All You Need To Know About Catalinas!

For more people, salad dressing is the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word Catalina.  But serious couponers know that the word Catalina encompasses a whole lot more than just orange-ish salad dressing.

The coupons that print at most grocery store checkouts are produced by little machines from the Catalina Marketing Company, thus they’ve earned the name Catalina.  Some people may refer to them as “checkout coupons”, and Walgreens calls their particular store catalina program Register Rewards.

Types Of Catalinas

There are basically three types of catalinas you’ll see:

  • Manufacturer’s coupons for money off a specific product
  • Store coupons for money off your next order of (almost) anything
  • Advertisements for oil changes, discount coupon codes, and information about upcoming catalina promotions.

Stores That Have Catalinas

You may receive catalinas at these stores in Colorado: Albertson’s, King Soopers, Safeway, Target, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.  Target’s Catalina promotions are relatively new and may not be available at all stores.

Store Coupon Catalinas vs. Manufacturer’s Coupon Catalinas

Though ultimately all Catalina promotions are coordinated with the manufacturer, it is my understanding that while a Catalina coupon for a specific product may often be redeemed at any store and the store will likely be reimbursed for it even if it has another store’s logo on it, a Catalina that states “Store Coupon” and is for money off anything can usually only be submitted for redemption by the store it was printed at, since that was a promotion specifically coordinated with that store only.

Where Can I Redeem Catalinas?

Nearly all Catalina coupons have a store logo on them, and state “Redeemable At  {Store Name}”.  In general, you can usually only redeem Catalinas at the store that you receive them at, though some locations may accept other stores’ Catalinas, especially if they are for specific products.

My philosophy is to ask at the checkout if they can accept a Catalina coupon from another store for a specific product.  If the cashier responds “yes”, then great – if not, I usually have another coupon ready to substitute for it just in case.

Almost no stores will accept Catalinas for money off your entire purchase if they came from a different store.

How Can I Find Out About Catalina Promotions

Unfortunately, there is no one specific resource about upcoming catalina promotions.  You’ll here about them from blogs like this one, and sometimes you’ll also receive “advertisement” Catalinas that promote an upcoming Catalina event.  (If you get one of those Catalinas, please do let us know!)

Sometimes you’ll also see red and white tags on store shelves that advertise Catalina promotions.  Just make sure to check the dates on the promotion, because sometimes the stores forget to remove those tags when the promotion is done!

Are Catalina Deals Good Nationwide?

No!  Some Catalina deals are available at a store chain nationwide, but many are not.  Sometimes you may hear about a Catalina promotion at Safeway from a blog that’s based in California, and then try the deal here in Colorado and the Catalina doesn’t print.  That’s the risk is trying out something that’s not advertised or confirmed to be going on in our region, so we don’t recommend trying out Catalina deals to see if they work if it’s a large amount out-of-pocket.

We make every attempt to only post Catalina deals that we’ve been able to reasonably confirm that they’re going on in our region.

What If My Expected Catalina Didn’t Print?

Sometimes the Catalina coupon machines malfunction, run out of ink, or for whatever other reason, the coupon you expected to receive didn’t print.

If it happens on a promotion that’s advertised in the ad or on the store shelf, I would recommend going to the store’s customer service desk to try to get it resolved there.  As long as they can verify that you did buy the correct product, and that the promotion is valid, they should be able to either give you cash or a gift card for the amount you should have received.

If the Catalina was unadvertised – say, you heard about it here on Denver Bargains and it was confirmed to be going on in Colorado – or you just have nothing to show the store manager to explain what you should have received, the best thing to do is contact the Catalina Marketing Company here.

When you submit the form here, you’ll need to include the following information:

- First and last name
- Your mailing address
- Name of the store
- Date & Time on Receipt
- “Code” at the bottom of top of your receipt
- A brief explanation of the Catalina you should have received.  If you happen to have an “advertisement” Catalina with a number printed vertically on the left side of the coupon, you can include that information as well.

In my experience, they usually send the proper Catalina within a week of submitting the form.

Cautions About Catalinas

Catalinas are an awesome way to save money – but, there’s one big warning: they all have an expiration date!  If you’re doing a deal that earns a Catalina for money off your next order, don’t wait too long for that next order, or your “free money” may expire.

Catalinas have varying expiration dates: typically, ones for specific products have 1 to 3 month valid periods, while ones for money off your next order may expire as quickly as a week!

Also, at most stores you can “roll” your Catalinas.  Here’s an example of what is meant by “rolling”:

There’s a deal in which you’ll earn a Catalina for $3 on your next order when you buy 3 fruit snacks. You do the deal once, and then go back to the store with that $3 Catalina in hand.  You use that $3 Catalina to buy 3 more packages of fruit snacks, and you’ll earn another $3 Catalina.

However, with 99% of Walgreens’ Catalina or Register Rewards deals, you cannot roll your Catalinas on the same promotion, though you may roll it on another promotion.  For example:

You buy 3 fruit snacks and earn a Catalina for $3 on your next order.  You go back into the store and buy 3 more fruit snacks and use that $3 Catalina to pay.  Another $3 Catalina will not print.

However, say that there’s a $3 Catalina promotion for buying 3 packages of diapers.  You could usually use that $3 Catalina from the fruit snacks to buy 3 packages of diapers, and the $3 Catalina for diapers would print.  You could then use that $3 Catalina from the diapers promotion to buy fruit snacks.

Walgreens is the only store that you need to be concerned about this with, at least at the time of the writing of this FAQ.

Got A Question?

If you’ve got a question about how catalinas work, leave a comment on this post and we’ll be happy to answer it!

Comments

  1. can you tell me on which stores I can get catalinas coupons on riverside california and what type or brand.thank you

  2. thank you a gain, gracias