Catalina, huh?!? How will salad dressing help me coupon??

Do you ever wonder why that little white box next to the cash register just spit out a pile of weird little pieces of paper with your receipt?  If so, then let me enlighten you on what those valuable little tickets (or Catalina’s) are all about!

Catalina’s (and no, I don’t mean the salad dressing silly) are also know in the world of couponing as check out coupons or CAT’s.  They are named after the company which provides them – Catalina Marketing Corporation (CMC).  These little babies can be a very valuable tool in the world of savings!!  Why do they print you ask?  They are driven by the purchases you made & are a way for the retailer and/or manufacturer to get you to purchase more of their product or get you back into their store. 

Most catalinas that print out are regular ole’ manufacturers coupons that are for a specified dollar amount off a specified product.  However if you’re lucky, your store may be doing a type of catalina that is for use OYNO (on your next order).  This means that you can use it as you would cash on your next transaction.  Clear as mud, right?!?  Here are a few examples:

Manufacturer Coupon style Catalina:

You may receive a $1.00/5 Hamburger Helper coupon if you purchased other General Mills items.

OYNO (On Your Next Order):

Spend $30 on qualifying Home Items, receive a $10 catalina for your next purchase.  Here is a transaction sample from my trip to Albertson’s this weekend:

(3) Snuggle Fabric Softener $3.99 each & part of the spend $30 get $10 back
(1) All Laundry Detergent $3.99 each & part of the spend $30 get $10 back
(1) Lysol Wipes $2.00 each & part of the spend $30 get $10 back
(1) Cottonelle TP $10.99 each & part of the spend $30 get $10 back
(1) Sylvania Light Bulbs $5.49 each & part of the spend $30 get $10 back
(4) Cover Girl Cheekers Blush $3.99 each
(2) 4pk Albertsons Muffins

LESS: (3) $0.75 off Snuggle Fabric Softener
LESS: (1) $1.00 off All detergent
LESS: (1) $0.50/1 Cottonelle Toilet Paper
LESS: (1) $1.00 off Lysol Wipes
LESS: (1) $1.00 off Sylvania Light Bulbs
LESS: (2) $8.00/2 Cover Girl Face Product
LESS: (2) $0.75/1 Albertsons 4pk Muffin Store Coupon (emailed)
LESS: (3) $1.00/1 Twice the Value Coupons

TOTAL OUT OF POCKET:  $34.71 = 58% Savings

***I received my $10 catalina for purchasing $34.41 toward the “Spend $30 receive a $10 catalina good on your next purchase”.  I also received a $5.00 savings reward for achieving 5,000 rewards points on my Preferred Rewards Card.  Yippee!  That’s $15.00 to roll!

Transaction #2:

(3) Betty Crocker Cake Mixes $1.49 each
(3) Betty Crocker Frostings $1.99 each
(4) Pillsbury Frozen Breakfasts $2.99 each
(1) Gallon 2% Milk $2.79 each

LESS: (3) $0.75/1 Betty Crocker Cake Mix & Frosting”
LESS: (3) $1.00/1 Pillsbury Frozen Breakfast
LESS: (3) $1.00/1 Twice the Value Coupons

LESS $10.00 CATALINA: -$10.00
LESS $5.00 REWARD: -$5.00
TOTAL OUT OF POCKET:  $1.94 = 93% Savings

So, can you see by those transactions how I, #1 Obtained the catalina and #2 used it on my next transaction?  These can be a serious goldmine of savings!

Another awesome thing about catalinas is that they, more often than not, will “roll”.  Rolling catalinas means that you can use the catalina you received to purchase the exact same items again and receive another catalina.  Not too long ago Albertsons had a “Buy 10 General Mills product, Receive a $5.00 catalina for your next purchase”.  This meant that for every transaction in which you purchased 10 General Mills items, you received $5.00 back!  By doing multiple transactions of 10 & using manufacturers coupons with the $5 catalina, you could save a boat load of money.

Remember, these OYNO catalinas can be used like cash!!!  There are some limitations, of course.  Typically they can’t be combined with alcohol, prescriptions, etc.  There aren’t many exclusions, just the typical ones you see with most store promotions.

So, what happens if your catalina doesn’t print?  Sometimes they jam up and sometimes they just don’t print out and there is no good reason why not.  Often times the Customer Service counter will be able to reimburse you (in cash) the amount of the catalina for which you were to receive.  If they won’t refund you the money, ask them for the contact information for Catalina Marketing Corporation.  You will be able to contact them directly (be sure you have your receipt handy) and they will mail you your catalina.  Be aware though that you must contact them during the time that the sale is going on otherwise you may not be successful. 

I hope this helped clear things up a little bit.  I know it all sounds overwhelming & confusing but it’s really a great program and at times can save you a bunch of cash. 

P.S. – Before I knew what these were, I would just throw them away!  How horrible is that!!!  It’s like throwing away cash!!!  Ugh.  At least now I know better!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: