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The Coupon Lady: A closer look at Publix

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Last time, we started talking about the coupon rules for area grocery store chains. Knowing the rules is an essential part of becoming a master couponer. Each chain sets it own rules, and the rules can vary regionally and from store to store.

Publix offers many ways to find store coupons, and most stores accept competitors' coupons, too.   FILE
FILE
Publix offers many ways to find store coupons, and most stores accept competitors' coupons, too.

Knowing the rules allows the couponer to check out with confidence. I recommend that a couponer keep a copy of the chain’s policy in the coupon binder. I often suggest that new couponers visit their closest store and ask a member of customer service to go over the policy.

Last time, we discussed BI-LO. Today, we’ll take a look at Publix. The store was founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins in Winter Haven, Fla. The chain now has 1,049 stores across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. According to its Web site, it reported $27 billion in retail sales for 2011.

Publix has a short coupon policy available on its Web site: www.publix.com. The chain accepts manufacturer coupons, Publix store coupons and competitor’s coupons. Each store’s accepted list of competitors is different because it is based on nearby competition. Each store posts a list of accepted competitor coupons near the front of the store. If you have a problem finding the list, customer service will be able to give out that information. You can combine a store or competitor coupon with a manufacturer coupon to maximize savings.

Publix doubles coupons to 50 cents every day without a loyalty card. Its Web site does not give a specific limit on doubling, but some stores limit coupon redemption to 10 like items or five sets of buy one get one free deals. At Publix, these deals ring up separately at 50 percent off, so you can use two coupons on each deal.

Publix has a wide variety of store coupons, which can be found in several places. One area is the large rotating display near the shopping carts. Look for the yellow and green flyers. It has a Stocking Spree Coupon Sheet available with several coupons. I was able to match several of the store coupons to manufacturer items and sales for some great deals.

Another great place to find store coupons at Publix is through the mail. Publix has several clubs and magazines that provide coupons. The two publications are Publix Family Style Magazine and Publix Greenwise Market Magazine. The magazine subscriptions are free and can be requested online at the Publix Web site. Publix also has several savings clubs, including a Baby Club, Preschool Pals and a Paws (Pets) Club. I have gotten coupons for free items from these clubs. Sign up online or at the store.

On Wednesdays, Publix has a special deal called the “Mystery Penny” item. This item is only available through a coupon in the Wednesday newspaper. With the coupon, you can get a certain item for only one penny with a $10 retail purchase (can be less than $10 after coupons). Each week features a different item; last week’s was Publix Brand Syrup. Usually, the mystery item is labeled in a stand at the front entrance of the store on Wednesday.

Publix also has a special promotion called Try Theirs, Get Ours Free. When you buy a select manufacturer brand, you can get the store brand equivalent free. You can use coupons on the manufacturer’s brand. These promotions are usually once a month, buying Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts, General Mill’s Cocoa Puffs Cereal or General Mill’s Fiber One Cereal and getting the Publix store brand equivalent free.

If you’ve not been to the store Web site I encourage you to check it out. You can see the week’s sales ad, and it will list any buy one get one free deals. You can create a list of items you wish to buy and print it. It is very easy to match the Web site list with your coupon binder to maximize savings.

Until next time, happy shopping!

Next workshop

Carol Gunter will hold a free beginner’s coupon class for ages 12 and older from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 16 at The Augusta Chronicle News Building, 725 Broad St. Seating is limited. To reserve a spot, log on to smart shopper316.eventbrite.com.


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