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Couponing FAQ: all about catalinas

What is a catalina?

A catalina is a “checkout coupon”, the kind that print at the register at stores like Safeway, Albertsons, and King Soopers. (And now Target, too!)  They are called catalinas because the company the manages the promotions and machines is the Catalina Marketing Company.

What types of catalinas are there?

There are basically three types: the first is a manufacturer’s coupon for a discount on a particular product.  The computer tracks your purchases and shopping habits according to your store savings card and then gives you coupon based on your current or previous purchases.  Moms with babies tend to get lots of coupons for diapers!

The second type of catalina is a manufacturer’s or store coupon for a discount on your next order (often abbreviated as OYNO).  These are typically earned when you buy a certain number of products for a brand that’s having a special promtion.  These can usually be used on anything on your next order.  They are like “cash with an expiration date”.

The third type of catalina is just the “junk” coupons you get with ads.  Sometimes these non-coupon catalinas are advertisements for upcoming catalina promotions.

Do catalinas double?

No, catalinas will not double.

Can I use a catalina at a store other than where I received it from?

It depends.  Some stores will accept these since most are manufacturer’s coupons, even if it states “redeem at King Soopers”.  However, it depends on the store and the cashier.  I typically ask the cashier if it’s OK, and often they say “as long as it scans we can take it”.  Sometimes it scans properly and sometimes it doesn’t!  If I ask to use a catalina with a different store’s name on it, I usually prepare myself to use a different coupon or no coupon at all if they say it’s not allowed – it’s certainly their prerogative to do so.

contacting catalina marketing company

What if I don’t receive my catalina?

If you were expecting to receive a catalina but it didn’t print, it could be due to a printer malfunction (such as being out of paper or ink), because the promotion has been cancelled*, or because it’s not valid in your area.

You can contact the Catalina company here and give them your name, mailing address, receipt date and time, the products you purchased, and information on the catalina you were expecting to receive, and if you should have rightly received a coupon, they’ll mail it out to you.

In most cases, unless a catalina deal is advertised in the store or in the ad, it’s best to talk directly to the Catalina company, as most stores don’t know what catalinas may be going on.

*Rarely, a catalina promotion may be cancelled before the originally scheduled end date for a variety of reasons.  You can probably still get your catalina from the Catalina company as long as it was previously advertised to last until a certain date and you bought within that timeframe.

Where can I find out about current and upcoming catalina promotions?

Unfortunately, there is no official list of catalina promotions.  You can find much information online through blogs and message boards, but a big word of caution: many catalina promotions are regional and may not be valid at your store.  A blogger that shops at Safeway in New York may have received information about a catalina promotion that’s not valid at Safeways in Colorado.

Sometimes it’s worth it to “test it out” and see if a catalina promotion you’ve heard about is valid in your area, but keep in mind that if it’s not, there’s not a lot you can do.

Got other questions about catalinas? Shoot them to me in the comments and I’ll try to answer!

23 Comments
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Comments

  1. This is the first post I’ve ever seen explaining a catalina. Great job!

    Love the new look, too!

  2. What about the catalinas that are store promotions (like the Safeway frozen foods one). I did not get my catalinas today and I had to argue with customer service for a while. Would it be better to just contact the catalina company? I wasn’t sure because this one seems a little different than the typical catalina deals.

    • Good point. When it’s an *advertised* promotion, I would talk to the store. They should be able to look at your receipt and see if you bought the right products, which would be easier than listing it all out for the catalina company.

  3. Thanks for the great information Carrie!!

  4. I have heard to try and work it out with the store first if its advertised because sometime the catalina company can take weeks!

  5. Can you use a Catalina & a manufacturer’s coupon on a product or no b/c they are both “manufacturer coupons”?

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      No – you’re right, they are both manufacturer’s coupons. The except is catalinas that are for money off your next order, not a specific product.

  6. Has anyone ever found that their catalinas (Jewel) print off for the next person in line after you’ve paid? I think I’ve seen one of my catalinas print off as the next person’s order is being rung up.
    Thanks!

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      Kristin, some catalinas print when you first scan your shopper’s card, some print when the appropriate products are scanned, and others don’t print until the *very* end, sometimes even printing after your receipt prints – I wonder if that’s what you’re referring to?

  7. Carrie, I bet that is it. Printing after the receipt prints. Guess using the self checkout is the best thing to do. (thanks for the quick response!)

  8. Occasionally, my cats don’t print. If that happens at Giant Eagle, the manager kindly takes the cash value from the till (for OYNO cats). Also, something prints for me on EVERY shopping trip, so I will hang back for a minute or so. I usually take that moment to put my wallet away, so no one has ever tried to rush me away.

  9. Carrie, Thank you so much for this! I had a problem with the recent Kraft Catalina at King Soopers, but didn’t realize I didn’t receive it until I got home. I remembered you had posted on how to contact the Catalina company a while back so I just did a search on your site for the post and was able to email them my receipt and a few other bits of info and they mailed me the Catalina. Thanks again! If it weren’t for this post, I would have lost out on the $5!

    • Carrie Isaac says:

      Yay, glad they were able to help you! I had an issue with the Kraft catalina once as well, and just got my $5 coupon in the mail yesterday – very prompt response from the Catalina company!

  10. Thank you for the information on Catalinas….very useful information :) However, I do have a question regarding “advertised Catalinas” Are these catalinas advertised in the weekly flyier or inside the store or both?? Thanks from a newbie ;)

    • Hi, Rhiannon! Most catalinas aren’t advertised in the store flyer. Some are shown on red and white tags in the store, but most are just heard about through word-of-mouth or through print-outs you receive from the catalina machine at checkout.

  11. Where do I post a current catalina ad? And do you have a current catalina section for the different stores? I always seem to find them in the comments, but sometimes I have to call my hubby to look it up because I forgot to write down how many items that i need to purchase and it is sometimes difficult to find.

  12. Can you get more than 1 catalina per checkout? I’m looking at the $2 ONYO when purchasing 4 General Mills products. If I buy 8 products, will I get 2 – $2 catalinas?

    Thanks!

    • Hi, Leah! Only one will print per transaction, in general (unless they are totally separate catalina promotions).

  13. I heard that Walmart accepts these competitor store catalinas. Is this true?

    • I’ve been able to use store Catalina’s at Walmart when it is for a specific item. I don’t believe they accept the $2 off your next purchase. Hope that helps!

    • I think it depends on your cashier, probably. In my experience, they tend to beep and the cashier will have to manually approve them, so it might depend on what they’ve been told by their manager.

  14. I asked once and they said no….

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