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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tips on Albertsons General Mills Catalina Promotion for bargain shopping Newbies

Since my blog is new, I know many people visiting may be new to the "serious" bargain-shopping but there are MAJOR savings to be had!

Spend $30 on participating products and get a $15 catalina to use on your next purchase.  Essentially that makes everything on the sale 50% off, before you even start using coupons.  The best way to take advantage of these deals is to carefully plan each transaction to include the right products from the sale (usually marked on the shelf, but not always) to come to at least $30 while going over as little as possible.  Then use your manufacturers coupons & doubles (if there are any on Sunday), then use your catalinas.  These catalinas "roll" (meaning you can use the $15 from the first transaction on the next transaction and so on).  Some Customer Service desk people will tell you that it is $30 AFTER coupons, but I have never seen that to be true.  I am already seeing reports from this catalina deal that it's working as long as it's $30 before coupons. 


Transaction 1:
$29.88 for 12 Yo-Plait Yo+ yogurts
$.99 for 1 Lipton Dry Soup Mix

   $30.87 before coupons
- $10.00 (10 $1/1 Yo+ coupons)

Pay $20.87 OOP (out of pocket) and get $15 in catalinas back

Transaction 2:
$9.40 for 5 boxes Cheerios
$9.40 for 5 boxes Cinnamon Toast Crunch
$5.98 for 2 boxes Pillsbury Toaster Strudles
$5.98 for 2 boxes Klondike Bars

-$  3.00 (3 $1/2 any General Mills Cereals printables)
-$  2.20 (4 $.55/1 Cinnamon Toast Crunch printables)
-$  2.00 (2 $1/1 Pillsbury Toaster Strudles)
-$  2.00 (2 $1/1 Klondike Bars)
-$15.00 (Catalinas from transaction 1)
Net = $6.56 OOP and get another $15 in catalinas (If there are doubles on Sunday and 3 of the coupons are double-able then it would be net $3.56 OOP)

Tips for these types of deals:

1. Plan ahead carefully and list out what you're buying in each transaction.
2. Put coupons in envelopes or otherwise organize so that you can put each transaction on the belt and easily lay the coupons for that transaction (including doubles if applicable) on that transaction.
3. Most checkers I have met will allow up to 3 transactions one right after the other if you're not causing a big backup.  I try to go when the store is not busy and let people in when possible.
4. I do not recommend the self-service lanes.  The checkers still have handle all your coupons and sometimes the catalinas don't print.
5. If there are doubles try to include three items in each transaction that have a manufacturer's coupon from the paper that is as high value as possible  (or a printable that does not say "do not double") so you can take full advantage of the 3 $1 double coupons per transaction.
6. Usually if there is a separate sheet of doubles in the Sunday paper the store will have a stack of them.  If they are printed somewhere in the paper itself you may have to be nice to your friends and get their double coupons so you can use them in multiple transactions.
7. Bring extra coupons and your list of products & prices.  In case they are out of something in one of your transactions you can easily replace it with an item of the same or similar price to stay as close as possible to $30.
8. You will never get these kinds of deals at Winco.  First, they don't accept printable coupons so you have to get ahold of all the inserts.  Second, you will never get a 4-pack of Yo+ yogurt for $.25 at Winco. 

If you are new to couponing, don't be daunted.  These types of bargain trips are in the "advanced course" (ha ha) but the payback is huge.  If you plan for 1/2 hour, shop for 45 minutes and save $30-$50 per transaction (which is not unusual if you do it right) then you've made over $100 per hour.  Not bad.  Planning & organizing may take longer when you're first getting started, but it gets easier.  I promise.

Here are a couple of the "approximate" prices of items if you do exactly $30 transactions and use coupons (no doubles) so you can get an idea of the possibilities.

Yo+ 4-packs - $.25: $2.49 - $1.25 (50%) - $1 (insert or printable coupon)
Klondike bars - $.50: $2.99 - $1.49 (50%) - $1 (printable coupon)
Progresso Soup - $.49-$.52: $1.69 - $.85 (50%) - $.36 (if you have the $1.10/3 printable)
Frosting - $.35: $1.69 - $.85 (50%) - $.50 (printable coupon)


  1. Question Cindy: When reading the rules on the store double coupons they usually say up to 3 per family per trip. Have you be allowed to use 3 per transaction?

    I haven't ever tried, I just assumed they would not let me use the doubles on multiple transactions.

  2. Where can we get the General Mills coupons? It is really hard to tell from the ads what is included in the General Mills sale items. How do you figure this out?

  3. Jen: I have talked with checkers at several stores and all have indicated that their general rule of thumb is no more than 3 transactions in a row. Then you at least have to leave the store and come back (even if that means just going out to the parking lot). I've done more than 3 in the past, but don't anymore because I don't want them to stop doing doubles!

    Melisa - Glad you found them. Those sites do require a sign-up but their coupons refresh every month so you can print more.