We are all after a good deal – but do we push the envelope with liberal coupon policies?
I am a typical couponer. I use coupons with the word “any” on trial sizes, I ask the meat department to break packages, and I stack coupons with sales to maximize savings.
Recently, I wonder though, if we go too far. Do we push the envelope with stores to get the deal? Pushing the envelope refers to going beyond boundaries. Recently, Publix has tightened its’ coupon policy, and I wonder if we have brought it upon ourselves, with more to come?
Case in point: Last week there was a coupon in the Publix ad: $3 worth of fruit free on $3 OR MORE when you buy 2 Quaker instant oatmeal. There was a variation of this coupon on a cardboard display, which left out the verbiage $3 OR MORE. The coupon also showed a picture of boxed oatmeal, but did not specify size.
Then it began. Couponers everywhere ran wild to get the deal. 2 boxes of oatmeal and $3 worth of fruit became 2 containers of Medley’s (much cheaper at .99 each) and a banana, stacked with the store coupon and a MQ for the Medley’s, making for a sweet moneymaker. Some used a Target coupon on the Oatmeal in addition to the Publix coupon, claiming the coupon “attached to the fruit only”
I have several issues with this deal:
1. We knew it was meant to be $3 worth of fruit. How? The ad stated it, and the signs in front of the oatmeal and the fruit stated it : $3 OR MORE.
2. In regards to the Target coupon: Publix policy says you can not stack a Target (or any Competitor coupon with a Publix coupon, see official response from Publix here:
I spoke with our Customer Care Specialist and verified that the Publix Coupon Requirements to receive the $3 off Fruit is the purchase of Oatmeal. The Publix coupon attaches itself then to the fruit and to the oatmeal. You could stack a Manufacture Coupon on these items, but not another Publix or Competitor Coupon. We only accept One Manufacture and EITHER one Publix or one competitor coupon per purchase (deal). You are not allowed to stack Publix and Competitor Store coupons on items. You would not be able to use the Publix and Target coupons without additional oatmeal being purchased. I hope this helps clarify
3. The oatmeal Medley’s IMO at the time of this post are not considered instant. If you visit Quaker’s product list you will see the Medley’s listed separately than instant oatmeal. I wrote Quaker to clarify and will update you as an answer becomes available. – Updated to add response from Quaker: “Thanks for reaching out to us about our Quaker Real Medley’s products. The oats are cut up small to reduce cooking time, and are considered instant.”
I am not the Mother Theresa of coupons by any means, nor am I passing judgement on any couponer who partook in this deal. I am just inviting a friendly,respectful conversation.
Some people seemed to see it as free fruit, whoo hoo! Does this kind of thinking hurt all of us, and the liberal coupon policies we enjoy? Does it jeopardize the trust and respect from our stores we seek as couponers?
This is why I chose not to do this deal, because my store’s view of me as a customer, and a couponer was more important the pushing the envelope for some free fruit.
I invite respectful differences of opinion in the comments below.