Last week, I did something, couponing-wise, that I had never done before: I used a Target Market Pantry cheese coupon when I purchased Publix brand cheese.
I didn't realize you could do this, but according to the Publix Coupon Policy, you can use a competitor store's house brand coupon for a Publix brand item of the same type and size. Target is a competitor to my local Publix store; check with your local store before using Target coupons there.
In my area, Walmart has lower-priced house brands than Publix. Knowing that, I started wondering: if I used Target coupons on Publix house brands, would they be cheaper than Walmart's?
Actually, the cheapest house brands in my area are at ALDI. But I know not everyone is lucky enough to have ALDI in their area. So I decided to do the comparison with Walmart, since most people have a Walmart within driving distance.
To test this out, last week I went through the Target printable coupons and wrote down the values of Market Pantry and Archer Farms coupons that were listed at the time. Those coupons may not be there now.
Then I went shopping at Walmart and Publix, looking for store brand items that met the size requirements of the coupon and were similar at both stores. If I couldn't find the same size house brand at both stores, or I couldn't find a house brand product at one store, I took the coupon off the list. My comparisons are per item, but of course if you were really using the coupons, you would need to buy two or three of some of the items.
Here are the coupons for which I found virtually identical products at both Walmart and Publix.
- 25¢ off condensed soup, 10.5 oz + (actually 75¢/3)
- 50¢ off cheese, 5 oz + ($1/2)
- $1.00 off tomato sauce, 24 oz + and pasta, 16 oz +
- 50¢ off chewy granola bars ($1/2)
- 50¢ off apple juice ($1/2)
- $1.00 off frozen seafood item, 12-24 oz
- $1.00 off frozen fruit
I found that for two items (the tomato sauce/pasta and frozen fruit), the strategy of using Target coupons at Publix would be slightly cheaper than buying the item at Walmart.
One item - the condensed soup - was a tie.
And for four items - the cheese, granola bars, apple juice, and seafood - it would be cheaper to buy it at Walmart. The apple juice was still over $1.00 cheaper at Walmart, for instance.
So I can't recommend buying full-priced house brands at Publix and using Target coupons as a method to save the most money. I still think the best way to get the lowest grocery bill is to buy on-sale name brand items at Publix (or the high-priced supermarket in your area) with manufacturer's and store coupons, and then to go to Walmart or ALDI to buy house brand items that you need that week.
And if the Publix store brand item goes on sale, using a Target store coupon might make it cheaper than the product at Walmart. However, other than dairy items, I rarely see Publix store brand items on sale.
What do you think? Have you tried this comparison before? Which store is cheaper for you? Leave a comment below!
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