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Tonight’s $66 Publix Shopping Trip (Yikes! Help a Publix newbie out!)

Publix Shopping Trip

So, I ventured out to do my first real grocery shopping trip in Tennessee tonight. I had Silas and Kaitlynn in tow and had planned to go to Aldi. However, for some reason, I was thinking ALDI was open until 9 p.m.

I waited to go until later so that we’d miss the crazy traffic. Well, we waited a little too long, because by the time we found the ALDI, it was 8:03 and they were standing at the door locking up.

Gulp. On to Plan B.

Which was, um, non-existent. Yep, I’m all organized like that today!

{Word to the wise: Not having a Plan B is never a good plan for grocery shopping!}

Since we were completely out of some essentials and we have guests coming over to our house all afternoon and evening tomorrow, I knew waiting until tomorrow to go to Aldi wasn’t going to work.

So, I got on my phone and starting searching for nearby grocery stores. I was so excited to locate a Publix nearby.

In fact, I let out a little cry of excitement, “Yay! I’ve never been to Publix before!!”

We trooped in, armed with a list and lots of excitement.

And I started looking at the produce section for the produce deals. I kept looking, and looking, and looking.

In fact, I spent so much time looking, that a kind Publix employee came over and asked what he could help me find. I wanted to say, “The good deals. Can you help me find them? Because I’m having a little trouble locating them.”

But alas, I held my tongue. 🙂

Publix Shopping Trip

Here’s what I ended up buying:

Publix Shopping Trip

Ground Turkey — $4.49
Ground Sirloin — $6.31
Frozen Veggies — $1.59
Frozen Veggies — $1.25
Frozen Veggies — $1.25
Spaghetti Sauce — $1.39
Parmesan Cheese – $2.79
Milk — $3.59
Carrots — $0.99
Cheddar Cheese — $2.50
Mozzarella Cheese — $5.99
Eggs x 2 — $2.79 each
Romaine Hearts — $3.49
Apples ($1.69/lb.) — $5.51
Bacon — $5.49
Yogurt — $1.50
Supergreens — $3.69
Pepperoni — $3.69

Tax: $4.47

Total with Tax: $66.06

Clearly, I need some help in learning how to find good deals at Publix as these prices are almost all quite a bit more than I’d typically pay. But I price-compared everything and am pretty sure I got the best deal Publix had to offer tonight.

So, help a girl out: how do you get bargains at Publix? Are there certain items you find regularly to be well-priced at Publix? What sites have the best Publix deals match-ups? I welcome all tips and suggestions.

Also, for those of you in Nashville area: What are your favorite grocery stores to shop at? Should I just stick with ALDI?

Thanks so much for your help — I so appreciate it!

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210 Comments

  • Amy says:

    I have been shopping at Publix for over 17 years. Haven’t found produce deals. Look for the BOGO products and shop the ads. Publix will take coupons from their competition as well as manufacturer coupons but I’ve yet to have them give overage.

    • Laura says:

      I agree with Amy. It’s the BOGO deals, stacking coupons, and competitor coupons that brings me to Publix. Meat, produce, milk and bread come from Aldi.

  • Donna Downey says:

    Go to Kroger and sign up for their savings card…..my folks have lived in Nashville for 25 years and Publix has always been overpriced since they came into the market, according to my very thrifty mom.

  • Bettie says:

    Publix has great BOGO deals and is very coupon friendly, but their everyday prices can be a little much. Also you may find that grocery prices in general are more in TN than in Kansas. I know our grocery prices in FL over all are higher than many mid Western states by comparing my prices with family in other states. I wish we had an Aldi so I could experience shopping there. I read so many blogs that tell about wonderful deals there.

    • Ashley P says:

      Depending on where you live, Florida DOES have ALDI’s now! They are few and far between, and they aren’t exactly advertised, but you can check out Aldi’s website to see if there’s one near you. I know they now have a handful in the Broward County area, and I love shopping there!

  • Ashley says:

    Southern Savers (http://www.southernsavers.com) has great Publix deal match-ups!

  • Christina says:

    Try iheartpublix.com

  • maya johnson says:

    I used to (we moved and there is no aldi here) buy all my main staples in aldi and sometimes go to publix and see what their bogo deals were. Now having just Walmart and Safeway, I really miss aldi and our wallet took quite a hit.

  • Michelle says:

    Our Wal Marts in Florida will match the Publix BOGO deals, at the Wal Mart Prices. I match those with a coupon for the best prices. Not sure if they match the BOGO in other states, but check with your local Wal Mart and see.

  • Carla says:

    We live in Nashville and Publix is not the place to go for produce or meat deals in my opinion. They do have good BOGO deals though. We shop there a lot because it’s right next to our neighborhood so the convenience factor wins out.

  • Christina Stanley says:

    The websites iheartpublix.com and southernsavers.com are both good for finding deals at publix.

  • lisa says:

    I love publix. Check out iheartpublix.com and southernsavers.com. Publix is Great for bogos and they stack store and mfg qs. Without coupons they are not cheap. I shop publix sales with coupons. I shop aldi produce. Next week (thurs) here is súper cheap breyers with coupon stack. The Front of your store should list competitors coupons. If you are lucky they will take target qs and there are tons of bargains them. And the staff is súper helpful/ cserv focused

  • Abby says:

    Southernsavers.com has the best coupon match-ups for Publix. I live in Nashville, and sometimes the prices are a little different than what is posted on Southernsavers, but usually it’s for the better. The BOGO deals are what I typically go there for, and sometimes there are some great store coupons too! Jenny from Southernsavers has a whole video about couponing at Publix that you might find helpful!

    Also, as far as I know, Kroger still doubles coupons in the Nashville area. And they have better meat deals. I definitely go to Publix and Kroger for sale items, but I tend to shop at Aldi for our main staples and produce, much like you seem to on a normal week.

    • Jennifer Brown says:

      If im comparing prices on southernsavers, I know that I will have to add about 20% for the real price of my Publix stores. Crazy how different priced areas are.

  • Joy says:

    southernsavers.com is the way to find the deals at Publix 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    Publix has never really been a grocery store that I’ve gone to for good deals. Kroger has much better sale items and manager discounts. Plus, the Krogers I’ve been to have always had good quality fresh produce.

  • Megan says:

    Unfortunately, there aren’t very many produce deals at Publix. 🙁 I have had to learn to buy products I don’t really need that give you overage with sales/coupons to use the overage to buy produce with it just to keep our grocery bill down. 🙁 If you have a Kroger nearby (we don’t and wish we did), get the card and actuate the savingstar ecoupom for the healthy offer of the week to help cut down some of the bill. This week it’s 20% off apples. It’s still some savings 🙂

  • Megan says:

    Unfortunately, there aren’t very many produce deals at Publix. 🙁 I have had to learn to buy products I don’t really need that give you overage with sales/coupons to use the overage to buy produce with it just to keep our grocery bill down. 🙁 If you have a Kroger nearby (we don’t and wish we did), get the card and actuate the savingstar ecoupom for the healthy offer of the week to help cut down some of the bill. This week it’s 20% off apples. It’s still some savings 🙂

  • Jen says:

    We don’t have much to choose from where we live. So those prices are pretty much normal. Wish there was an Aldi’s here.

  • Elise says:

    Check the websites listed for deals. Also, watch the sales. Sometimes, I buy name brands BOGO cheaper than the store brand. Also, the ad changes on Wednesday. There will be a penny item tomorrow. There are store coupons and in store flyers at either the door or at customer service. They also have digital coupons. The service at my Publix is wonderful!

  • Cristina says:

    As others have mentioned, publix is only good for the bogo deals and cake. ☺ I recently learned about Walmart price matching with publix.

  • lea ann lund says:

    publix rarely has any good deals, except their weekly BOGO. their produce is a bit fresher on average but you pay for it. i live in Nashville and stick to Kroger and Aldi. and you should definitely check out Trader Joe’s for affordable organic!

    • Jennifer Brown says:

      Trader Joes is great. Mine is about an hr and 15 minutes away or I would shop there more regularly.

  • Leigh says:

    I have to be honest, I was especially excited for your move to Nashville so I can really get a grasp on how you shop with our stores. I shop at Publix and at Whole Foods for things I can’t find other places (my child is highly allergic to many foods) but my main store is Super Target which has a full grocery section so I buy meat and other items there. Ours has also started carrying a lot of gluten free foods at cheaper prices than I have been paying elsewhere. I don’t shop Aldi as I have to be very brand loyal to avoid certain allergens. I do like Food Lion produce as well. I am excited to hear more about your shopping trips and hopefully learn where I can find some good deals in Nashville!

  • Jill says:

    I am a Publix newbie myself. I always go to Aldi first and then either Kroger or Publix for the rest. The BOGO deals aat Publix are great when you can find them on the produce you want. It may be pricier, but their amazing customer service and cleanliness of the store keeps me going back.

  • Liz says:

    Not sure if you have one in the area but Save-A-Lot (savealot.com) is great for staple items and some brand name stuff. PLUS, they take coupons and often have insane markdowns. Recently got a 4pk of double roll Charmin for $1.20

    Hope that helps! My heart goes out to you for sure. I moved 150 miles from home and it took me a few weeks to get adjusted to grocery shopping in a new area. Keep plugging along, you’re doing great! Remember: even a small bit of forward motion is still forward motion. I heard some wise woman say that. 😉

  • Sheryl says:

    I live in Alabama. We have had our Publix just over a year I guess. I strictly shop the ads. I generally save 1/3 of what i spend. So spend $20 save $10. Sometimes the packaged greens are a great deal. Where I save the most is stacking coupons on BOGOS. Cereal is most frequent score. They sell their store brand yogurt for $.35-.45 a cup once a month.

  • Carol O. says:

    Aldi has AWESOME produce prices, that is the place for produce. However, I also recommend Kroger because they mark their stuff down ALL the TIME. I buy only marked down stuff from Kroger unless I need a specific item for a recipe. That will help keep your produce costs down.

  • Mandi says:

    Oh, the fun of living in a new place. My husband and I used to move every three months for his job. It was always a process to find the right grocery stores. When we moved to Alaska we were in major sticker shock… we were at Safeway and a bag of potatoes were near $10. Then we discovered Fred Meyer which was part of Kroger…. I loved that store. They even had a play area you could drop your kid off to be babysat!!! I didn’t have a kid at the time, but wow! Good luck!

  • Martina says:

    We lived around here for about 8 years now, and I always found Publix overpriced a little. We now mostly shop at Aldi and Sam’s Club.

  • Letty says:

    While I don’t have advice on getting good deals at Publix, I have to tell you: they make the best sub sandwiches!! Whenever we travel to a southern state we always stop at a Publix to get subs. They make them for you at the Deli counter. I recommend the Ultimate, and the Publix brand meat is just as good as the Boar’s Head. Ask for their freshest bread, though, that does make a difference!

  • J. Johnson says:

    HUGE Pbx fan here. As others have said, the BOGOs are where you really save. Our Pbx still doubles ALL coups $.50 or less and will take competitors coups as well. You can combine a store and manufacturers coup on any item for increased savings. And you can always get rainchecks if an item sells out. With all the Pbx coupon books that are mailed out or available in store it’s easy to save more than you spend. When we need extra help with deals, iheartpublix is a go to page for us. New add will be out tomorrow. Hope your next trip goes a lot better!!

  • Tammie says:

    Publix has some great deals when you use the BOGO and stack coupons , but other than that it is just not an everyday shopping type store unless you have deep pockets or require very particular foods, but even that is rare mist stores carry the same or similar. I try to do my stock ups at Aldi which has great produce. Or atleast the one I go to in Hendesonville does. Northeast of Nashville about 25 minutes. Other weekly shopping I use the Kroger app on my phone to load coupons and build my list. My neighbor makes a trip every few weeks to Harris Teeter also and always brings back great deals. I’m just not that dedicated to couponing to get the deals that she gets ! Lol! So I get them from her!

  • Kristi says:

    I also recommend southernsavers.com. Jenny will post the deals for Publix, Kroger, Aldi and more. She will also put coupon match-ups and let you know when an item is at it’s lowest price. I do love our Publix for their great coupon policy and the BOGOs. I shop Aldi for produce sales, but we do not have a Kroger in our area.

  • Kirby Pettigrew says:

    I usually end up buying produce at Aldi, can’t beat their prices. At Publix I always start with the match up from Southern Savers. The best thing about Publix is their BOGO and price matching. My Publix in West Nashville accepts Whole Foods, Target, Harris Teeter, and Kroger coupons. Paring man. and store coupons along with a BOGO sale is the way to get out of Publix on a budget. Right as you head inside check out their store display and get their store ads with coupons (there are usually 2- a food related one and a healthcare related one). Good luck! Welcome to Nashville!

  • Rachel Estarellas says:

    If you strategically collect Kroger points, you can save a substantial amount on gasoline purchased from Kroger. My parents shop managers specials, and get the Kroger card price (which has each item ring up as less)

  • Diane says:

    I LOVE Publix. First find out which stores your Publix views as competitors. They will honor their coupons. I check both southern savers and iheartpublix when making my list. Iheartpublix puts out the list on Monday morning so I have a couple of days to think about my menus. Southern savers Publix list usually shows up sometime in the afternoon on Monday. Sign up for Publix Best Meals Happen at Home email coupons and Publix digital coupons. Ask customer service where they display their printed store coupons. Publix also has a Love to Shop Here, Love to Save Here multi week sale. Around 12 items will be on sale for the 3 week cycle. These are only listed in the ad the first week of the cycle. And finally through recycle bank I am able to use 2 5/25 competitors coupons each month. I hope you enjoy Publix as much as I do.

  • Diana says:

    I like other use to use iheartpublix.com or
    southern savers.com hut have since found an awesome site called : Mycouponexpert.com
    she is awesome!! I shop only the deals at publix and do the rest of my shopping at Walmart. Due to lack of choices. Hope you get it sorted out.

  • Jennifer C says:

    I am a HUGE Publix fan and since we moved to Maryland a little over a year ago, I think I miss Publix more than our friends and family. LOL

    The absolute best site for Publix deals is IHeartPublix.com. Definitely check it out and keep at it at Publix. They are amazing. Most Publix stores take competitor coupons, so you can stack a manufacturer coupon with even a Target coupon. Imagine the savings on a BOGO!

    I am jealous and yet excited that you get to experience the wonders of Publix. It is the best grocery store I have been to and I’ve lived all over the country from Florida to Seattle, WA to Maryland now.

  • Jennifer says:

    Gee, those resemble Maine grocery prices, meaning not good, except for the milk. Milk has been over $4 a gallon here for years.

    Do you have a Super Target with a grocery section? I’ve been getting good deals there–probably not as good as Aldi’s but we don’t have one of those. But the Target is open way past 8!

    • Kristin says:

      Wow, those milk prices really floor me! I live in Central New York dairy country, and the highest price I have seen for a gallon of non-organic milk is $2.39. Your produce prices are generally much lower though down south (except for apples – this is apple country too!). I am always amazed at the dramatic price differences. Good luck navigating your new shopping options!

  • Amy says:

    I only skimmed the previous comments, but I think you got lots of great tips. I only shop Publix periodically for BOGOs because their regular prices are higher than anyone else’s in our area. I might buy produce there once or twice a year. Aldi will beat them every time and most of the time Bi Lo, but I don’t know if they have those in Nashville. Also keep in mind as one previous poster said that food prices are just generally higher in TN as is the tax on food. That 7.25% really adds up quickly here in Chattanooga! We also have some dairy regulations in our region that make those prices higher and some coupons void (sad face). Hang in there – you will get in the swing of things!

  • Joy says:

    http://www.truecouponing.com posts the Publix ad for the upcoming week every Monday morning. They match up the coupons with the sales. If an item is BOGO, you may use a coupon on each item. You may also stack store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons, or use manufacturer’s with competitor’s coupons. They are cyclical in their sales, so learning the cycle is helpful. We live in FL, shop primarily at Publix (and Aldi), and spend less than $300.00 per month to feed our family of 7. Hope this helps some :-).

  • karen says:

    i only shop for bogos at publix and do everything else at walmart/super target/Sam’s!
    i think you will find prices much higher where you are now than where you were in Kansas. To be honest when I’d read what you were spending in Kansas I wondered if you were making things up! Most big metro areas come with bigger prices. Now you get a chance to see the challenges most of us face with food budgets!
    You never really explained why you moved?

  • kristen says:

    I am usually able to walk out if publix w some good deals on their bogo items. Getting the fliers at the front really helps then stacking those qs w manu qs. Ali is def the first place I stop to get essesntials. Publix for sales, bilo for meat. Good luck learning publix. It’s one of my fave grocery stores to coupon at. Iheartpublix.com and southernsavers.com have great match ups.

  • karen says:

    One thing i forgot to say…if you buy the publix chicken tenders sub you will get enough chicken tenders for two people! my daughter and i do that splurge sometimes when she is home on weekends (she just graduated college) We split a large chicken tender sub and even split it’s too much food for one meal!
    I never buy subs anywhere but at the publix deli counter because they make THE BEST Subs. I’m Italian so you can trust this recommendation! We Italians know our subs! 🙂 🙂

  • Lee Privette says:

    With publix you really have to shop their ad. They do offer store coupon and manufacturer coupons that will stack, and if you buy a bogo item you can use two coupons, and that can really add up. I buy whatever meat is on sale, but I have never seen produce at the prices you posted from Kansas. The benefits to publix are the cleanliness and friendliness. :). For us the next closest store is 30 mins away. I would definitely use southernsavers to make the most of your trip 🙂

  • heather says:

    Publix is not the best place for produce/meats. They are usually higher on those things. But they do have great bogo sales, and they take competitor coupons as well. If you look at the front of the store where you enter, there is a rack with their coupon booklets as well. You can match the Publix coupons with your other coupons to really save there.

  • Jenn says:

    Publix bogo items are great. They also stack store coupons, take competitor coupons, and manufacturers coupons. Their meat and produce is higher but always good. If you need something special for a recipe they will have it. They also have a gluten free and organic section to rival Whole Foods. Swing by the Deli and get all your kids a free cookie and you a sample of their bread. On Wednesday they have their penny item! Go to southernsavers.com. She has videos on how to get the best deals.

    Your prices will probably be higher than in Kansas. When we moved from the midwest to the south our grocery budget HAD to go up.

  • Lana says:

    I only do the BOGOs that have coupon matches at Publix plus the other few good deals there. Southern Savers and I Heart Publix are your best resources for finding the deals there. There are lots of good deals there once you learn the ropes. I pretty much buy our produce, meat and milk at Sam’s Club. Then I supplement with the deals at Publix and Bi-Lo (don’t know if you have that one). I do still shop Aldi for some things but the produce from Sam’s keeps twice as long and is so much better and I have never been a fan of Aldi meat.

  • Teri says:

    First, you should know Publix is the friendliest place you will ever shop! The employees bend over backwards every time I’m there, asking if they can find something for me, take my cart to my car for me, etc. They compliment my baby every time I’m there too, lol. 🙂

    Like everyone else has said, Publix has great BOGOs. Also, they take competitor coupons. You can use a store coupon (Target, Kroger, etc.) + a manf coupon. They also double coupons (up to $.50 coupons double) – Kroger has ceased to double coupons.

  • Lauren says:

    I’d say skip Publix and go to Kroger. Or hit Aldi, then Kroger. The only thing I prefer at Publix is their cakes. 🙂

  • Crissy says:

    Aldi in Franklin is one of the best. They usually get their new stuff on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Happy shopping!

  • Ashley P says:

    Publix will always be more expensive. In South Florida, they’re pretty much the only game in town, unless you want to go to Super Walmart (which doesn’t have much produce-wise) so you either pay their prices, or do without. It sucks because they basically have a monopoly down here. There’s a handful of Winn-Dixies, 2 ALDIs, and maybe one Albertson’s left down here.

    That being said, I do know Publix will do price matching to certain stores if you have the flyer. And they take coupons for each item, even on BOGO deals. So there’s that.

    But…BUT! I will say this. If you’re willing to pay the price, you CANNOT beat their fried chicken. It is literally the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Better than KFC. Better even than my husband makes. DELISH!

  • Robin says:

    I love Publix! I basically shop at Publix for the bogo deals. I would recommend http://www.southernsavers.com to help with the best deals at Publix and coupon match-ups.

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