Getting free groceries from Publix, reviewed

This is actually a program that Publix has had going on for a while, and you’ve probably seen it advertised, but if you haven’t taken advantage of it I would recommend that you try.

They have an ad, usually in the store, often in a flyer, sometimes online, called “Buy Theirs – Try Ours!” that are within a certain category – such as, breakfast, laundry, pet food, etc. It will be 3-6 name brand items, shown grouped together, with the corresponding Publix store brand items. The idea is, if you normally get the name brand, go ahead and get it, and you can get the Publix store brand free to try and see if you like it better. At regular price and before coupons, store brands are always priced lower than name brands, so if you do not watch sales and do not do coupons, you can save money by getting the store brands.

I rarely try this promotion because it means that you buy a name brand, which may not be on sale that week, and that you may not have a coupon for at that time. Usually, the name brands they are offering in the “buy theirs…” side of things is not on sale. However, there are some exceptions in which I will try this promotion.

  • If the price of the name brand item plus the free store brand item, minus a manufacturer’s coupon, makes the net total for both items an acceptable low enough amount.
  • If it is not a name-brand item that is so frequently on sale, with so many coupons, that getting the doubled item is a preferable option to just waiting for the next BOGO sale.
  • If it is a stockpile item that I use so frequently, that any price lower than 1/2 price I’ll grab it any chance I get.

This was the case in a few recent sales, so I have a few to try and review.

  1.  Publix Greenwise organic strawberry preserves vs. Smuckers organic preserves. Our family consumes strawberry jelly, jam or preserves actually daily, so this is one of those things that if it is anywhere near half price, I grab it. Normally the “organic” label doesn’t mean much to me in those types of foods, but preserves last longer than jelly, so the smaller jar with the larger price tag was still within the “buy” amount for me. Plus, I had an unusually large coupon for the Smuckers organic – $1.50 off a jar – so that brought the net price of both jars down to within the jelly price range.
  2.  Publix baking mix vs. Bisquick. It is getting towards the time of year that I do more baking, so I’m stocking up. Plus, I had a 50 cent off coupon that doubled for the Bisquick, so it was the same as BOGO minus $1, which worked out price-wise.
  3. Publix ketchup vs. Heinz. Again, we use it, it stores well, and I am not particularly brand loyal, so BOGO minus the manufacturer’s coupon worked for me.
  4. Publix pancake syrup vs. Hungry Jack syrup. Same. Had coupon, not brand loyal, stores well.

Here’s how they stack up:

Preserves – awesome! Fantastic taste, texture, quality. It is rare that the Smucker’s organic is within a “buy” price for me, so if I get this again, I’ll get the Publix brand.

Baking mix – okay, but not that big of a deal. Bisquick was more buttery-tasting and lighter, the Publix was saltier. Both made great pancakes and batter, Bisquick was better biscuits. I’ll get the Bisquick next time with a coupon.

Ketchup – just fine. I could get either. If there are coupons, the name brand is cheaper, but if not, the store brand is fine.

Syrup – just fine. I didn’t notice a big difference and I served a pancake breakfast and no one in the family said anything was different about the syrup. I never call attention to that sort of thing because I want an honest reaction, and everyone seemed happy with it. It is rare that there are syrup coupons, so if I run out, I’ll probably get the Publix brand.

RESULTS: PUBLIX=1, NAME BRAND=1, DEPENDS ON COUPONS=2.

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