How to Cut Your Publix Grocery Bill in Half

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Shopping for BOGO deals and scanning your receipt for items that ring up wrong under the Publix Promise progam can help cut your Publix grocery bill by 50%.
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Publix calls itself “the place where shopping is a pleasure” because of its emphasis on customer service. But that pleasure often comes along with high prices.

So high, in fact, that I often joke Publix should change its slogan to “the place where shopping makes you a pauper.”

But here’s the thing: There is a simple way to fight back against high prices at Publix, and it doesn’t involve any couponing. Instead, it’s all about changing what you put into your cart.

Using Publix BOGO Sales to Save Big Money

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that I’m not loyal to any one grocery chain and shop at several stores including Kroger, Aldi, Walmart and Publix.

I just go to the store that’s most convenient for me, and that varies.

When I am at Publix, I have a strategy for cutting my grocery bill by 50%. It’s as simple as being flexible with what’s on sale. And as much as possible, I plan meals around Publix’s BOGO items (buy one, get one free).

What Is Publix BOGO and How Does It Work?

In the last few years, Publix has introduced more and more BOGO offers in its stores to offset the effect of eliminating double coupons and doing away with the weekly Penny Item.

Let’s take a look at a real-life example of a Publix BOGO item:

Publix buy one get one free Post Shredded Wheat cereal

While wandering the aisles at my local Publix recently, I stumbled on this breakfast cereal BOGO. Normally, a box of Post Shredded Wheat costs $3.35.

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But when this is a BOGO item, you can either get two boxes for $3.35 or one box for half price — $1.67 in this case.

If you happen to have a coupon for Post Shredded Wheat that week, you can drive the price down even more than 50%. A coupon for 50 cents off would make the price just $1.17. Pretty good, right?

Editor’s note: In Florida and some southern portions of Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia, you must purchase two items to get the Publix BOGO discount. Ask your store for its exact policy.

Where Do You Find Publix BOGOs?

Most Publix BOGOs are in the regular aisles, marked with a sign like the one in the picture above. But Publix tends to cluster BOGO deals in a few other locations:

  • Front of the store
  • End caps on aisles
  • In metal baskets placed in the aisles

Front of the Store

Mt. Olive pickles, Vanity Fair napkins and other Publix BOGO items at the front of the store

End Caps on Aisles

Laundry detergent as a Publix BOGO item placed on end cap of an aisle

Metal Baskets in the Aisles

Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil at a Publix BOGO tiem in the middle of an aisle

When you stick to the BOGOs, you can really rack up the savings. In fact, you’ll cut your Publix grocery bill in half if you make sure the only things that go into your cart are half-price items.

Best of all, this is a strategy that anyone can try out without a lot of planning!

Here’s a Sample of This Week’s Publix BOGOs

Publix BOGOs change each week. In metro Atlanta where I live, Publix introduces new BOGO items every Wednesday. It may be different where you live, so ask a Publix employee if you aren’t sure.

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Here’s a sample of a few items on half-price sale at Publix as of July 15, 2020:

Weekly Publix BOGO specials

  • Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni & Cheese – SAVE UP TO $3.99
  • Siggi’s Icelandic Style Skyr – SAVE UP TO $5.99
  • Lance Crackers – SAVE UP TO $2.76
  • Thomas’ English Muffins – SAVE UP TO $4.49
  • Bertolli Olive Oil – SAVE UP TO $10.99
  • General Mills Cheerios Cereal – SAVE UP TO $5.59

Other products I noted this week on half-price sale included Publix Premium Alaskan Panko Pollock, Quaker Oats, Dannon Greek Yogurt, Back to Nature Granola and Arnold Whole Grains Bread.

Sounds like the makings for a solid week of meals to me! I find this is the easiest way to shop at Publix because it doesn’t involve any coupon clipping or planning. You just buy the BOGOs and save 50% right off the top.

The Publix Promise: Another Way to Trim Your Grocery Bill

Did you know that you can actually get free stuff at Publix if you’re an eagle-eyed shopper? That’s thanks to a Publix store policy called the Publix Promise:

“Our Publix Promise guarantees that if during checkout, the scanned price of an item (excluding alcohol and tobacco products) exceeds the shelf price or advertised price, we will give the customer one of that item free. We will charge the lower price for the remaining items.”

I was in a Publix recently and picked up some grass-fed beef jerky that was marked down. Country Archer Teriyaki Beef Jerky was on sale for $4.99 — $2 off the regular $6.99 price.

Country Archer grass-fed beef jerky items rings up at the wrong price and I got it for free under the Publix Promise program.

For whatever reason, this particular item rang up at $5.99. It’s the first item on my receipt below on the left.

Receipt showing how you can get an item for free under the Publix Promise program if it rings up at the wrong price.

I make it a habit before leaving the store to look over my receipt and make sure everything rings up correctly. (I have a very good memory when it comes to money and prices, so this is pretty easy for me!)

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When I saw that the beef jerky rang up incorrectly, I brought it to the attention of customer service. Because of the Publix Promise, they gave me a full refund on the item and I got to keep the jerky for free! That’s what the receipt on the right shows.

The moral of the story is this: If you really want to rack up the Publix savings, don’t ever leave the store without checking your receipt thoroughly.

I’ve found that even waiting until after you get groceries loaded in your vehicle but before you pull out of the parking lot is too late — because you probably won’t want to go back in the store at that point.

Just make it a priority to take a minute before walking out to check your receipt. I promise, your wallet will thank you!

Final Thought

Saving money at Publix is easy if you follow my two-step strategy: Shop the BOGO sales and check your receipt with the Publix Promise in mind.

Of course, not everyone buys groceries at Publix. But no matter where you shop, you’ll want to check out our story on 22 ways to save money on groceries. It will help put more money back in your pocket!

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