Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Smith's Catalina's Work, Q&A Style

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There seem to be quite a few questions regarding the latest Smith's sale, so I thought I'd post a Q&A and clear up some of the confusion! You can also go back and read all about catalinas here, including what to do if they don't print. 

Q: What is a catalina? An Island? Salad Dressing?
A: In the couponing world, a catalina refers to a coupon that prints out at the register. Sometimes they are regular $ off coupons, like $2 off when you buy 5 GM cereals. Other times they are just a straight dollar off amount on your next purchase. These little catalinas are magical in that you can use them to purchase anything at Smith's! 

Q. How can I get a catalina to print?
A. Normally, something you buy will trigger the catalina to print. Sometimes we don't know what it is, whereas other times, it's widely advertised as part of the Smith's sale. In this instance, it's widely advertised: Buy 5 participating General Mills items and a $5 off coupon will print. You can see details of the sale I'm referring to here.

Q. Why does everyone keep saying there is FREE food? Can I just walk in with an empty cart and walk out with a cart-load of groceries for free? I don't get it! 
A. Ok, so we say it's free because the amount we're getting back via the catalina is the same amount we're paying for the food. So we buy 5 cans of Enchilada sauce that are $1 each, pay $5+ tax, {$5.33} and you'll get a catalina to print that's valid for $5 off any purchase at Smith's. So technically, we are paying .33 for the 5 cans of sauce, so about .07 each. It's also a good idea to use coupons on those purchases to make them an even better deal! You can load a .60/3 any Old El Paso items e-coupon to your Smith's card here {just create an account and input your Smith's card #.} That's an additional .20 savings on each can, so they truly are free, plus the coupon covers more than the cost of tax! E-coupons cannot be stacked with paper coupons to get more savings!

Q. What do I do with this $5 catalina?
Well, that's up to you! As you can see from the sale, most of the items are not the healthiest. So many couponers like to use those catalinas to then buy milk, eggs, produce, bread, etc. In other words, you buy items that we normally don't have coupons for!

Q. Am I limited to how many catalinas I can get? Can I use more than one to pay for my next purchase?
Some stores are limiting, but many are not. Ask your manager prior to making your purchase. Many people have bought 30 items and have successfully gotten $30 in catalinas to print! Yes, you can use more than one catalina to pay for your next order. For instance, I once used three, $5 catalinas to pay for 1 box of diapers. It's awesome!

Q. Are these catalinas rolling?
I've never met a catalina at Smith's that didn't roll! Rolling catalinas refers to paying for one transaction with a catalina, then having another print. I personally rolled three this morning! {Ex: Transaction #1- Buy 5 cans of Enchilada sauce, pay $5+ tax, have a catalina print. Transaction #2- buy 5 boxes of taco shells, pay with $5 catalina, hand over the .33 in tax that you owe, and another $5 catalina prints.}


Q. What if I don't want to eat any of this junk, but I want to use the catalinas for other purchases?
I don't blame you! The good thing is a lot of this junk has a long expiration date, so you certainly don't have to consume it all in the next 2 weeks. Also, keep an eye out for other participating items that aren't as sugar-fat-cholesterol laden as others. For instance, I bought MultiGrain Cheerios this morning, instead of the Cocoa Puffs. Consider donating the canned goods too! El Paso Refried Beans are $1, so essentially free after catalina and I'm sure many food banks will be happy to have them! So buy 10 cans, get your $10 in catalinas and use that towards other groceries that you need!

Do you have any other questions? Let me know and I'll add them to this Q&A! 

1 comments:

melitagordita said...

Is there anything I can do if I just found 2 catalinas that expired last week? :( I'm so bummed out to lost that money!

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