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Catalina coupons aren’t as prevalent these days as they were, say, 10 years ago. It used to be that you could really wow a cashier. Just as they’re recovering from pure shock at how much you saved by stacking manufacturer coupons and store coupons with a sale price, you could point to the Catalina machine and say “Oh just wait …” The Catalina machine comes to life and prints another coupon, making your savings even greater.
You can still find Catalina coupons, and you can still save money with them. Which means you still need to know what to do when you’re in a situation where you’re missing a Catalina coupon or it just doesn’t print.
Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app for all the best couponing tips.
First, what are Catalina coupons?
These coupons are put out by Catalina Marketing and have been around since the 1990s. They were revolutionary when they first arrived on the scene because they could give you coupons based on your shopping history, not just what was in the Sunday newspaper insert. Couponers quickly learned their value, as many could be stacked with manufacturer coupons to create crazy good deals.
We call them “Catalinas” in the same way that we call tissue paper “Kleenex” or bandages “Band-Aids.” The brand name has become the only name.
Catalina coupons are generated at the register and based on your purchase history. They’re kind of like Catalina rewards; you know, like the Register Rewards you might get at Walgreens. Although, Register Rewards aren’t offered through Catalina, just to make it a bit more confusing. It’s the same idea though.
Your Catalina might say “$1 off Gerber products” or a general “Save $2 on your next shopping trip.” Typically, you don’t use a Catalina there on the spot unless you’re doing multiple separate transactions. They spit out after you make your purchase.
Why aren’t Catalinas as common today?
In 2019 the Albertsons and Safeway family of stores were one of a few who stopped using Catalina and switched instead to a company called Quotient. Quotient is owned by Coupons.com, and their checkout coupons print at the bottom of your receipt instead of from a separate machine.
There are theories that Catalina just couldn’t pivot quickly enough in a world that’s moving so quickly toward digital couponing.
You can still get Catalina coupons; you just have to know where to shop.
Just because Albertsons and Safeway don’t offer Catalinas anymore doesn’t mean you can’t get them. Here are a few of the stores still offering Catalina couponing:
Missing a Catalina coupon? Double-check your receipt.
Sometimes missing Catalina coupons happen. It could be a technical error, but for whatever reason, maybe it just doesn’t print. Be sure the issue isn’t on your end first. Even the savviest couponers make mistakes, so double-checking yourself is always a good approach.
Look at your receipt and make sure you reached the minimum spending requirement, quantity, or value. This is the amount before tax or coupons (unless your store advertisements specifically state “After Coupons”).
For example, if you need to spend a minimum of $20 to receive a Catalina and you bought 10 products at $1.99 each, you did NOT reach the minimum — you only spent $19.95, and your Catalina won’t print.
Once you double-check your math and find the error isn’t with you, it’s time to take further action.
Ask to speak to a store manager. (No, this does not make you a Karen.)
If you have the time and emotional energy, politely tell the store manager which Catalina you were expecting, and ask if there’s anything they can do about it.
The manager may be able to give you a Catalina or a store credit in the amount of the Catalina, solving your problem right then and there. But if not …
Fill out Catalina’s online form to access customer support.
If your manager can’t help you or you’ve got children who are totally done couponing for the day and you’ve got to race home, you still have options.
Plan to deal with the issue at home by completing the online Catalina support form.
You’ll be asked to provide your mailing info, the store name and address, the date and time you were shopping, and what offer you expected to receive.
Catalina representatives are friendly and helpful, and you should receive your replacement coupons in about 10 – 14 days.