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July 16, 2016

HEB Bargains: Complete Guide To The Colgate Catalina Promotion (Launching 7/20!)

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Great news for HEB shoppers -- we have a new catalina promotion kicking off beginning Wednesday, July 20!

As I reported earlier this week, shoppers who spend $10 or more before coupons on select Colgate-Palmolive items will receive a $3 catalina printing at checkout!

Note that the future purchase must be made between August 3 - 16, 2016, and will need to be $10 or more before any coupons.

Now, it's hard to tell in the photo, but there are actually a couple of new changes to this catalina.  So even if you are an expert HEB couponer, be sure to read through the following details:

    • Your minimum purchase -- $10, 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.  Brands included in this catalina promotion include Colgate, Irish Spring, Speed Stick, Softsoap, Suavitel, Fabuloso, Murphy's Oil Soap, and Palmolive.
    • Colgate toothpaste, Colgate toothbrushes, or Speed Stick deodorants priced under $1.50 will not qualify for the catalina promotion.  This particular restriction was there in the January catalina promotion as well and is meant to ensure HEB doesn't lose money on these offers.
    • 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 have had 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. 
    • We can use digital coupons to purchase items that trigger a catalina.  However, there weren't a lot of digital coupons available at publication time on Colgate-Palmolive brands.  Digital coupons are added to the HEB mobile app on Mondays and Wednesdays, so maybe we will see some new offers closer to the launch of the promotion!
    • REMINDER: We can use our Coca-Cola catalinas to help pay for Colgate-Palmolive items that trigger a catalina.  Just remember that you have to spend $15 before coupons in order to use that Coke catalina.  So your trip might look something like this: 1) Buy $15 worth of groceries, including $10 worth of Colgate-Palmolive items.  2) Give your $5 Coca-Cola catalina at checkout FIRST to knock your total down to $5.  3) Next, give any other manufacturer or HEB coupons you might have.  4) Your $3 Colgate-Palmolive catalina will still print at the end of the transaction.  (And just because someone always asks, the Coke catalina promotion ends on July 19 -- the day before this one starts.  Go here for more information about the Coca-Cola promotion!)
    • Don't try to use your new Colgate-Palmolive catalinas before the August 3 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, $10 worth of Suavitel and $10 worth of Softsoap, you will need to do that on two separate transactions to earn two $3 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!
    • 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 $10 purchase or larger.  So plan to use your catalina on a larger shopping trip once it's able to be used beginning August 3 -- 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.
    • Don't assume the HEB coupons will be your best deal.  The HEB yellow coupons can be useful, 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! 
    I will sort through available coupons this weekend and begin putting together some deal scenarios for everyone!

    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.

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    1. If I buy 9.25 of products before taxes and then the cashier hits total and it goes past 10 is that ok. Does it have to be before total and before taxes or after the total button is hit? HEB sometimes says it has to be before the total.

    2. It has to be before taxes. Ypu will have to hit $10.