When I first started to coupon, I had to learn the coupon lingo or as my dear husband calls it “couponese.” To fully navigate the couponing lexicon you must be well versed with terms like RP, SS, P&G, Blinkie, Peelie, CAT, oop….what???
Wait, aren’t they just called a coupons?
Well, this can be frustrating for those just getting started in the coupon world. So, take a deep breath, a sip of tea and take look at least one element of our couponese- CATS! (Don’t worry, I’ll hit the others in future posts).
Catalina or CAT is a coupon that is printed at checkout. These coupons are the ones you get from that little machine next to the touch screen at the U-Scan (or the ones the cashier hands you with your receipt). They print off while you’re paying for your goods like those tickets you get at Chuck-E-Cheese for playing games. The type of coupon you get is based on your personal buying habits or from a scheduled promotion for a specific product that you are purchasing.
Look for the Catalina machine near the checkout. Also, make sure to always look for the little green light to be on so you’ll be sure to get those CATs.
There are 2 types of CATs:
- Manufacturers Coupon CATs
- These coupons work just like any other manufacturer’s coupons that you would cut out of a newpaper or print from a website like coupons.com. They are for a specific product and take off a certain amount of money when you purchase that product.
- These CATs generate because of something you are purchasing or based on your previous buying habits. You may also generate a competitor’s coupon to encourage you to buy their product next time. For example: I bought a name brand box oftampons and received a CAT for a Free box of Kroger brand tampons.
- On Your Next Order (OYNO) CATs
- So, these coupons are for scheduled promotions. If you buy a specific brand in a specific number of that product you will get a coupon for money off your next purchase.
- This type of Catalina will be good towards anything you purchase in your next transaction. (think, gift card)
- For example: Hi-C Drink Juice Boxes are generating a catalina from Aug 10- Sept 9.
- Buy 2- $1.00 OYNO
- Buy 3- $1.50 OYNO
- Buy 4- $2.00 OYNO
Easy as that!
But what happens if you purchase a product expecting a CAT to print and it doesn’t?
(Make sure before you go into a checkout lane that the Catalina machine is working and has the little green light on.)
However, we live in a fallen world and there are cases in which the CAT doesn’t print even when the machine is working.
You can try going to customer service but they really can’t help you. The Catalina company works separately from the store itself, so you will have to contact them.
You need to contact them within 14 days from the purchase. You can either submit the claim online: http://support.catalinamarketing.com/ or call 1-888-826-8766. Be sure you have your receipt and are clear about what you were expecting to receive.
I recently had this experience and had to submit 3 claims online. It did take a few weeks for the Catalina company to process my claims but once they did, I received all 3 CATs plus an apology letter in the mail.
Remember- catalinas (or CATs) are just another great way to save money!
SWS Pro-Tip: You can use your OYNO CATs with a manufacturer’s coupon to stack that savings!
For more info on stacking: “Stacking Coupons…“