July 28, 2015
Secret Tips On How To Score Random Catalinas At HEB
Or does it make you crazy that YOU do all the couponing -- but whenever your husband goes to the store, he comes back with a fistful of high-value catalinas that you never get?
Well, turn off the green-eyed monster -- I think I've broken the secret code on how to trigger random catalinas at HEB!
Keep in mind that the following tips won't work on every single transaction -- otherwise, random catalinas wouldn't be really random.
But if you try these hints, I bet you'll start seeing more fun coupons print out for you at checkout, and fewer ads or discounts on oil changes!
Note that I'm talking about catalinas like the $5 off $5 coupon pictured above -- basket coupons that aren't manufacturer coupons, and aren't promoted in the weekly ads like the P&G and Unilever offers that roll around fairly consistently. Regular readers know how to get those!
(And if you're a brand-new couponer and don't know what catalinas are, no worries: it's just a fancy name for the coupons that print out at checkout.)
So here's what I've figured out so far:
1) HEB prints more random catalinas when competitors move into a market. Got a Walmart being built nearby? Then start shopping at the closest HEB -- you'll see more catalinas being generated, as HEB tries to keep shoppers happy and less likely to go check out the new store.
This is great news for a lot of San Antonio shoppers, since Walmart is making a big push into the city right now! For example, Walmart is building a store right across the street from my HEB, and also right across the street from my mother's HEB (on two totally different sides of town.)
So if your store doesn't have any competition in the direct neighborhood, it might be worth shopping closer to work, church, or another area that does!
2) HEB prints more random catalinas when a store is under a remodel. I saw this when the 3009 store up the road from me went through a year-long renovation -- those shoppers got significantly more catalinas than I saw shopping at my usual Kitty Hawk location in Universal City.
Again, it's a way to surprise and delight customers who might otherwise be getting tired of all of the upheaval that a renovation automatically brings.
3) HEB Plus stores print more random catalinas than non-Plus stores. This is just a gut feeling of mine, but I'm pretty confident in it. Since Plus stores have more inventory, they have more discount opportunities than the non-Plus stores.
My family friends who shop the Plus stores are constantly showing me some great coupons that they get, especially the random $3 off $30 coupons and ESPECIALLY especially basket coupons good in the baby department!
4) HEB will print out FEWER catalinas for transactions using a lot of coupons. This is the one that I think really kills couponers -- we want those catalinas so badly, and then they go to folks who are less interested in coupons (or who leave them behind in the grocery cart or even throw them away in the parking lot!)
But it makes business sense when you stop to think about it -- giving catalinas to folks who rarely or never use manufacturer coupons means HEB won't be losing money on the transaction. In fact, that catalina will prompt non-couponers to spend MORE money than they might otherwise.
I tested my theory just this afternoon -- I went into my Universal City location and used only HEB yellow coupons and digital coupons on my transaction. (And to be on the safe side, I also paid with a different card than I normally use.)
And guess what printed out?
Yep, that hot $5 off $5 meat basket coupon in the photo is mine, all mine. And trust me, I never but never get those kinds of catalinas (because I really hardly ever buy at HEB without using at least one or two clipped or printed coupons!)
So I am definitely going to make a point of every once in a while putting together smaller transactions just with yellow coupons or digital coupons, just to up my odds of receiving these sweet, sweet discounts.
What other tips do you have for earning or scoring high-value random catalinas at HEB? If you've worked out any additional hints, I would love to hear them in the comments!
Need more secret tips to couponing at HEB? Check out my guide to finding HOT unadvertised deals at HEB each week!