time as they may be able to assist you during checkout to ensure that the checkout process is as quick as possible.
2. Missy wants to know: Is it okay to stack a manufacturer’s free item coupon with a store coupon? I have a manufacturer coupon for free Cottonelle wipes and a Target store coupon for $1.00 off the same item. Can I stack them together since my Publix accepts Target coupons?
Christy: There are two ways of looking at this. On one hand, the store could (very reasonably) say that since I’m already getting the item for free they don’t need to accept a competitor (or, for that matter, their own) coupon because there is nothing left to discount. On the other hand, Publix will be reimbursed for the full value of the item and honoring a competitor (or their own) coupon is actually only going to put them out $1 in the long run. Either way of looking at this is valid; what really matters is what your store says about this!
Michelle: I think Christy has this one covered. Be sure and ask your store.
3. Tiffany wants to know: I’m really starting to burn out on couponing – there’s just too much to do every day and keeping coupons organized is the LAST thing I want to do at the end of the day! Here’s my question: Have you ever needed to take a break from couponing, and if so, how difficult was it to start again?
Christy: In the year plus since I started couponing, I’ve taken little mini-breaks here and there. Just recently I stopped doing weekly drugstore runs for a few weeks – between work and life I was just running out of time so I took a few weeks off! Since I never really stopped ‘all the way,’ it’s been pretty easy to pick right back up again. Commenters, tell us your experiences with ‘taking a break’!
Michelle: I think I am a little atypical…running my websites means that I kinda live and breathe coupons I do take mini breaks here and there. I also am a slacker when it comes to organization. You guys would get a kick out of my desk. I have coupons everywhere and sometimes I go weeks without filing or sorting.
4. Brenda wants to know: Are there ANY Florida Publixes that double coupons?
Christy: Not that I know of…I wish!!!
Michelle: As far as I know–nope. I will have to let the commenters let me know if that is not correct!
5.Krystal wants to know: When do you consider your stockpile for a certain item”full”? Right now it seems like I have too much cereal, just enough of each type of condiment, and I am almost out of pasta. My kids will eat the frozen breakfast items as fast as I can buy them, so that area is fine. I am finally starting to catch on to the cycles- for example, my first week couponing was a sale for 8 O’Clock Coffee, and I got a few bags. A few weeks ago, it went on sale again, so I bought 15 bags: enough to last me 3 months until it goes BOGO again.
I had a great coupon combination for the cheap Olay bar soap and secret deodorant- but adding that to the Dove deal in the green flyer, gave me too many! I didn’t realize they expire so soon. I have 5 or 6 boxes of Glad garbage bags, but I know that’s something we will always use up, and they dont expire. When do you consider your stockpile of a certain item so full, that you pass up a sale/coupon combination? Would you get it anyway if it was free? What are your rules? I don’t want to be the couponer who buys things JUST because it is a good deal!
Christy: I think that the longer you coupon the better you will get at managing your stockpile, but I also think that we all struggle with this sometimes. I’ve been doing this for a year and a half now and I still mess up from time to time! What I do now is try to take an inventory about every 4 to 6 weeks. I think I’ve mentioned before that I keep a Sharpie on the fridge and I write the month & year of expiration on anything I buy as it comes into the house, which makes my inventory MUCH easier. If I have more of something than I will use before it expires, I donate it to my local food bank..I want SOMEONE to be able to use it before it’s too late!
Same thing if I’m ‘full up’ on something: if it’s free or a moneymaker, I’ll buy the normal amount of that item (for me, 4 to 6) and donate them immediately to my food bank or local hospice. I really like being able to give to my community…and without coupons, I’d never be able to afford to do so!
Michelle: You will be able to tell more as you go. I still find that I am always having to re-evaluate and inventory. Sometimes I stock up only to find that my family gets tired of a specific product. Other times I think I have enough to last me until the next sale and the boys go through double what I anticipate. I do my best to keep up but I make mistakes occasionally.
For items that do not expire that I know we will use (paper towels, trash bags, toilet paper, aluminum foil, ziplocs, etc) I buy when they are at my “buy it now” price! I don’t care if I have 20 boxes of trash bags…if I can get them for $1 per box I will get a few boxes. You have to look at what you will use before they expire and also consider what you can store.
For the items where there are pretty frequent deals (toothpaste, soap, deodorant, etc…) I just make sure I have a 3 month supply and then only buy when my stock is low.
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.