This post is brought to you by the Publix Baby Club. All opinions are my own.
If you had asked me what I valued most in life just a few short years ago, my answer would have been something like love, family and relationships because those were the things that mattered the most, and still do. But, experience is a great teacher and more recently I’ve added money (surprised?) and community to that list.
The other month I was contacted by representatives of the Publix grocery store chain and asked if I’d be interested in sharing my experiences with their brand (specifically, Publix Baby Club) . If you read my blog, then you know that I’m not a big endorser, and this is intentional. I only recommend companies and products that I’ve tried for myself and truly believe in (mother tested and approved 🙂 ) I’m pretty loyal to brands. Once I find a good one, I stick with it.
Before I talk about the Publix Baby Club, I want to share with you the game changer that put Publix at the top of my family’s favorite store list and changed my perspective on how and where I spend my money.
Do you use coupons? Remember the coupon craze that started a few years ago? There were the reality shows to see who could save the most money using coupons. There were tons of books on couponing and online coupon sites were everywhere. If you lived anywhere near me, then it was normal to see people buying 5 or 6 Sunday papers just for the coupons.
I used coupons sporadically at that time, but when I saw that some people were saving crazy amounts like 50-75% off their grocery bill, I dove right in. We had 6 kids then and were starting to feel the burn of our preteens’ ability to consume copious amounts of food and still be hungry 30 minutes later, ha! ha!
So, here’s where things got interesting. Within a 3 mile radius, we have at least 6 major grocery store chains, and 2 or 3 superstores, so it’s nothing to hop from one to the other depending on who has the lowest prices. I’d read the coupon books, watched the shows and even had my little coupon binder. I was ready and super excited to save money on my family’s growing grocery bill. I knew which stores had what sales and what coupons to use in each one.
My first stop was at a well known large chain grocery store (not Publix) that my family had been shopping at for 10 years or so. It was early in the morning, so the store was fairly empty. I propped my coupon binder up on my shopping cart, opened it up and began to slowly go through my list. The store manager (who was always so friendly), headed toward my aisle, but when he saw my open coupon binder, he got a look of disgust on his face and instead of our usual casual chat, he turned around and went the other way. It was awful and blatant.
My next stop was at a superstore, one of those stores that if you live anywhere in the US, you can probably pick any direction and run into one down the road. Same experience. The cashier seemed annoyed, but that probably didn’t have anything to do with me using coupons. That just seemed to be her normal face.
After a few more stores with runaway managers and “I hate working here” employees, I was tired and was pretty close to turning around and going home.
My final stop was at Publix. The store was really crowded. All lanes were busy and here I was with 14 boxes of cereal, coupons, and almost ready to give up my coupon dream if I ran into one more person who scoffed at my choice to save money.
As I was checking out and the boxes were beeping over the scanner, 1…2…3…4…5…, the store manager came over to my lane to help bag my groceries. My first thought was, “Oh no, here we go again.”
Then I heard the store manager laugh, and when I looked up he said, “Only 14 boxes? Why didn’t you get 20?” He had the kindest and most welcoming look on his face. That’s when I realized that true value comes in all flavors, and it’s not just the discount variety. I work hard for my money. I can go anywhere to spend it. It’s important for me to know that you value my business, no matter how big or small that business is.
I first joined the Publix Baby Club with our first child who will be 15 years old this month. (Whew!) And, we’ve added our 1-year-old to the program too. As a first time mother all those years ago, I loved being a member. I remember getting The American Academy of Pediatrics book as a free gift which was such a huge help as a first time mom who had questions about everything. They also send you age appropriate coupons every few months which was great (and really good coupons, too. Not the cheesy ones)
Ultimately, the reason I enjoy being a part of the Publix Baby Club goes back to community. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, money and community have taken on new meaning for me lately. Publix has consistently shown my family that they care. They’ve always gone out of their way to make sure we are taken care of, whether shopping in the store, or online. I can’t say that about any other store in our area, and we have a lot of them.
I know that everyone doesn’t have Publix in their area, but if you do and for whatever reason have not given them a try, do it!
I’ve missed you guys. It’s nice to be back.
Keep doin’ what you love!