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Because we have quite a few of you new to the coupon game and with all the Catalina's Smith's has had lately, share a post about Catalina's and how they work.
So, what is a Catalina?
Named after the company who creates them, Catalina Marketing, a Catalina is a coupon or advertisement that prints out of the little machine that sits next to the cash register. Sometimes the Catalina is a coupon good for some other product in the store. Other times it's an advertisement. I've seen them for credit card companies, jiffy lube and other various advertisements. Or, it may be the best kind of all, a coupon that spends just like cash on your next purchase.
Many people throw out these precious coupons because they see them as a receipt – garbage or advertisements that come with their receipt. This is NOT the case. I find valuable Catalina's all the time on the ground in the parking lot or near the garbage cans. It's like finding money!
How do I know what the Catalina will be for?
Catalina's are triggered by certain purchases. Often we have no idea what's going to print. Today for example, I bought a box of hair color and my usual Pepsi and Peanut Butter Cup at Smith's. That's all I bought and I got a Catalina for $1.00 off 1 box of Post Cereal and .75¢ of 1 Dole Fruit Parfait. How hair dye triggered that will remain a mystery. It makes my hair gray just trying to figure it out. I do know the purchases you have made previously on your Smith's card have some kind of impact on the Catalina coupons you receive.
The Catalina's we like best are the ones that are good for a specific dollar amount off anything you buy on your next purchase.
These are just like cash and are often announced with a Catalina in the weeks prior to the event date. So, you go to the store and buy something and you may get an announcement that tells you, "Hey, from January through December if you buy a Pepsi and a Peanut Butter Cup you will get a $10.00 catalina good on your next shopping trip". Okay, I'm dreaming but you see how it works.
I've noticed at Smith's lately, they have had some tags next to the price of a product that has a Catalina offer on it. Once you know there is a Catalina offer on a product, then start watching for the sale. If you can match the sale with a coupon and a Catalina.....SCORE!... Some very cheap or sometimes FREE stuff!
Blogger's all across the country share Catalina announcements. We do our best to keep the information accurate but it's often hit and miss. I've seen certain Catalina's printing at one Smith's and no go at a Smith's that is just a few miles away. Or, every other Kroger in the country gets a Catalina offer and no go for Utah Smith's. If you want a sure deal on the Catalina then it's best not to race to the store when the announcement comes, but instead wait a few days for some confirmation. If you get a Catalina announcement, we'd love it if you email the information to us, that way we can share it with others
What if my Catalina didn't print?
First off, if your Catalina doesn't print realize the cashier can't help you. Most often they don't even know if there is a Catalina and they can't do anything about one that doesn't print. The reasons for them not printing could be one of several. Machine malfunction, no paper, no ink or bad computer connection are a few.
If you think you are owed a Catalina, you don't have to go home frustrated. Call Catalina Marketing (877) 210-1917 or use their online support system found here. Be sure to have your receipt handy, they will require information from it. After a few Q&A's if it is determined you are owed a Catalina they will mail it to you. I've only ever called once and the call was quick, easy and the gal that helped me was friendly and to the point.
Hopefully this will help the next time you're at the register and maybe we'll even see a few less Catalina's on the ground and a lot more money in your pocket!
For a list of all the current Catalina's and coupons and deals that we're aware of visit the Catalina Category of the website.