How to shop at Publix and maximize your savings

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Since I have started using coupons, I have saved my family over 50% on groceries. I learned how to use them more efficiently and with better results.  I love shopping at Publix and find I do most of my food shopping there. Below I have listed the top 7 tips and my experience with them. I have the Publix coupon match ups usually done be Tuesday. Check the website where I’ll post my Publix deals for the week, so you can see the savings for yourself.

1) Publix accepts competitor coupons. Store Managers set the rules so be sure to check with Customer Service on what your store considers a competitor.You may need to drive past your regular Publix, and shop at another one down the road. Why? Because each store accepts different competitor coupons.  I choose to drive a few miles out of my way to save my family money. It’s wonderful when you can use a $5 off your total purchase coupon.

2) Publix will accept 1 manufacturer coupon and 1 store coupon (Publix or Competitor) per item. This is also allowed for BOGO items, so stack 4 coupons and you can maximize your savings. I have walked away with free food after stacking coupons and the best is when there is an additional mail in rebate. When I do these I tell my husband that “they paid me to buy these!” It’s enjoyable to eat something you know was FREE!

3) For items that are listed on sale when you purchase multiples, for example: 5 for $5 or 2 for $4, you only need to buy 1 to get the sale price.
Sometimes I only need 1 package of Nestle brownie bites. (Shhh don’t tell anyone.) For Example, they were on sale 2 for $5. I purchased 1 at $2.50, used $1 off MFR Q and .55 off Food Lion Q, and got it for .95.

4) Publix Checkout promise states that if an item scans at a higher price than the shelf or advertised price, the customer with get one of that item for free. Go here to read more. I always check out the clearance rack when I shop. Recently I picked up a package of scotch tape with a price tag of 2 for $5. I picked up one, and it rang up $4.99 so the cashier gave it to me for free.

5) Make sure to ask for a rain check for items that are on sale, but the store is out of. You can come back later, get the item at the sale price and still use your coupons.Crystal light was BOGO one week but they were out of the flavor we use. I got a rain check and as luck would have it, a coupon came out before I redeemed it. I got the sale price and was able to use the coupon.

6) Take advantage of the large register screen at checkout. Verify prices and make sure all your coupons are scanned correctly.
I used a $5 off $50 Winn Dixie purchase coupon.  I was watching the screen and noticed the cashier ADDED $5 instead of subtracting it. I caught it right away and she was able to fix it. Cashiers have to manually enter competitor coupons so make sure they don’t make a mistake. Always check your receipt before you leave the store so you can catch any mistakes and have them fixed right away.

7) Some stores take expired manufacturer coupons for items you are using a raincheck on.
 But be sure to let them know when they are writing your raincheck, that you’ll be using coupons that might be expired.  This way they can note that on the raincheck In December I had a coupon for summer sausage, but my Publix was out of it every time I went in. Customer Service ordered it for me but I let them know I had a coupon expiring soon. They told me it wouldn’t be a problem because they would note it on the raincheck.

Please check with your store if you have any questions. Publix will be reimbursed for manufacturer coupons but they will not for competitor coupons. They accept these as a courtesy to their customers so please do not abuse it.  Sign up for Publix Newsletters and Magazines to receive coupons in the mail.

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  1. Leslie Snyder says

    Thanks to you I have been saving a lot of money and doing pretty good using 2 coupons on the bogo deals at Publix. I feel like it was a blessing that I randomly met you at Target that day. (in the Wii section :) I was trying not to spend extra money this week and I remembered that on Southern Savers it said you do not have to buy both two get one free, but I didn’t check the fine print and now I see that it excludes FL. Today was the last day on the bogo sales and I bought the Shick disposable razors, mac and cheese and Fast fixin chicken nuggets and didn’t get a second on free. Had my two boys with me and didn’t get to watch closely. These rang up full price on my receipt, so If I bring back my reciept and explain what I was thinking do you think they will give me the items free? They were actually out of the chicken nuggets and I had an extra coupon, but didn’t get a rain check. I also have an extra razor coupon that I could have used towards the bogo. The mac and cheese was an accident on my part. I will prob. call Publix in the morning to see what they say before I go there.

    • Karen says

      That’s funny because I still feel weird handing people my card in public. Must have just been meant to be! Glad you are saving $. I’m very surprised the cashier didn’t say something to you about those items being BOGO. You can always ask them, but it probably depends on your Publix. I’ve picked up the wrong size item before but I noticed it on the way out and they exchanged it for me. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Leslie Snyder says

    Well I’m glad you did too! I thought about that later,why the cashier didn’t say anything, but like you said it depends on who you get. I called before I went and they said I could just get the items that I needed or a rain check. Everything worked out great! Then I went shopping for this weeks deals and I had my best trip yet! I spent $35 and saved $60! FYI the cashier said I couldn’t use a save a lot coupon but I went to customer service to double check and they said yes I could and they gave me the savings back from the coupon. It was a $5.00 off coupon so really I spent $30. So it does depend on you cashier, but they can be wrong soometimes too.

  3. Lauren says

    Is there a shortcut to comparing and seeing what you have in your coupon stock each week to go along with what is on sale at Publix? Do you recommend the coupon organizers? I get so exasperrated with this whole process that sometimes I just go to the store and want to shoot myself later when I have to resort to cc to pay food or gas! help please!

    Lauren in FL
    P.S. I called my Publix and they DO accept competitor coupons. Hallelujah

    • Karen says

      Hi Lauren,
      It can all be a bit overwhelming in the beginning but once you get used to it you’ll love the results. There are 2 websites I recommend that match up coupons with the weekly Publix sales. and
      I recommend the Couponizer for organizing, but I just use a regular 3 ring binder. I have a Boot Camp Series going on right now that might help you get going. Check it out here:
      Please mail me if you have any questions. I’d love to help.

  4. Nicole says

    I just heard from friend that you can cash in your $5 off Publix coupons that come in the mail. He visits a Publix in the Baymeadows area and is a bachelor. He never ever spends more than $10 at a time and made that complaint to the cashier. He immediately walked over to the customer service center and they gave him $5 for his coupon. Thought this was worthy of sharing.

  5. amber says

    You guys are so right about the cashiers. Sometimes I get them and they’ll be like wow this a great coupon where’d you get it, sometimes they act like your taking something away from them to use a darn coupon I dont get it. The other day at Walgreens I had the lady tell me I just dont understand the since in using these coupons and it really is irritating when you have more than one transaction blahblah . Why there was no one in line I only had two sepaarate transactions but she said the lady earlier had 6 but what does it matter???

  6. Cassi Nolen says

    On the Publix (FL) BOGO can you use a BOGO coupon on top of the sale and get both for free? I heard that both items will be free but I just wasn’t sure…

        • Karen says

          Can you be more specific Tabitha. Do you mean, where do you get BOGO coupons? If so, they are sometimes printables, and sometimes they come in the Sunday paper, it just depends on where the manufacturer releases them.

  7. judi w says

    Could you tell me what publix you shop at in jacksonville that accepts cvs and wags coupons? I haven’t found any that take them. Do they list it on the card in the front of the store of what competitors they take?

  8. Trecia says

    I’m new to couponing and I love to shop at Publix. My Publix doubles manufacturer coupons up to .50 cents. I find that I work out alot better with .50 off coupons because that totals 1.00 off : )

  9. Renee says

    I was in your class on 12/10 and a learned a lot of very helpful information (Thank you for that). I am preparing to try my hand at stacking coupons for this weeks Publix deals. To maximize my savings, should I give the cashier the store coupons and then the manf. coupons? How does Publix handle overages? I would appreciate any feedback on this. Thanks. :)

    • Karen says

      I’m sorry I am just now catching up on emails and comments Renee. Publix allows overages so if item is $1.00 but coupon is $1.50, you get the full value of the coupon. If you have any $5 off total purchase coupons, be sure to hand those over first, before all your other coupons! Have fun!

  10. Ashley says

    New at this….but I tried to do the Totino’s stacking this week at Publix(buy 6 pizzas get free Pillsbury cookie dough). I had 3 different manufacturer coupons(the ones listed on this site and several other-$1/4, $1/5, $1.10/5) and the Publix coupon for the cookie dough. They would only let me use 1 of the manufacturer coupons. They said I would have to buy 14 pizzas to use the coupons. My brain hurts pretty bad today…soooo…did I misunderstand all of these websites or?

    • Karen says

      Yes Ashley, in the coupon match-ups that are done, all the coupons listed are those that are currently available, it doesn’t mean you can use all of the ones listed. YOu would want to use what best fits your scenario, the higher value or just the one you have on hand that expires soon. So for a coupon that says this:
      $1.10/5 Totino’s Crisp Crust Party Pizza Products printable
      It’s $1.10 off the purchase of 5. So you’d need to buy 5 in order to qualify to use that coupon. Does that make sense?

  11. Ashley says

    Yep. I had brain surgery last year and I swear sometimes my brain feels like its been scrambled. Today was one of those days and I shouldn’t have gone shopping! Thanks so much for the help!


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