Publix Couponing Hints | The Couponing Couple

Publix Couponing Hints is designed to explain the details of how to get the best deals based on the Publix  Coupon Policy . If you’re new to couponing in general, be sure to check out the Coupon Lingo page to make things easier for you!

Publix Couponing Hints


 Coupons that Publix accepts and where to find them:

Publix Couponing is very easy compared to many other stores. Publix allows coupon “stacking”, which means they allow one store coupon (Publix or Competitor coupon) and one manufacturer coupon to be used on the same item.  In addition, you can also add any Upromise savings that are available and then submit for ibotta cash back , Checkout 51 cash and Shopmium Cash when you get home! In addition to the one store and one manufacturer coupon per item, it also allows dollars-off-total-order coupons. (see section below for more on those). Publix does not restrict you to a maximum total number of coupons in a trip in general but they do have a restriction now on limiting the number of IDENTICAL coupons to a maximum of 8 and they also restrict the number of dollars-off-total-order coupons to one Publix and one competitor coupon per day. The exception to the 8 identical coupons is if the coupon states a lesser number to be used. Please read your coupons. If a coupon states limit of 2 then you can only use two. If there is no limit on the coupon then you can use up to 8 identical coupons at Publix. This rule applies to any coupons!

MANUFACTURER COUPONS

  • Manufacturer Newspaper coupons – You can find these as inserts in your Local Sunday paper.  The standard inserts are Red Plum, Smart Source, and Procter & Gamble. These vary each week so sometimes you may find all 3 and other times just 1. There are even times when there may not be any or there may be more than one RP or SS. (You can see a tentative insert schedule for 2014 here)  Also, the specific coupons you get in each insert can vary between regions so your insert may have a variation of the coupon or not contain a specific coupon.
  • Manufacturer printable coupons – Publix does accept legitimate printed coupons and no, they don’t have to be in color so print away in black and white and save that colored ink.  (remember – photocopying coupons is illegal!) Please note that increasing the number of pdf style coupons to print is basically creating copies with the same I.D number. Always leave the number at “1” if given the option. The most common places to get printable manufacturer coupons are from SmartSource, RedPlum, and CouponsCom
  • Manufacturer Magazine coupons – If any of you subscribe to magazines, keep your eyes peeled for any promo coupons in the ads.  Some magazines are notorious for an abundance of coupons such as AllYou magazine.
  • Manufacturer coupon booklets – These just pop up when you least expect it.  You may find these strategically place in your Publix store or in another retail store or possibly in your mailbox. Always keep your eye out for coupon booklets when you’re out shopping!
  • Manufacturer “blinkies” and tearpads – The blinkies are found throughout stores and are the little coupon dispensing machines that offer manufacturer coupons and the tear pads are often found throughout retailers as well.  Remember, even if you find these at another retailer or convenience store, you can use these at Publix since they are manufacturer coupons.

STORE COUPONS

Store coupons for the purpose of stacking are Publix or another store (competitor) coupons. Publix will allow one store and one manufacturer coupon to be applied to each item. Publix corporate policy requires a separate coupon for each item. In other words, you can not use a single coupon multiple times to discount several items in your transaction. They will not simply enter the code for a Publix coupon at your request. In the past, some have found that their store employees would enter the code in for each item if a customer had one coupon or had obtained the code. This is now spelled out in the policy FAQ’s that it is not allowed.  The individual stores also have the right to decide which competitors store coupons they accept. For a list of competitor coupons, check with each store you shop in. Each Publix store may be different, even if they’re right down the road from one another.

Publix Store coupons – You can find Publix store coupons in several places.  Here are some of the most common. For a larger list, be sure to check out our Where to Find Publix Coupons page

  • Publix Advantage Buy Fliers start on Saturdays with a new one every 2/3 weeks.  Publix puts out a green Grocery Advantage Flier (every 3rd Saturday) and a purple Health/Beauty Flier (new every other Saturday) and both of these sale fliers contain store coupons and sometimes manufacturer coupons as well.  Find these at your local Publix by the entrance or ask at the customer service desk.  These also tend to show up as newspaper inserts on their first week. We publish them on this site and also add them to the bottom of all the Publix weekly ad matchups for your convenience.
  • Promotional Booklets – Occasionally Publix puts out a booklet of Publix store coupons.  You can find these in various places in the store or ask at the customer service desk. There are various booklets that pop up or you can sign up for. (more info found on Where to Find Publix Coupons page)
  • Publix Magazines & clubs – Publix has magazines and clubs you can sign up for that will bring coupons to your email or mailbox a couple times a year.  You can sign up for Publix Baby Club , Publix Paws , Publix Grape ,   Publix Family Style.
  • Publix In-Ad coupons – Review your weekly ad flier for the occasional Publix store coupon. Some of them may be printable from your weekly ad on the Publix site.
  • Publix store printables –  There are also various Publix printables that are offered such as the those on the coupon tab to the right of the online ad , the  Publix Paws pet coupons (when offered), and the Best Meals Happen at Home emails that you sign up for.
  • Newspaper – Occasionally there are Publix coupons mixed in with manufacturer coupons in the inserts. Be on the lookout for those. There may also be flyers inside the papers as well, carrying special $ off produce, $ off fresh meat or seafood type coupons. These fresh item coupons are usually limited to the Florida area. Always look through your paper to make sure you don’t miss anything!

 Competitor Coupons – Many Publix stores accept store coupons from competitors such as Target, Kroger, Ingles, Whole Foods, Winn Dixie, Food Lion, SweetBay, and others. It’s up to the individual store as to which competitor coupons (if any)  they will honor.  These may be different for each individual store so ask for a list from customer service or look for the list of competitors posted on the outside of the store.  Keep in mind that they only accept one store coupon per item so they would accept either a Publix coupon or a Competitor coupon on a item and not both. Competitor coupons may be printed from their websites if they have them available or they can be found in mailers and as a bonus in your newspaper.

Competitor Coupons for $$ off a group of items – Coupons for an amount off of  a group of items (example: $5 off of $15 purchase of hair products, $10 off when you buy $20 in cleaning items) will be considered a dollars-off-total-purchase coupon for coupon policy purposes. This means that it does not attach to the specific items so you may use a store or competitor coupon on those items in addition to this coupon. The downside is that you cannot use an additional $ off total competitor coupon (example $5/$50 purchase). You may, however, use a $ off total purchase PUBLIX coupon provided you meet the requirements of each purchase amount separately. (see Dollars-off-total-order section below)

Competitor Coupons for Store Brands – A nice little perk that Publix offers is the acceptance of competitor store brand coupons for their own Publix brand items. If you find coupons for one of the stores listed competitors that are for that competitors own brand, feel free to use it on the equivalent Publix brand! Publix considers this an opportunity to invite you to try their brand! This is addressed in the Publix coupon policy Q&A online:

Q: Will Publix accept a competitor’s coupon for a private label item?

A: Yes. We’re happy to accept a coupon for a competitor’s private label product because it’s a chance to introduce you to our terrific Publix brand.


DOLLARS-OFF-TOTAL-ORDER COUPONS

These coupons are not like the coupons for specific items. If you have a coupon to get an amount off when you purchase a certain required amount of groceries, that coupon can be used in addition to the one store and one manufacturer coupon per item rule. Publix will allow one Publix dollars off total coupon AND one competitor dollars off total coupon per day and can be used in the same transaction provided you have met the requirement for both coupons combined. For example if the Publix coupon is $5 when you purchase $50 in groceries and the competitor coupon is $5 off when you purchase $30, then you must purchase at least $80 (before coupons) in order to use them both. Please note that competitor coupons for dollars off a grouping of items is considered to be the same as a dollars off total coupon so no other competitor dollars off total coupon can be used. (see the competitor coupon section above). Publix will allow an additional gas card coupon to be used along with the dollars off total coupon during those offers, but requires the additional purchase requirement to be met in addition to the dollars off coupon.

PUBLIX DIGITAL COUPONS

Publix has digital coupons that, once you create an account, you can select for use. These are tied to your listed phone number on your account. When you check out, you type in your phone number and the digital coupons you have loaded that apply should be credited toward your total.  These are single use coupons so if you buy 3 items, you will not get triple the value of that digital coupon. The single amount of that coupon will apply.  The digital coupons are manufacturer coupons, do not double and cannot be stacked with an additional paper manufacturer coupon. (In my opinion, these are a last resort if there are no other manufacturer coupons available to use).

UPROMISE

Publix couponing rules are completely separate from this program. This is in addition to any store and manufacturer coupons you may use at the time of your transaction. Upromise is a savings program that you can sign up for and save money with many companies that you shop at and use every day. One of the many benefits is the ecoupons that are available each month.  These are available to download to whatever store cards you have.  Since Publix does not use an official store card, they have a Upromise card that you can get from the customer service desk.  Once you have signed up, you can register your card and load the ecoupons.  Then simply scan the card at check out.  These coupons do not reduce your out of pocket at the time of checkout but they do add to your Upromise account total.  Once you have accumulated the minimum savings amount you can then request a check or set it up to go to a savings account.  This does not count as a coupon at checkout so you can still use a store and manufacturer coupon!  Learn more about Upromise here .  Membership is free so if you get some perks it’s just icing!


Using coupons on the BOGO sale

No matter what region you’re in, Publix accepts a coupon for both items in their BOGO sales. There are, however, some differences between regions. For most states,  Publix treats their buy one get one sales as each item being half price so you can actually purchase just one item for half price if you wanted to. (referred to as half price bogo) In Florida area stores, the BOGO sale depends on the purchase of two items, one full price and the other free. (referred to as true bogo) If you are looking for help using a bxgx coupon with a bxgx sale, we have a reference chart that may help.

Half Price BOGO (most areas except FL) ~The products ring up as half the original price so you don’t need to get both items or an even number of items to benefit. (It’s really a half price sale!)  Since these are actually treated as two half priced items, you can buy just 1 and use 1 manufacturer coupon AND  1 store coupon to get the deal on one item.

Example 1:

Buy (1) Hunts Ketchup regularly priced @ $3.00 on BOGO sale would ring up @ $1.50

Use a $1.00 off 1 manufacturer coupon and $0.50 store coupon = 1 Free ketchup!

Example 2:

Buy 2 Hunts Ketchup regularly priced @ $3.00 on BOGO sale would ring up @ $1.50 each = $3.00

Use (1) b1g1 manufacturer coupon which would take off  only $1.50  = Pay $1.50 for two  (you could use 2 store coupons here if you had them as well)  In the land of half price BOGO sales, a coupon for b1g1 is only going to give the half price credit.. the price it rings up for. Using a bogo coupon on a bogo sale in this example does NOT give you two free items as it does in true bogo land (FL) as shown below.


True BOGO (Florida Region) ~ Florida Publix stores have true BOGO sales.  In other words, you must buy two items to get the deal.  The first rings up as full price and the second is free.  You can still use a manufacture and a store coupon on each item. (yes, even the free one)

Florida Example 1:

Hunts Ketchup regularly priced @ $3.00 on BOGO sale rings up the first one as $3.00 and the second free (Unlike half price bogo areas, buying one will still cost you $3 so you must buy 2 to get the deal.)

Buy 2 and Use 2 $1.00 off 1 manufacturer coupon and 2 $0.50 store coupons  = Free for two Ketchup.  You must get two items (even numbers of items) to get the deal.

Florida Example 2:

Hunts Ketchup regularly priced @ $3.00 on BOGO sale rings up the first one as $3.00 and the second free $0.00

Use (1) b1g1 manufacturer coupon which would take off $3.00 = two Free ketchup. (You could also use a 2 store coupons here if you had some and end up with a credit for more than the price of the item).  In the land of the true BOGO, the coupon for b1g1 gives full credit based on the one that rang up for full price!


 Doubling Coupons

Many Publix stores will double any manufacturer coupon up to $0.50 with no limit on the number of coupons doubled per transaction.  This means that if given the choice of using a coupon for $0.75 off or using a coupon for $0.50 off, you definitely want to choose the smaller value coupon which will give you savings of $1.00 when it’s doubled!  Not all stores double coupons so check with your local Publix. Florida stores do not double. If your store does not double then you would want the higher value coupon!

Publix does not double store coupons.  Even if you are shopping at a Publix that does double manufacturer coupons, the store coupons (Publix or competitor coupons) are only credited for the face value and are never doubled.


Using BOGO Coupons

Publix couponing is not much different than other stores when it comes to how a bogo coupon will work. When using a manufacturer coupon that states buy one get one free, the coupon applies to both items.  This also applies to a coupon that is buy x product get y product free.  If a coupon requires the purchase of more than one item to get the deal, then it applies to all items mentioned on the coupon and cannot be used with another manufacturer coupon.  You can, however, use a store coupon on each of the items. 

The same goes for a store coupon that requires the purchase of more than one item.  If you have a store coupon that states buy x get y free then you are using that coupon for both x and y so no additional store coupon can be used on either of those.  You can use an additional manufacturer coupon on each.

Important to note: As stated in the examples a couple sections above, using a bogo coupon on a bogo SALE in true bogo land will result in two free items. Using a bogo coupon with a bogo SALE in half price bogo land will only reduce the price by one half price amount so you’ll still be paying a quarter of the regular price for the items. Using a bogo coupon on a bogo SALE is allowed. Using two bogo coupons on the same two items is not allowed unless one is a store coupon and one is a manufacturer coupon.


 Take advantage of the Publix Penny Item! (excludes Florida)

Publix Couponing Hints

This is one of the things that is unique about Publix couponing! Publix has a different “mystery item” for $0.01 on the first day of the new sales ad in Alabama, most of Georgia and Tennessee, and South Carolina. To claim the item, you need to shop on the first day of the new sale (Thursdays for me but some areas begin the new sale on Wednesdays). You will need the penny item coupon from the ad found somewhere on that days local newspaper, and you will need to buy (before coupons) a minimum of $10 on your shopping order (excluding money orders,  alcohol, postage stamps, gift cards, and prescriptions). The $10 figure is calculated before deducting any other coupons you have. The item rings up at regular price, then the coupon subtracts all but a penny of the price. This coupon will usually state “Limit one deal per coupon per customer.” Florida stores do not participate in this promotion. To see examples of what items are offered as penny items, look here.


 Rain-checks

If you find that an advertised sale item you’re after is sold out, ask at the customer service desk for a rain-check. Rain-checks will be written to allow you another 30 days to get up to 8 of the items at the sale price.  Should the coupons for the item expire before the rain-check expires, don’t worry!  Publix allows the expired coupons to be used when you use your rain-check as long as they were valid at the time the rain-check was issued. Please note that a raincheck does NOT override any limit stated on the coupons themselves. If you have a raincheck for 8 items but the coupon has a limit of 4, then you can still only use 4 coupons for that transaction.

Publix Couponing Hints

Rain-checks are only issued for out of stock merchandise that is advertised outside the store at a reduced retail.  The recent policy changes clarified this to be any advertised sale price (example, on radio or TV, or in the weekly ad, flyers, mailer, or Internet site) so it includes the advertised sales not only in the weekly ad but also the Grocery Flyer and the Health and Beauty flyer. Rain checks are NOT issued for flyer COUPONS or to simply extend the life of a coupon for a good deal. The items you are requesting a rain check for must be out of stock and be on an advertised sale at a reduced price.

Publix will only issue one rain check per household per item that is out of stock. In other words, you cannot get one for you, your husband, each of your children, etc. You can get multiple rain checks if each is for different items that are sold out but no multiples for the same advertised item. 

We want to stress again that the rain-check does not override the restrictions on the coupons (with the exception of the expiration date).


Publix Gas Card Deals and Gift Card Deals

Fairly often, the weekly ad flyer may include a coupon for the Publix gas card deal. When it’s offered, it’s usually a coupon for $10 off a $50 Gas Card with a purchase of $50 (before gas card and coupons). Please read our post explaining the Publix Gas Card Deal here. Publix policy states that you may use the gas card coupon in addition to another Dollars-off-purchase coupon as long as you meet the requirements of both separately. (example: To use the $10 off gas card wyb $50 in groceries coupon and a $5/$50 purchase coupon you must purchase $100 worth before coupons.

Much less frequent, the gift card deals ( usually Visa gift card offers) are very similar, offering a discount on a Visa gift card with a minimum purchase. The difference is that, unlike the Publix Gas Card deals, the Visa has an activation fee. This means that if you get $10 off a $50 Visa card, you’re really only getting a credit of $5.05 against your purchase because of an activation fee of $4.95 that gets rung up at the time of purchase. It’s still a credit, just not the full $10 as it appears on the surface.

 


Senior Discounts

In some states, if you’re 60 years of age or older and doing some Publix couponing, consider shopping on Wednesdays! Publix offers a 5% discount in  Tennessee, North Carolina and the northern portions of Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia on Wednesdays for customers age 60 and older as a competitor response. Be sure to ask for it when you check out! The discount excludes alcohol, tobacco, lottery, money orders and postages stamps. This is available in Select Stores only and does not include stores in Florida.


Overage/Moneymakers

Occasionally we find coupons or combinations of store + manufacturer coupon that exceed the price of the product. Whether this happens with one coupon or stacked coupons (or both), Publix will give you the value of the coupons. As long as the item matches the wording (brand, product description, size limit, etc) on the coupon then it can be used. Many other company’s stores will adjust the value of the coupons down or not take the coupon at all if it exceeds the purchase price. Publix is very generous in this regard and allows the overage which will apply against the rest of your transaction or be given back to you if you do not have enough of a balance after coupons. Publix will no longer give cash back for any final overage but will give the excess back to you in the form of a gift card. This change was made to their policy as of 10/1/14 that now states “Money due back to the customer at the end of a transaction involving coupons will only be provided on a Publix gift card.”