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February 10, 2016

HEB Bargains: $10 Johnson & Johnson Catalina Promotion Starts February 17!

Great news for HEB shoppers -- it sounds like we have a brand-new catalina promotion beginning on Wednesday, February 17!

Beginning that day, shoppers who spend $30 or more on select Johnson & Johnson products OR Coca-Cola products will receive a $10 catalina to use on a future purchase (that purchase must occur between March 2 - 15, 2016, and must be a minimum of $30 before coupons.)

If you've never done any catalina deals at HEB before, here's how you can prepare for the great offers that will be available between February 17 - March 1, 2016:

    • For this catalina promotion, only select brands by Johnson & Johnson are included. It looks like Coca-Cola, Powerade, Vitaminwater, Smartwater, Zico, Dasani, Aveeno, Tena, Clean & Clear, Zyrtec, Lubriderm RoC, Johnson's Baby, Neosporin, Rogaine, Tylenol Cold & Sinus, Visine, Motrin, Band-Aid, Neutrogena, Benadryl, Listerine, Desitin, Pepcid, and Sudafed are all included.
    • Your minimum purchase -- $30, in this case -- is for your total BEFORE manufacturer coupons.  So catalinas are a great chance to stockpile deals on some of your favorite brands when you combine the catalina with manufacturer coupons.  NOTE: Some cashiers will try to claim that your minimum purchase is for $30 AFTER manufacturer coupons, but this is not correct.  Read further on in this post for ideas on how to handle cashiers or managers when they haven't been trained on how catalina promotions work.
    • Using HEB yellow coupons can be tricky, because the register reads them as a price adjustment, not an actual coupon.  So you'll need to take that into account while doing your math. I personally have good luck waiting until the cashier hits TOTAL, then passing over all my coupons.  That way, the catalina has already printed, and the price adjustment of the HEB store coupons does not drop you below the minimum to trigger the catalina.  NOTE: Historically, we have some very nice piggyback deals as part of catalina promotions.  So if you're not aware of the rules around piggybacking (or even what it is), now is also the time to get up to speed on that -- go here for more information!
    • We can use digital coupons to purchase items that trigger a catalina.  Just keep in mind that digital coupons are usually manufacturer coupons, simply made available to us through the HEB mobile app.  Sometimes there are higher-value coupons for the exact same product available to either clip from coupon inserts or print!
    • REMINDER: We can use our $5 Unilever catalinas to help pay for Johnson & Johnson or Coca-Cola items that trigger a catalina.  So your trip would look something like this: 1) Buy $30 worth of Coca-Cola or Johnson & Johnson items.  2) Give your $5 Unilever catalina coupon FIRST to knock your total down to $25.  3) Give any other manufacturer or yellow coupons available that match back to your items.  4) Your new $10 catalina will still print at the end of the transaction.  (And just because someone always asks, the Unilever earning period has already finished -- so if you do not already have those coupons, there will be no way for you to get those coupons.)
    • Don't try to use your new Johnson's catalinas before the March 2 redemption date.  That will be coupon misuse, and could possibly lead to an embarrassing interaction with the cashier at checkout.  I hear from at least one reader during every catalina promotion who says, "But my cashier let me!"  It's still misuse (and could have repercussions for that cashier down the line.)
    • You can only earn one catalina per transaction.  In fact, we are usually only allowed to earn one catalina per customer per day on most of these promotions.  So if you want to stockpile, say, $30 worth of soda and $30 worth of Zyrtec, you will need to do that on two separate transactions to earn two $10 catalinas.  You could do that in two separate trips to the same store, or you could plan one shopping trip to hit multiple HEB stores in the same general area of town.
    • If your catalina doesn't print at the register, ask for a manager's help before leaving the store.  Managers have a 'fail-safe' code that they can use to force a catalina to print -- assuming, of course, that you bought the right number of items and all of that.  This can definitely add some time to your register check-out, but leaving the store a little late is far less frustrating than leaving empty-handed!  NOTE: If you shop on the first day of the catalina promotion, your chances of having this happen rise exponentially.  In that case, I ALWAYS recommend bringing a copy of the weekly HEB ad with you to the register, to show your cashier and/or manager that yes, a new promotion has started, and yes, they need to get your catalina.  If you're the sort of person who gets anxious about that level of follow-up, I recommend you wait a day or two into the promotion period to make sure your store has had time to update their register systems.
    • If you don't get a manager's help for a catalina reprint, you can still request a reprint at home.  However, the reprint request is limited to one per customer, so if you are doing a lot of shopping, you really do need to be communicating with your store manager on what's happening at your local HEB.  Go here for more info on how to request a reprinted catalina.
    • You must use the catalina on a $30 purchase or larger.  So plan to use your catalina on a larger shopping trip once it's able to be used beginning March 2 -- and don't go nuts accumulating the catalinas if you don't have a plan to spend them carefully.  I heard a horror story last year of a shopper who had earned over 40 catalinas, not understanding that she had to redeem them all in separate purchases!  Here are a few more tips on how to shop with catalinas at HEB.  NOTE: I usually have time to post some deal scenarios on the best ways to spend your earned catalinas as we approach the March 2 spending start date.
    • Don't assume the HEB coupons will be your best deal.  The HEB yellow coupons can be useful (especially for piggybacking), but they aren't always the highest-value coupons available for any particular brand.  So be sure to do your research before you head out to the store! 
    Here are a couple suggested deal scenarios I've put together to get you thinking:
    If you're an experienced HEB catalina shopper, what other tips can you share?  And if you're new to using catalinas at HEB, what questions do you have?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

    And big thanks to my reader Debbie who sent along the info about this new promotion!

    See more HEB catalina deals here.

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