We recently got several great questions e-mailed to us by readers, and I like to approach these questions like my professors always did- if one person asks it, others are likely wondering the same thing. When we get questions like these we always like to share them in case other people are having the same problem- I hope it helps you all! And remember, whenever you have a question feel free to leave a comment under the post or to e-mail us at savingmoneylivinglife at gmail dot com and we will answer it as soon as we can! Thanks, Tina, for sending these in to us! Here were this week’s questions:
1. Does it matter if you give your coupons at the prior to checking out, with each item, or after checking out?
It doesn’t technically matter when you give your coupons, it mostly depends on the cashier. Some of them just want them at the end, some of them want them with each item to check if you have bought it. I find it is easiest (especially when I have a lot of coupons to use) to just say, “Hi, I have a lot of coupons with me- do you want them as you scan the item or at the end?” Usually they will say at the end, but some want them earlier. And it is also important to not just hand the entire stack over at once- they get overwhelmed, get them scattered, and end up not scanning all of them. I usually sound like this: “Here are the 2 for the 2 cereals… (wait till they scan them)… here are the 3 for the 3 oatmeals…etc,etc” and hand them over 2 and 3 at a time for each set of items I bought.
2. When there is a BOGO deal at Publix and you also have a coupon for $1 off when you buy 2 items: Do you have to actually PURCHASE 2 (leave with 4 items) or can you do 1 BOGO and use that coupon (leave with only 2 of that item).
This depends on your state. In Florida, they ring one item up at full price and the second item at $0. In Alabama and other states, they “say” it is a BOGO sale, but they just ring each item up 1/2 off. So in Florida, you have to buy multiples of 2. In Alabama, you can by any number since they all ring up half off. So, in Alabama you can always use a coupon on each item ($1/1 for each), in Florida, it depends on your store. Some will let you use a coupon for each item you “purchase” (even if it rings up for $0), while others will only let you use a coupon on the item ringing up full price. So in that respect, Florida gets jipped. However, if you have a BOGO coupon in Florida you should get both for free- in Alabama we end up getting both items for 75% off since we buy one at half price and get the other half price item for free. So BOGO coupons work out better in Florida than anywhere else! If you have a $1/2 item, that coupon applies for both items and you can only use that one coupon for both items. If you have a $1/1 you can use one for each item because each coupon only covers 1 item.
3. Last, when you have 2 coupons for the same item. ($.50/2 and a $1.00/2) can you use BOTH of them at the same time? It seems like that is what you are doing, however most of the coupons I seem to find say “limit one coupon per purchase”- does that mean you can’t double your coupons?
This depends on the coupons that you have. For Publix (and most other stores) the policy is one manufacturer coupon per item 1 store coupon per item. Store coupons in Publix have the LU# and no barcode. So if you had one manufacturer coupon and one Publix coupon, you could use both for that item. Otherwise, you could only use the one manufacturer coupon per item (or per two items if it is a $1/2). When Publix takes competitor coupons such as Target coupons, that will count as one store coupon, so you can still use a manufacturer coupon with it. However, you have to make sure that you don’t have more coupons than items (which can happen if you are using several store coupon + manufacturer coupon combos) because the register will freak out. You’ll need to grab some filler items that are cheap but will give you the right coupon to product ratio for the register to not spazz out. I usually use bananas or kool-aid packets since they are so cheap. Some people also get the cheap boxed jello or other grocery items that they need and don’t have coupons for.
For coupons that say “limit one coupon per purchase”, I’ve had a lot of conversations with couponers and store managers about this over the past year or so. The general consensus is this: it is telling you that you can use one coupon per item that you have purchased. So, you can use one coupon for each cereal that you buy, or one coupon for each frozen meal that you buy. This is nothing new, it is the basic rule for couponing anyways. The real issue is when you get coupons that state “limit one coupon per customer per transaction”. This literally means, you can use one of these every time you check out. To use more, you can either break up your transactions or see if your store will allow you to just do it all at once- some will to avoid the time hassle of breaking up the transactions. But make sure to ask them, because breaking rules ends up hurting everyone that uses coupons, especially if they feel that customers are using them improperly!
Have any more questions on these topics? Please post below and I will be happy to answer them!