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Winn-Dixie tests competitor coupons, updates policy

Winn-Dixie has updated its coupon policy, and the changes are sure to irritate extreme couponers.

The new policy posted Monday on WinnDixie.com, outlines 14 rules that should smooth the check-out process and help reduce confusion for customers and clerks.

It also limits the amount of free goods you can carry out of stores.

The new policy by Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie, which operates 99 stores in South Florida, eliminates credits from coupon overages and attempts to limit shelf-clearing.

Oddly, competitor coupons are not mentioned in the new policy. Before, Winn-Dixie said it did not accept competitor coupons.

Rival grocer Publix accepts Winn-Dixie, Target, Whole Foods and other store coupons, allowing customers to combine one manufacturer coupon with one Publix coupon or accepted competitor coupon on each item, including BOGOs.

Winn-Dixie omitted the mention because in April, the chain quietly began accepting Publix, Target, Walgreens, CVS and other competitor coupons at more than 150 Florida stores.

None are in South Florida.

"Winn-Dixie is currently accepting competitor coupons in very limited markets," says spokeswoman Julianne Roberts. "We have not announced any additional plans to accept competitor coupons in other locations at this time."

The new rules likely were prompted by a legion of gleeful couponers rolling out carts of free groceries.

Once stores started accepting high-value competitor coupons, the old policy was heaven for money-maker deals (when coupons exceed the cost of an item) because it allowed cash back and credits to be applied to the bill.

Not any more. The new policy says the total coupon value can't exceed the price of the item. Plus, stores now will take only five coupons on one item in a transaction. No more carrying out 100 bottles of free mustard.

You can always go to Publix. Don't forget your Winn-Dixie coupons.

What's your deal? Email it to dchristensen@sunsentinel.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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