How to Take Advantage of Catalina Deals to Save Money on Groceries
Next to most registers in grocery stores are little printers called Catalina machines. These machines will print in-store and/or manufacturer’s coupons that are targeted to you, based on what you purchased during your shopping trip. Sometimes these machines will also print recipes, or small ads to let you know about a future sale or deal that the store will be offering. But the best thing that this machine prints are the money-off coupons that go along with a deal that you have purchased. The key to getting the most out of these Catalina machines is knowing how to set up and “work the deal” so that you can save money on groceries!
Check Out the Catalina Offerings in Your Weekly Grocery Circular
This week, my local grocery store had a deal for certain Procter & Gamble products. If you purchased $50 worth of these products, you would receive a $10 coupon for a future order. Now you might be wondering what the big deal is, as your savings appear to only be 20% off the purchase price, but the way this works is that the $50 is calculated based on the normal shelf price of the items, not what you may actually be paying for the item. For example, an 8-pack of Bounty paper towels is regularly $13.99. If I plan to purchase four packs, the combined shelf price would be $55.96, which qualifies me for the $10 coupon.
But the paper towels are actually on sale for $8.88 this week, so I will only spend $35.52 to score this deal.
Find Coupons to Use on the Deal Products
To sweeten the deal, you can combine the sales price with a coupon. I was able to find four 50-cent-off coupons for Bounty, and since my grocery store doubles coupons (up to $1), that gave me another $4.00 off. So now I am spending only $31.52 out of pocket to earn the $10 back. So now my savings is 31%, which is quite a bit better!
Roll the Deal!
Because I like to keep my grocery expense as low as possible each and every week, I prefer to roll my Catalina coupons on the same shopping trip, which means I will pay for my grocery items that generate the Catalina coupons first, and then close out that transaction which will cause the printer to dispense the coupons. Then I will conduct a separate transaction for the remaining items in my grocery cart, and use the Catalina coupons towards that second transaction. That means less money out of pocket today, and it eliminates the chance that I won't make another trip to the grocery store before that $10 Catalina coupon expires, which is typically two weeks.
What Happens if My Coupons Don't Print?
Ugh! It does happen. You have executed a deal correctly, and the darn little machine doesn't print out as it should! At this point, you have two options. You can ask to see a manager, or you can head over to customer service and explain the situation. In nearly all cases, the manager will resolve it quickly and get the system to immediately print out a Catalina coupon for you. However, if for some reason they can't resolve it while you are standing there, or if you are in a hurry and can't spend the time at the store right then and there, you can contact the Catalina marketing company directly:
After they receive all of the information off of your register receipt, they can go into their system, see which deal you qualified for, and also see that the Catalina coupon did not print. They will then mail you the coupon in a week or two.
Catalina coupons are a great way to save money on groceries. The key is to make sure that you have purchased the exact products called for in the deal, and that you met the minimum price threshold!
How do you take advantage of Catalina coupons? Share your own tips in the comments!Read More