Great News For Coke Drinkers!
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Great news for HEB shoppers -- it looks like we have a new Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola catalina promotion kicking off in stores starting Wednesday, March 10!
Between March 10 - 23, 2021, 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.
We'll be able to spend those catalinas beginning Wednesday, March 24. Note that your purchase must be $30 before coupons in order to use the catalina.
So 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:
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 (think Coke, Listerine, or Aveeno) when you stack the catalina with those manufacturer coupons. Other brands included in this particular promotion: Powerade, Dasani, Zico, Vitaminwater, Dunkin, Neutrogena, Zyrtec, and Band-Aid.
We CAN use digital coupons to purchase items that trigger a catalina. I recommend going into your app now and searching by category (specifically Food) to see what's available. We may have more digital coupons coming out on Wednesday, March 10 that can also match back.
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. 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!
Don't try to use your new catalinas before the March 24 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 Coke 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. 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. The details on this promotion are listed on page 3 of the March 10 HEB ad. 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 24 -- 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 (especially for health care items), 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! Feel free to use my coupon database over on my Spend Less, Shop More blog to track down coupons.
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.