Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

Supermarkets: Best and Worst

Although the grocery store ranking number one outlined in the above link isn't in our area, lucky for us, the worst isn't either.

Publix does make an appearance in the top 5 supermarkets in the country.

When questioners were asked what makes a store the best and the worst for this compilation, there was some good choices for their consideration. One of those that really gets under my skin is not having enough of a sale special stocked.

Sometimes the store will have it "in the back" or not at all. I wish a more diligent eye was kept on specials - to either stay stocked or a note added saying, "Sorry this item is out of stock currently. Please see customer service for a rain check."

Ah, wouldn’t that be much nicer than hunting down a stock person and waiting for them to return from the back regions of the store after a search of the cleared from the shelf product?

I was wondering if you all would like to chime in on the super market you shop at and what the reasons are for your loyalty there.

I know not all of us are native to this area. Are there other grocery chains you've shopped at in other parts of the country that you miss?

While visiting San Antonio, Texas a couple of years ago, I was really impressed with several HEB stores.

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When I lived in North Carolina in the 90's we had Lowe's Foods. Being a Florida Girl I missed my Publix, I was very happy with Lowe's - very clean and customer friendly.
When I lived up north there was a wegmans about 40 minutes from me. It is a very nice store, but I wouldn't go out of my way to shop there. If I was close I would stop and grab a fresh sub. They have the best.
Now my favorite northern store is tops. They have the best donuts. And I am a publix shopper for sure. I hate Walmart and am not a win Dixie fan.

My Favorite store when living up north was Meijer, a lot like walmart but with way better products and much better customer service...

down here i have to say i am partial to Winn Dixie, they seem to have better deals and are a tad less expensive then Publix...not to mention the Fuel Perks!!!!!!!!!...Publix IMHO is a bit over priced .but i still shop there they do have good sales also at times...

I HATE HATE walmart...it is the most unfriendly place to shop ...

well, we shop for the sales, so go to Publix, Winn Dixie and Wal-mart.  Thankfully, all three are in our area of Lakeland, so no excess travelling required, but am partial to each for different reasons...Publix definitely has the best meat imo...but just had a bad experience with Winn Dixie meat, and to me, Publix has the friendliest staff.

I have so far liked publix better bakery is really good, but I do miss my smiths where I am from. grocery prices are quite a bit higher here and I was already complaining there that it was ridic. but oh well what can you do?  do you guys have coupons in the sunday paper? or is it a different day? have you had any luck with coupons?

Oh, Kati!  Coupons have changed my life.  And if you already like Publix, that is where you can get some of the best deals with their BOGO- buy one get one free pricing when you combine them with coupons.  You can use two coupons on each item, even the free one and Publix stores take competitor coupons, too. 

Also, you can stack coupons there by using a store coupon (either a Publix or competitor) and a manufacturers coupon.  So, on a BOGO deal, if your're lucky enough to find a store and a manufacture's coupon, you can use 4 coupons on 2 items.   It's awesome.  :)  The only catch is not all Publix stores accept the same competitor coupons.  You have to check with the store you plan to shop at the most on who they accept. 

They also take print out coupons.  Right here at PolkMoms, at the top, you will see tabs.  One is, The Ledger, who is our local newspaper that owns our PolkMoms.com site.   They do indeed have Sunday coupons (I subscribe to two Sunday papers to get double coupons) and another tab at top is a 'coupon tab'.  You can cull through and mark coupons you want to print out.   I hope this helps.   Also, check into our coupon thread. There's a LOT of info there. 

I definitely have to start learning how to use coupons because Publix (although very clean) is outrageously expensive compared to the stores in Missouri. Winn Dixie is also horribly expensive and not as clean or friendly as Publix. We used to shop a lot at Albertson's in Kissimmee when we lived here before (our favorite store here) but someone told me they shut down. My favorite store back home was Price Chopper and they always had great sales. In MO, WalMart was horribly expensive compared to the grocery stores. In Florida, WalMart is much cheaper than the grocery stores. It's weird down here because you basically have a choice between only two major grocery stores, Publix and Winn Dixie and that's it (that I've found anyway). In Kansas City we had at least a half dozen major grocery stores to choose from and that's not counting WalMart, Aldi and Save-A-Lot.

It's taking some getting used to, but I'll get it figured out. I do like the "Meat Markets" that we've discovered and they have decent sales, plus very friendly staff. The only bad thing about using coupons is I am not finding coupons for produce and meat. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I am NOT going to use coupons just to collect stuff we will never use. If an item is free and we won't use it, I will use the coupon and give the item to someone that will. Our space is extremely limited and our grocery fund is so small that I can't pay a dime for something that won't be used by us. There is a coupon class in Casselberry next week, but I will be in MO visiting my 8 grandbabies so am bummed I will miss it. Really want to learn more about couponing. If anyone has any couponing wisdom they want to pass on to me, I am more than willing to accept it!!

Nijuana, I agree, Publix does offer a nice shopping atmosphere and I do buy my milk from them (their store brand) because buying hormone free is important to me, but overall, I do my very best to only shop the deals there.  Websites that have helped me combine coupons to the Publix sales are I heart Publix  and  Southern Savers.

Also, for produce and meats Publix will sometimes have coupons for them when you combine  that purchase with another item.  Cooking with Kraft (you have to register to get the coupons) will put out coupons with an example like, Save a dollar on a produce item when you buy Oscar Meyer Turkey meat.   These are usually store coupons so it can be nice if you have a manufacture coupon for the turkey you can combine with the deal.  

I also love using the coupon Tom website and this is exact example of when I might.   I don't clip my coupons but save the coupon inserts by date.  If I see that the Kraft site has a great store coupon deal, I then run to coupon tom and type in Oscar Meyer to see if there are any manufacture coupons to add to the deal. 

Coupon Tom tells you if there's a coupon for that product and where (what date) to find it.  RP stands for the Red Plum coupon insert from a newspaper and S (some sites use a double S) stands for the Smart Source insert.

I hope I didn't lose you.   :)

Also, I agree with you on stocking up on freebies you don't need but I will grab them if they are super cheap (under 50 cents) or free, to donate.  Also, when stacking coupons, sometimes you can actually make money to add to your bill.  It's a great way to pay for those produce and meat items that we need that we don't have coupons for. 

I've been lucky enough to encounter this several times.  For instance, if a product is on sale for $1.00 and you have a store coupon and a manufacture coupon for a $1 off that item, you actually get to deduct $2 from that $1 item.  

Wow Shawn that is exactly the kind of information I need!! I will definitely check out the websites you mentioned. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I should have some time to devote to couponing (although it will not be 40 hours a week). I am just too old to concentrate that long on coupons and ads, ugh. I have a 4 year old "surprise blessing" that I also have to try to keep up with. Our son, Sawyer Chance was born when our baby girl was nearly 21 (that would be years, not months). In fact, I have 5 grandchildren older than him, hee hee!! So now my kids are 28 (son), 26 (son), 25 (daughter) and 4 (son) and my grandkids are 8, 8, 6, 5 (4 boys), 4, 3, 2 and 8 months (then 4 girls). I love my beautiful family so much and I'm so blessed!!

Your story made me smile and I definitely had a mental "wow!" with it.  It sounds like one impressive family you have.  :) 

And I did lol when you mentioned taking the time to do this.  I'm a stay-at-home mom too and I know it's tough to find the extra time.  I don't stay on top of it like I should, or would like, but enough to see some much needed savings.  It really does help.  I hope it can help you, too.  :)

If you have any questions, shoot them over to me anytime. 


Nijuana Jones said:

Wow Shawn that is exactly the kind of information I need!! I will definitely check out the websites you mentioned. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, I should have some time to devote to couponing (although it will not be 40 hours a week). I am just too old to concentrate that long on coupons and ads, ugh. I have a 4 year old "surprise blessing" that I also have to try to keep up with. Our son, Sawyer Chance was born when our baby girl was nearly 21 (that would be years, not months). In fact, I have 5 grandchildren older than him, hee hee!! So now my kids are 28 (son), 26 (son), 25 (daughter) and 4 (son) and my grandkids are 8, 8, 6, 5 (4 boys), 4, 3, 2 and 8 months (then 4 girls). I love my beautiful family so much and I'm so blessed!!

Oh I will definitely be thrilled with any savings I can accomplish! I've never used coupons until recently and have only had one shopping trip since attempting "extreme couponing". I did get over $125 worth of groceries for just under $50, but that included meat, produce, milk, etc that I didn't have coupons for, so I was ecstatic!! Thanks Shawn, you're a doll and I really appreciate your help so much.

WALMART is my nemesis! I loathe the place, the employees, thier meat, yuck, yuck, yuck! I have shopped at Winn-Dixie, but I do end up spending more money than I normally do at Publix. I am spoiled, Publix is much cleaner, the meat quality is better, and the people, I guess thats why its where "shopping is a pleasure!" LOL

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