Although there has been a lot of hoopla about recent changes to the Publix Coupon Policy, Publix remains one of the most coupon-friendly grocery stores in many places. Here are some tips for my newbie friends who are going to start using coupons at Publix stores:
1. The best deals at Publix typically come in the form of Buy One, Get One Free offers, often referred to as BOGO or B1G1. These promotions are rather simple to understand. Simply purchase an item and get a second identical item for free. In most states, all items that are BOGO are sold at 50% off; however, in Florida, the first item rings up at full price, while the second item rings up as free. Publix allows customers to use coupons on both items (even the FREE ones!) Furthermore, some Publix stores will allow the customer to use any overage to offset other purchases. What do I mean buy overage? Suppose hot dogs are part of the BOGO sale and they sell for $2.89. You have two $1.50 coupons off of the purchase of one package of hot dogs. The total cost of the two items is $2.89, but you have $3.00 of coupons to apply to the purchase. Many Publix stores, including the one I frequent, will deduct the full $3.00 from your total bill, resulting in an 11 cent overage you can apply to reduce the cost of other items. (Sometimes we refer to products with overage as moneymakers, or MMs.)
2. Publix accepts store coupons from Publix flyers and inserts, store coupons from competing stores (more info under #3), and manufacturer’s coupons. As a general rule, Publix will accept one manufacturer coupon for each individual item in your cart, plus a Publix or competing store coupon on each item. Publix store coupons (denoted by the L.U.# on the coupon) may be treated differently, depending on the wording on the actual coupon and individual store policy. Some Publix store coupons are limited to one per visit, while others are not. Publix store coupons can be found in the yellow and green “advantage” flyers at the front of the store, newspapers, and/or home mailers.
3. Publix accepts coupons from selected competing grocers. This rule has a tendency to vary from store-to-store. If you are not familiar with your store’s policy, it is advised that you ask the customer service counter at the front of the store. Each Publix store will display a list of the competing stores whose coupons they accept. If they are not prominently displayed, ask the customer service desk.
4. From time-to-time, Publix will release coupons that say things like $5 off when you purchase $30 of groceries. These are the absolute best coupons you can find. When you check out at Publix, make sure you present this coupon before your other coupons. Why? Let’s say that your pre-coupon subtotal is $78 and you have $54 of coupons other than your $5 off coupon. If you present your $5 off coupon first, your total drops to $73 and your remaining coupons knock off $54 more, leaving you with a final total of $19. However, if you allow them to deduct your other $54 of coupons first, your total will be down to $24 when they try to apply your $5 coupon, and it won’t work because your bill is now under the $30 minimum to use it.
5. Publix will accept competitor store coupons that have offers similar to the $5 off of $30 coupon example in #4. There are three rules you should keep in mind. First, each Publix store has different competitors, so you will need to shop at a store that accepts coupons from your desired store. Second, your order at Publix must comply with the details required on the competitor’s coupon. Finally, Publix will also allow you to use both a Publix and competitor coupon of this type on the same order, but your pre-coupon total must equal or exceed the combined purchasing requirements of both coupons.
6. When you get an opportunity for a great deal at Publix, stock up. The typical Publix sales cycle runs approximately 6-8 weeks. When you can get a great deal on something you regularly use, make sure you get enough to last you until it goes on sale again. Also note that Publix sales prices in their weekly flyers typically run from Wednesday to Thursday, although there are some markets, like mine (Tampa Bay), which run their prices from Thursday through the following Wednesday.
7. Check Couponaholic.com often, as some offers surface during the week. For example, Tylenol’s new Precise product went on sale for $4.99, although the sale was not advertised in the weekly flyer. There was a $5 printable coupon on the internet at Tylenol’s site, making the item free and a one-cent moneymaker; however, most extreme couponing sites missed this deal for several days. Also, there are occasions where an internet coupon surfaces that matches well with a sale that has already started. The best thing you can do to make sure you don’t miss out on deals is to check our site often.
We have a page devoted to the best deals currently available at Publix.
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