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 huge thanks to my buddy Christy over at Haphazardly Hobbying 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 I organize the questions and answers from this feature so that it can serve as a quick reference!
Here are this week’s questions:
- Do ‘twinpacks’ count as one item when you use a BOGO coupon?
- I can never seem to find any tear pads at my Publix – do you have any suggestions?
- If a MIR requires that I spend $50, can I use coupons to reduce that total?
- Do you use all of the coupons you print each week, or do you trade?
- Can you stack a MQ on a manufacturer’s Buy 1 Get 1 coupon, or does the B1G1 attach to both items?
- Is there a way to have publix mail me advantage flyers and other coupon booklets?
- How do Publix rain checks work, and can coupons be applied towards a rain check?
- Will Publix accept its own expired coupons?
- How long should I generally keep my filed coupons before I toss them?
- How do you deal with ‘coupon burnout’?
And here are the answers!
- CarolinaGirl from the comments wants to know: Do ‘twinpacks’ count as one item when you use a BOGO coupon?
- Shannon wants to know: I can never seem to find any tear pads at my Publix – do you have any suggestions on how to find them? I see all the great coupon matchups and often there’s a tearpad coupon included but I can never get my hands on them!
- Darcy wants to know: My question is about the SummerTime Savings Guide MIR (spend $50 get $10 gift card). Can I use coupons to reduce the total I need to spend and still get the gift card?
- Melinda wants to know: You said the other week that you print 137 coupons in a single week – do you use all of those coupons or do you trade them?
- Stephanie wants to know: Can you stack a MQ with a manufacturer’s Buy 1 Get 1 coupon, or does the B1G1 attach to both items?
- Tracy wants to know: Is there a way to get Publix to mail me Advantage Buy Flyers and other coupon booklets? My store never seems to have booklets and runs out of advantage flyers quickly.
- Krystin wants to know: How do Publix rain checks work, and can I use coupons with them?
- Coba wants to know: Will Publix accept its own expired coupons?
- Mary wants to know: I have a file system that I use to organize my coupons. How long should I keep my filed coupons before I toss them?
- Erin wants to know: What you do when you get "Coupon Burnout"?
If the twinpack has a single UPC code - and it should - then it counts as a single item and you will be able to use the BOGO coupon on two twinpacks.
Christy: The best way to get tearpad coupons when you can't actually find them in your store is to trade for them- it seems that there's almost always someone on this site that has the coupon you need!! If you can't find someone to trade with, though, you can always try ebay or maybe even a clipping site! Just be sure to order your coupons as soon as you know that you're going to need it so that you're sure to get them before the sale ends.
Michelle: About the only way I get tearpads is via trades with other couponers!! I almost never find coupons at my store so I try to keep a look out for tearpads that have been spotted or reported and try to grab them if it is for an item I know I will use!!
Check the fine print on the Mail In Rebate form - you can use coupons to reduce your total amount out of pocket for any rebate as long as it doesn't explicitly state that you need to spend $50 AFTER coupons. Most rebates allow you to use coupons to reduce your totals, making for even better deals! I have only ever seen one or two rebates that state the purchase price is after coupons..after all it is very hard to determine which product the coupon was for--especially on Publix receipts!!
Christy: I don't know if I print quite as many coupons as Michelle does, but I do print plenty every week, and I certainly don't use them all. The way I see it, though, you never know what's going to make for a great deal later on, so I'd rather print more than I need. I do trade whenever I can, and I'm also a member of a coupon train group. If all else fails, I always recycle whatever (printable) coupons I don't use! For the record, too, I'm looking for a few military families that might be able to use my expired insert coupons - email me at haphazardlyhobbying at gmail dot com if you know of anyone who could use a new source of expireds!
Michelle: I may have a bit higher total than some people as I print coupons that I hope to use AND I often print coupons to test them before I report them here to you guys! It is getting easier to spot dead coupons but sometimes I print the ones I am not sure about. That way I can try to make sure that I am giving you guys accurate information. I also print a bunch of coupons if I think I might use them. For example--the goldfish coupons that were available over the last few weeks. Even though there was not a sale at that time I printed as many as I could in hopes of a sale...and voila they are on sale this week!! If I had waited I would be out of luck!
This is one of those grey areas where you will often get a different answer based on who you ask. I personally think that a buy1 get 1 coupon attaches only to the free item, so you can use a manufacturer's or store coupon (or both!) on the qualifying item. I write deals here on the site based on that premise.
You know I have no idea!! I have heard that people have had some success requesting booklets but I honestly do not know the rate of success. I would definitely talk to your store about possibly keeping the booklets/flyers at the customer service desk so that there is less of an opportunity for them to be depleted as quickly. If anyone out there has has any success with requesting booklets/flyers please let us know!!
Christy: Rain checks essentially allow you to take advantage of the sale price on a particular item after the original dates of the sale because your store has run out of stock. Depending on your store, they may impose a deadline by which you need to use the raincheck - in my area, rain checks are only good for 10 days after they date my store writes them. You can most certainly use coupons with a raincheck; however, if the coupons you want to use will expire before you will use the raincheck, you should talk to your store about that as they're writing the rain check. Some stores will actually make a note on your rain check that the cashier should honor your coupons for that item as well!
Michelle: Also be aware that most stores will limit the number of items you can get with a rain check.
Christy: This depends on the store - I've heard of some stores that accept expired Publix coupons, but none of the stores in my area will take them. However, my favorite store will occasionally take a coupon a day or two after expiration if I ask really nicely :). As usual, you should ask at your customer service desk before trying to use an expired store coupon at checkout.
Michelle: This will definitely vary by store...I have yet to find a store in my area that will accept them either!!
Christy: When I file my inserts - usually 4 or 6 of each insert each week - I do a little extra work and put all the like pages together. That way I can get rid of pages from the inserts once I've either used all those coupons or once they've expired (whichever comes first). However, I usually don't start really purging pages from my inserts until they're about six months old or so.
Michelle: I usually go through my coupons every 4 months and do a scan to see if there are any that are still valid. Every once in a while there will be one or two in the insert that is still valid. I usually just clip those few coupons and file them in my binder to clear out my filing cabinet. I think it will depend on how much storage your filing system has! I have a two drawer filing cabinet so I can easily go 4 or 5 months --which is great as cleaning out my coupons is not high on my list of favorite things to do. :-)
Christy: I don't know if I've been couponing long enough to actually hit 'burnout' stage, but I will share with you what's happened to me over the last few weeks. I've been traveling for most of June and I haven't been able to catch good deals, print coupons, even buy my weekly inserts (!) so it actually feels like I've been out of the couponing loop for quite a while and I've been a little overwhelmed trying to get back into it. I tried to make my shopping list on Sunday and I just couldn't manage to get it all together because I felt so unorganized. But instead of getting down about it, I just decided that I'm going to take my time and get back into the groove - and if I spend a little more over the next few weeks, my savings over the last year has certainly made up for it! :) I think that's what we all need to remember in such situations - we save TONS of money every week, and if something goes wrong every once in a while and we end up spending a little more than we want to, it's just not the end of the world.
Michelle: I have had weeks here and there where I have blown my budget and you know that is A-OK! The good thing about couponing is that there is always another deal to be found!! I used to stress out and feel like I had to go grab every deal that I heard about. All that did was wear me out and I think I spent more on gas than I saved getting the deal! I am sure many of you have noticed by my weekly totals that I don't get even half of the deals I post!
Some weeks I have so much on my plate that something has to give--If running by Publix and grabbing a Rotisserie meal makes my day a little easier then that is what I will do! My budget is flexible for just that reason. I have long term goals set and I am always re-evaluating and making modifications--so my burnout is minimal! I also allow for splurges and mistakes in my budget so I don't feel pressure to be perfect every week!! For me couponing has become a way of life so it is really just part of my weekly routine! My goal is to have no payments (except utilities) in five years! I want to have our house and all vehicles paid free and clear!! If I want to make that goal a reality then I need to stay on track. I plan for possible detours--for example...one of our AC units decided to stop working today--the day after we bought a new car! A couple of years ago I would be in a panic--but today I have my household maintenance account that I can pull from--no crisis!
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 [email protected]