Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Publix Coupon Policy: What You Need To Know

Those of us who have been shopping at Publix for years are well aware of the fact that Publix has never had a dedicated coupon policy. Every store was free to come up with their own policy and determine which stores they considered competitors. While I've never seen this as a bad thing, I know many of you have experienced problems with the inconsistencies from store to store, particularly when you live near several Publix stores.

The time has come, for better or for worse, for Publix to issue an official corporate coupon policy. I, for one, am beyond thrilled with this step. There will no longer be confusion as to whether or not a store will accept Internet printables or if two manufacturer coupons can be used on a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) deal. The guess work, my friends, is over.

Here is the actual policy which will take effect starting Monday, May 23rd, at all Publix stores nation-wide:

Now that we know what the policy states, let's break it down into its' most basic components to make sure we're all crystal clear about its' meaning.

-manufacturer coupons (one per item)
-Publix store coupons (originals only - no copies)
-valid Internet printables (this does include Publix store coupons available to print on their website)
-competitor coupons (identified by each Publix store/posted at each store)
-competitor pharmacy coupons for prescriptions only
-coupons for identical merchandise sold at stores

-percent-off-items or percent-off-total-order coupons
-copied coupons of any kind

-acceptance of coupons are subject to any restrictions on a coupon
-each store reserves the right to limit quantities
-manager approval is needed for an individual coupon above $5.00

Specific policy details:
-BOGO deals: each item in a BOGO deal is considered a separate sale. Publix will accept (1) manufacturer coupon and either a Publix or a competitor coupon on the same item.
-dollars-off-total-order coupons are limited to (1) Publix and (1) competitor coupon per order (transaction). The order total must be equal to or greater than the total purchase requirements indicated on the coupon(s) presented.


The area where the policy discusses which coupons Publix stores will accept is pretty straight-forward. In fact, they seem to accept everything except for percent off coupons, which most stores do not take.

I do feel there needs to be a bit of discussion regarding certain points within the policy itself. First, each store will determine who their competitors are and that list will be made available to shoppers of each individual store. Be sure to visit customer service at the stores you shop at and ask for the list of their competitor stores {which might very well vary from one store to another in your area}. Below is an example from my local Publix store:

In terms of limitations, the policy alludes to specific quantity limitations that each store can (and probably will) impose. This is a step that has more than likely been taken to limit the amount of shelf-clearing that goes on in many stores by some couponers. For example, a store might limit the amount of BOGO deals in one order (transaction) to 5 deals (or 10 items total) in order to make sure the shelves remain stocked. Not a bad thing if you ask me.

As mentioned in the BOGO deals section of the policy, Publix will accept one MFR coupon and either one Publix or one competitor coupon on each item (even the free one if you live in the state of Florida). That means you can use up to (4) coupons on every BOGO deal if the specific coupons you are using permit such usage. This will translate into HUGE savings, and is a wonderful part of the new Publix coupon policy.

The last section I'd like to touch upon is the use of dollars-off-total-order coupons. The new policy states we can use (1) dollars-off-total-order Publix and (1) dollars-off-total-order competitor coupon. The usage of both coupons require that the order total be equal or greater to the sum purchase requirements indicated on the coupons used. For example, let's say you have a Publix $3/$30 coupon and a Winn Dixie $5/$50 coupon you'd like to use together. Your order total must equal the sum of the amounts on the coupon. In this case, $30 + $50= $80. You would not be able to use both coupons if your total was $50. Even if one coupon is for an amount off of $30 and the other is for an amount off of $50, the order total must be a sum of both the coupons. Hope this clears that particular section up.

As for whether or not the order total is before or after coupons, the answer is before coupons but after sale prices and BOGO prices. Here's an example: your cashier scans all of your items, including sale items and BOGO deal items. Remember that when BOGO items are scanned, the second item's price comes off the total order amount immediately. If you plan your shopping trips ahead and calculate how much you will spend, remember to take into account that your order total will be after all sale and BOGO deductions. If after all your items are scanned, your order total equals or is greater than the sum of the amounts indicated on the dollars-off-total-order coupons you plan to use, you may then present those coupons, and, subsequently, hand over the rest of your coupons.

Whew! That's certainly a ton of information to digest, but, in my book, it's all good. Let's thank Publix for finally giving us a policy that matches the great customer service and awesome sales they deliver everyday.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new Publix coupon policy, leave a comment here or contact me at

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  1. If I have a BOGO internet coupon for juice and there is a special BOGO for that juice at publix, can you tell me how that works?

  2. Diana, a BOGO special means you purchase one item and the second item is given to you by the store as a promotion of sorts. When you have a BOGO coupon, you are "buying" one item {in your case juice} and the juice the store is giving you free is the item you are purchasing under the requirements of the BOGO coupon. Even though you are not paying for that item because the store is giving it to you for free, it still qualifies as a purchase {the store will "pay" for it instead of you}. This means you will use the coupon to purchase the first item of the store's BOGO offer. In the end, the sore gives you a free item AND the coupon covers the item you would've purchased without out. Both BOGO items are FREE. Hope this clears things up :-)

  3. I have a bogo free coupon. Does that mean I can use four other qualifing coupons?

  4. HI jennifer,

    When you have a BOGO coupon, you can either use the coupon on its own to purchase one item and receive a second like item for free, or you can use a BOGO coupon in conjunction with a BOGO sale and end up getting two products free.

    If you are using a BOGO coupon, you MAY be able to use a cents-off coupon for the item you are purchasing if your store allows that. Make sure to check with customer service or the store manager before you do it. While some stores might not allow you to couple a manufacturer BOGO coupon with a manufacturer cents-off coupon, they will most likely permit you to use a store coupon with the BOGO coupon if a store coupon exists for the items you are purchasing.

    This only applies to the use of a BOGO coupon, though. When talking about a BOGO sale at Publix, you are allowed to use up to four coupons on a BOGO deal (2 manufacturer and either (2) store or (2) competitor coupons {one of each} on both products). Hope this clears things up :-)

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