Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Layer 2.3 - Catalina Register Coupon Printouts

HOW TO DO IT: The layout of LAYERS

As discussed below, the key to shopping for free (or for very little, or sometimes less than free!) is stacking LAYERS of savings, atop each other.  I'll try not to make this too complicated (which can sometimes be a challenge for me :-)... I've realized it will require a separate blog entry for each Layer, however. 

And for some of this, it'll require a separate post for each "sub-Layer," too. I hope you find this easy to follow.

Stack of Savings Stuff:
LAYER #1: Weekly Store Sales
LAYER #2: Manufacturer's Coupons
- LAYER #2.1: Printable internet coupons
- LAYER #2.2: Newspaper coupons

LAYER #2.3 ~ Catalina Register Printout Coupons

There is another type of "Catalina," which we'll discuss later. (It can be another layer.) But right now, we're talking about those (random?) coupons that print out at your register along with your receipt, which are coupons for certain specific products. They may be somewhat-random, but they were triggered by your purchase of that same (or similar?) product. Many people just throw these away - but they can end up being handy!

COMMON MISTAKE #2: Throwing away or ignoring the cash-register coupon printouts.

COMMON MISTAKE #3: Thinking those are store coupons, because they say "Redeem at [Store Name: Meijer, Walgreens, etc.]" on their right side.

These are actually Manufacturer Coupons, as they should say on their top. Most stores will officially* accept these, regardless of what store's logo is printed under "Redeem at" on their right side. (CVS is a notable exception; their coupon policy rejects Catalinas with another store's logo.)

*Although most stores have the official policy to accept clearly-marked Manufacturer Coupons, even though they say "Redeem at... [another store's logo]" - some of the cashiers aren't aware of that policy.

It's a good idea to carry each store's coupon policy with you, in your coupon envelope (which we'll discuss later! :-)... though you might also be able to pull it up on your smartphone, when needed.

IMPORTANT NOTE #3: If the store cashier wrongfully rejects a coupon, or if you forget to use a coupon at checkout, you can take your coupon to Customer Service afterwards (within a certain number of days), and most stores will retroactively apply the coupon. I wasn't aware of this, when I started couponing!

In this 'sport,' it can be frustrating when you've realized you forgot to use a coupon. Most stores will retroactively apply Manufacturer Coupons (either in cash or on your credit card), if you go to Customer Service within a certain number of days after your purchase. (For Target, it's two days; For Meijer, it's six.)

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