In the world of couponing we use the funny word Catalina when talking about deals. Catalinas are often a great way to save or even make money at the grocery store! Here is a post about what they are, how you use them and where to find all the offers for your area.
What is a catalina?
A catalina (also called YourBucks or cats) is a coupon that prints out at the register on receipt-like paper after you complete a transaction at the store. Catalinas are almost ALWAYS triggered by something in your purchase. For example, you buy Starbucks coffee, out pops a catalina coupon for Tullys. Or you buy Huggies diapers and out pops a catalina for Pampers.
Catalinas can be:
- A coupon for specific product like $2 off any Seventh Generation product
- Or (my favorite) just an amount off your next purchase, like $4 off your next purchase. You can treat these as cash to buy anything you want in the store (there are some restrictions like lottery tickets or alcohol, read the fine print).
Without mincing words, catalinas are very INTENTIONAL marketing based on your shopping history, demographics, and current purchase. If you see them for what they are and use them to your advantage – you can save a lot of extra money!
Catalinas are USUALLY manufacturer coupons. As manufacturer coupons you would not be able to combine them with other manufacturer coupons. Sometimes they will be store coupons and it will say “STORE coupon” at the top of the coupon – these CAN be combined with manufacturer coupons.
Watch for upcoming catalinas. A lot of times catalina “teasers” or advertisements will print out. These are notifying you of UPCOMING catalinas! Make a mental note, especially if it’s a product you use.
Most catalinas need to be redeemed at the store where you received them. This is a tricky one. Even though a catalina is a manufacturer coupon, it generally has a store logo on it. You can ONLY use catalinas at the store chain where you received it. This includes the “dollars-off” savings offers and the manufacturer coupon catalinas. The exception is: Fred Meyer and QFC (maybe all Kroger stores?) will take catalinas from ANY store. Walmart also takes competitor coupons so the “Cats” that print out as actual Manufacturer coupons would also work there.
How you can save money with catalinas:
Once you know all the details about the Catalina’s available you can look out for sales to match with them!
Buy the qualifying products:
You can buy the qualifying products with or without coupons. Using coupons will not subtract from the total to qualify for the Catalina your after!
“Roll” the catalina:
A great way to maximize your savings on a catalina offer is to “roll” it. Rolling means once you do a transaction that spits out a catalina, you use that same catalina to pay for another (or the same) transaction that also gives you another catalina. Rinse and repeat!
Use your catalina’s wisely:
Even if you decide to roll your catalinas, you’ll still have a catalina to use for later. Use these wisely. A good way to use these is to buy essential items or other products we never get to coupon for such as produce, meat and dairy. And remember – they do expire, generally within a couple weeks, so use them before they expire.
How to contact the Catalina Company if your “Cat” doesn’t print:
If a catalina does not print at checkout like you expect – you have a couple options. You can always check with the store’s customer service first. They can try and figure out why it didn’t print and possibly re-ring the order to see if it triggers the catalina.
There are a couple reasons why a catalina wouldn’t print:
- The catalina machine at the register is turned off, out of paper or not working (look for a little green light on the machine to know it’s on)
- You didn’t purchase the qualifying items – it could have excluded certain sizes or varieties or you may not have bought the right quantity
If customer service at your local store can’t resolve the issue, contact the Catalina Marketing company and report the issue to them. You can call them at 1-888-8COUPON 7 a.m. to 8 pm. Eastern or submit your query online at the Catalina Marketing website.