What is a Catalina?
This strange name has been around for a long time and originated because of the company that runs the machines, Catalina Marketing. Catalinas or CATS (the standard abbreviation in the coupon world) are some of my absolute favorite coupons because they not only make so many items free, but they can often make you a profit!! Yes, you read correctly, cats can often make a deal so good, that in the end you come out ahead!
Catalinas are generally found in four different types which are:
- Specific coupons for specific items, and example being $1 off Crest Toothpaste
- Money off your next shopping trip, these are abbreviated (OYNO - On Your Next Order Coupons)
- Register Rewards (RR’s and are specific to Walgreens, these are rewards of purchasing a specific product, check the sales paper every week)
- Sale Previews
Specific coupons that come out of the machine at checkout are nice to hold onto. I purchased Gatorade for free at Kroger using my coupons and out came a $2 coupon on any box of Powerbar energy bars! Well I held onto that coupon and guess what, Powerbar energy bars went on sale a month later for, you guessed it, $2!! By purchasing Gatorade and holding onto my catalina coupons, I was able to get the Powerbars completely free!! If you think that’s awesome, just wait it gets better!!
On Your Next Order coupons will become your new best friend! Last month Kool-aid canisters were on sale for $1 each. In the sale paper, on the first page it said, “Buy any three kool-aid canisters and get $2 back on your next order.” So, let me get this straight, without any coupons, I can get THREE canisters of kool-aid singles for $1? That’s cheaper that the regular price for one!! This deal got even sweeter, I had coupons for $1 off any kool-aid canister! So here is what I did, I purchased three kool-aids which totaled $3.18(tax). Then I used my three coupons for $1 off 1 and it brought the bill to $0.18 because I used three coupons. I paid the cashier and out came a $2 coupon for my next shopping trip!! I just made a PROFIT of $1.82!! OYNO coupons can be a powerful way to reduce your unit item cost dramatically and even make you a little money to pay for produce!
Register Rewards are a Walgreens only system. It works much the same way as OYNO coupons do. For example, if I purchased crest toothpaste for the regular price of $4.19 they will give me $3.50 back in a register reward. Okay that’s a pretty good deal, I’m actually paying around $.69 for the tube of toothpaste. BUT I have a coupon for $1.50 off any crest adult toothpaste. So I buy the product at $4.19, I use my $1.50 off coupon, I then pay the total which with tax is $2.94. Out of the checkout comes a $3.50 coupon off my next purchase at Walgreens!! I made a profit of $.56 simply buying a tube of toothpaste. Register Rewards (RR’s) are much more complicated and we encourage to read more about them in the Walgreens section at WeUseCoupons.com.
The last type of catalina is a sale preview. These are nice to know ahead of time, and we’d love it if you would share those here at WeUseCoupons!
Common Questions About Catalinas:
So why do catalinas even exist?
Catalinas are coupons plain and simple. They exist as a marketing tool to reinforce product or store loyalty. They all help to move products off shelves and help tempt you into trying the product.
Are they store coupons or manufacturer coupons or something else?
The can be both! Generally the coupon will say if it’s a store or manufacturer coupon.
Can I use catalinas anywhere?
Yes and no. If it’s a manufacturers coupon then it could be used anywhere, BUT generally catalinas have a store logo on it. You need to ask at the customer service if they accept catalinas from other stores. I have two stores in my area that will take any coupon that says ‘manufacturer coupon’. One store won’t take competitors catalinas. This is a YMMV(Your Mileage May Vary)!.
Will a catalina deal that works at Kroger work at Publix?
Let’s say that Kroger has a catalina deal going on that when you buy 5 Jello you get $2 back. Publix may or may not be running the same deal. It simply depends, but often times they will be!!
How do you find out about catalina deals, I don’t see them advertised all that often?
Different store alert consumers different ways, and some don’t alert consumers at all. Many dedicated couponers will discover a catalina deal on their own and post about it here on WeUseCoupons! Often times you will see tags next to the product on the shelf alerting you to the catalina deal. If you see that post them here, so others can take advantage of that deal!
What if my catalina doesn’t print out?
Well there could be many reasons why a catalina doesn’t print out. You may not have purchased the correct product. Catalina automatically prints out based on the UPC of the products with which they are associated. Another good reason is that the catalina machine is out of paper! With any of these problems go to the service desk, tell them and generally they will help you.
What stores don’t use the catalina system?
How long do catalina deals last?
They can last as long as 30 days, but can last as little as a week. Every promotion is different.
How can I contact Catalina Marketing?
Toll free numbers are (877) 210-1917
Unfortunately, many shoppers consistently overlook the value of catalina coupons. Don’t be one of them! Catalinas are an important part of your overall coupon strategy!
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Couponing Acronyms & Abbreviations
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1st time my sister told me about a catalina, I was confused! I was like they are going to give you salad dressing for this? Argh?!?!? HA! HA! I know now, HA! HA!
Oh, that same trip [my 1st coupon deal!] I honestly thought I was at Meijer, got to the register and the lady said we don't normally take these coupons. Ugh, I am thinking to myself - you are Meijer, why not? Well, on my way home I was talking to my sister and she brought getting a catalina and well, turns out I was at Walmart - not Meijer, ohhhhhh so embarassed but it worked! I honestly thought I was at Meijer w/my Meijer mealbox coupons! HA! HA!
Just the other day I got a .75 off 2 catalina coupon when I bought two boxes of hot pocket sideshots (and used two .75 coupons doubled to $1.50 - making them .50 cents a box at the time - or $1.00) and out popped a .75 off 2 catalina coupon.
I then went back last weekend when the Hot Pockets were on sale $2.00 a box - used .75 q-pon doubled made them .50 cents a box - bought two and used .75 catalina coupon (it was a store q-pon) made them 12.5 cents each!
And the best part - another .75/3 CATALINA popped out lol!!!
The more you give - the more you receive...
This was SO helpful! If what I'm understanding what a catalina is - I got a printed out coupon at Target once for Enfamil formula from buying Enfamil. I should have checked if it was a store or manufacturer coupon! :P Thanks so much, great article!
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