6 Secrets Publix Doesn't Want You to Know
From the best time to shop to the scoop on sales, these tips guarantee a good supermarket visit.
If you live in the Southeast, it's more than likely you've shopped at Publix before. The grocery chain is known for its low prices, good deals, and delicious sandwiches. But even if you're a lifelong Publix shopper, there are probably some things you don't know. Read on to discover the biggest secrets from retail experts and Publix employees, from the best coupon hacks to how to perfect your go-to sub.
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This is the best day and time to shop.
A general rule of thumb is to head to Publix first thing in the morning. "Try to shop right when your local store opens as that's when it's likely to have little to no traffic, which will make for a smoother shopping experience," Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with DealNews.com, shares. "Additionally, shelves are typically restocked overnight, so you're less likely to see bare spaces and items sold out completely."
Ramhold also recommends getting groceries on Tuesdays, since Publix releases its new weekly ads on Wednesdays and reduces unsold items the day before. She tells shoppers to look for "a small display" with the clearance items to find "deep discounts on a variety of items, including non-perishable foods and even health and beauty products."
As for the worst time to shop, that would be the weekends when people are "either stocking up for the week ahead or opting for quick and easy meals from the deli area rather than having to cook from scratch," Ramhold says.
Join the membership program for great deals.
Make sure to sign up for Club Publix if you're a frequent shopper. "This is a free loyalty program you can join that'll give you access to digital coupons tailored to you for extra savings, as well as perks like early access to the weekly ad so you can see what's coming before it's officially released," Ramhold explains. "It also rewards you with things like birthday gifts—for example, last year I received an offer for savings on cupcakes, and this year I received a coupon for a free bar cake. Those things typically are priced around $7 or $8 and can feed a small group, so this alone is worth signing up."
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Check competitors' coupons.
Another secret to getting the best possible prices is checking to see if your store allows you to use competitors' coupons. Personal finance expert and CEO of Emparion Paul Sundin says this rule only applies to certain locations, but those that participate "accept coupons from Target, Walmart, and Kroger, as long as the competitor has a meat and deli department." Before starting to clip coupons, Sundin says it's best to check your location's policies.
Make sure to check out the "BOGO" deals.
In a recent Reddit thread about Publix's "buy one get one" deals, a shopper suspected that the store increased prices ahead of these discounts. However, not everyone agreed, especially due to rising costs caused by inflation.
"Yeah this post is really ill-informed. I do my grocery shopping elsewhere, but first I look at the Publix BOGOs and stock up. Each week I save $30-$60 on staples," user mistaken4strangerz wrote.
But do be aware that there is a limit on how many BOGO items you can buy. Depending on the store, it's typically eight or 10 items per household per day.
And according to one employee with the Reddit username pubroot, "Quantity limits can be enforced by the store manager. Typically we only enforce them when major events happen like hurricanes or COVID or if the customer/business trying to buy a ridiculous amount that completely wipes out our inventory on sale ad items."
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Save time with the Publix app.
The Publix app can save you both money and time. It will let you "make a list of items you need to pick up and tell you what aisle to find them in, which can save you a ton of time during your shopping trips," says Ramhold. At checkout, you can use the app to pay and "scan the QR code and opt to receive digital receipts to cut back on paper and clutter."
Another great perk of the app is being able to order and pay for the famous "Pub sub" sandwiches ahead of time, especially since the deli counter lines at lunchtime can get quite long. "Set your time for pickup, then you can breeze in, pick up your order at the designated spot, and head out," Ramhold says.
You can add anything to your Pub sub.
Speaking of Pub subs, did you know there's a "secret menu" for them? According to a thread on Reddit, you can ask for any items to be added to your sandwich, not just the basics you see behind the counter.
You can technically even bring up something like hummus or guacamole to add to your sandwich. A former Publix employee responded that they "grab some smoked Gouda Mac and cheese from the hot case, and put it on the sub."
"You can bring over any bread from the Bakery or the bread aisle and they will make the sandwich on that bread," another former Publix deli worker explained on TikTok.
It's also a little-known fact that all sandwiches can be made into salads. You can even make a custom salad. "When you order a sandwich you choose 'No bread make it a salad,'" shared a Publix deli employee with the Reddit username yunarose84. "It gets the same amount [of] meat, cheese and veggies and is the same price."