Monday, October 19, 2009


Shopping at Publix wasn't much of a pleasure for me today.
To start with there wasn't much on sale that I wanted to buy. Mainly syrup and Birdseye. It's not worth the drive for me to go for so few deals, so I plodded through until I found a few other deals. Figured I could get the Krusteaz Panckae mix for my Dad to take to huntcamp and I had some coupons for the Nestle hot chocolate and A&H toothpaste. I forget what else I had. Had I not had to go to Walgreens anyway, I probably would have just skipped this week altogether.

I got to the first Publix to find everything I was looking for sold out. My fault for waiting so late to go shopping.

This Publix considers Walgreens a competitor, and I had talked to the Manager about it before, but since I hadn't tried using any in a long time, I wanted to see if they still would accept RRs. This is the Publix that has a $12 daily max on Competitor coupons. I had asked the Manager about a limit on the RR, and he told me I could use up to the $12 limit.

The girl today told me yes they take them, limit of one per transaction. Ok, I thought, I guess the rules had changed, and went about my shopping.
They didn't have anything I was looking for in stock...I didn't check for the frozen stuff because I still had alot of other places to go before I went home and I hadn't brought my cooler.

The Halloween bag was the Penny item here today.

Otherwise I got bread, refried beans, pinto beans, chili seasoning, and Idaho potatoes. I had also gotten a Maybelline Mascara, but dummy me...what does "Excludes Great Lash mean? Means you don't buy it, silly!

I spent a $7.00 RR, plus $2.46 on my gift card, which I knew was like $2.46 too much, so I figured out what I'd done, and went to the Service Desk for a refund.
The girl refunded my money, minus the coupons I'd used. She handed me the money and the receipt and said Thank you, Come back and see us, and I was like, Ok, but I need my coupons back. She looked at me like I'd grown another head and asked What?
I explained that she'd deducted the amount of my coupons from my refund, so she needed to return my coupons, too.

She still thought I was bamming her, and had a quiet discussion with the Manager about it. He told her to give them back to me.

So. Given that she didn't know she was supposed to return the coupons if she deducts them, I'm not sure if she knew what she was talking about when she told me there was a Limit 1 per Transaction on the RRs. She didn't mention the $12 per day limit at all.

Next I went even farther away to what was my all-time favorite Publix. I've always had good luck and good times there, and I usually don't have any trouble finding what I'm looking for at any of the stores down there, so I assumed there wasn't that many couponers in the area.

I asked at the Service Desk about using RRs there, they also consider Wags a competitor. The girl - not any of the ones that are usually there when I go - took it and looked at it and read it like she had never seen such a thing before, then told me "No, we can't take those". Which of course I'm skeptical of, considering she obviously didn't even know what the thing was, so how can she know if they take them or not?

They were also out of the Krusteaz pancake mix and syrup, and I guess none of the Publix around here stocks the Krusteaz cookie mix. I got the last 2 boxes of Hot Chocolate w/ marshmellows, and they were really low on the Birdseye items. They had vegetables I knew we wouldn't eat, so I got 10 bags of white rice. We like rice.
I found my $1.00/2 Old El Paso coupons, with the peelie for free seasoning, so got all three packets for .07 cents. They had Snuggle in stock, surprisingly. Everyone must have already used up all their coupons last week at FL.
I had $1.00 coupons for the Toaster Strudels my kids like, and got 2 Greenworks for overage to pay for the extra cost of them.
The Sun Crystals I got the last one box of, just trying to spend my coupons before the price goes up.

I had 6 boxes of toothpaste to start with. When I got to the register and started checking out, the man rang up a couple of bags of rice then informed me there was a limit of 2 deals on the buy one get one deals. I said those aren't buy-one-get-one, they're on sale for 50% off. He said well that's the same thing, but rang them up anyway. But then he only let me get 2 of the toothpaste deals.

He 'confided' to me that "convenience store owners" were coming in and loading up cartfulls of stuff at a time, was why they had to do that.
Okay, I get that, but obviously I don't look like my last name is Patel or he wouldn't have told me such a thing, and 3 toothpaste deals instead of 2 is hardly a "cartfull".

But the thing that really, really gets at me with all these stores is how they let you come in, spend your time doing your shopping, then wait until you're at the registers trying to check out before springing new rules on you. That ticks me off worse than anything!
I have shopped at Publix stores before that, when there's a change in policy, for instance requiring the Coupon for the Penny item, they make a note and post it on the front doors as you enter, so you're likely to see it, and know going in what to expect. So I know it's not against the rules to post such information. It can't be that much trouble to do, either.

As much as I love(d) that Publix, and they accepted all competitor coupons, there's no use in me driving an hour down there if I can only get 2 BOGO deals at a time. It makes me so sad :-(


Earthy Mama said...

Oh man- I mean REALLY?? What difference does it make if convenience store owners are buying them anyway? They're paying the same price as everyone else. And I can understand imposing a limit- but two deals? Even if the veg was bogo- My family can eat four bags of frozen vegetables in two days! Maybe one! So that's totally ludicrous! I mean, I have to come shop EVERY day to feed my family vegetables for a week?? Bull. Call corporate. Complain about that one. Think about it- if Earth's Best baby food is bogo- I can only buy four jars? What if I have a $1 off ten jars? I can't get them? A baby can eat two - three jars per meal! So I can only buy enough in one trip to feed a child for half a day???

They're not thinking clearly.

Sorry! :(

Melissa said...

I was going to email, just saying Goodbye, I can no longer shop there.
I figured there are more people complaining about wanting them to do something about it, than not, so I'm probably outnumbered.

They do act like the convenience store owners or whoever the cartloaders are, are doing something wrong, but it's simple free trade, and one would think the managers would be tickled to see their sales numbers ticking up, whomever is buying it.

I think the store managers need to keep an eye out or assign someone to keep up with the sales and coupons deals and know when stuff might sell out so they could order extra.
If we coupon users can find the deals, one would think a grocery store manager, whose whole career is managing a grocery store, could too.

Or otherwise instead of acting like people are committing a crime, they should greet the people and treat them like the valued customers they are, and nicely explain that if they need a large amount of an item then the store would be glad to place a special order for them.

Maybe I'm wrong but, I thought the more a store sells, the more they make? Sells are the point of operating a grocery store?
Grocery stores aren't the government, doling out allotments and trying to make sure everyone gets taken care of.

I know customers get mad when they come to shop and it's all sold out, but again, I think it would behoove a store manager to be able to foresee it, and prepare accordingly.
If items are free or cents after coupon, then they should know to order alot of extra, I would think.

Earthy Mama said...

I have found that even at my store (which is pretty coupon savvy), there is often not enough of the sale items. I HAVE started placing orders for large quantities to make sure that if I want alot of something (and don't want to hassle with a raincheck) I know it's going to be there. But yeah, I mean, if you know your store is going to have a bogo on something - order extra.
Our stores are now on that Automatic Replenishment system, and according to the mgrs I've talked to- it's really screwing them up on sales b/c the system isn't programmed to recognize a sale, so it doesn't order extra to prep- it orders enough to refresh the shelf's current stock.
Something needs to be done to correct it. Hmmm. Maybe I'll send an email about that.

Earthy Mama said...

Oh, and limits are STUPID IMO, because your store will make more money by ordering more and selling it, rather than setting limits on everything. It's just dumb.

Melissa said...

I agree.