Thursday, February 12, 2009

Working Catalina Sales at Shaw's 101!

Talking to some people, I realized that some are lost when it comes to working these sales at Shaw's that boast "Buy THIS Get $10 Of Your Next Purchase (OYNP) Coupon" or whatnot.  I'm going to try to simplify how I do this.  These sales are also called catalinas.  Obviously most people can understand "Oh yeah, I buy 10 things and I get a coupon for $10 off my next order" - but if you work MFCs with them, you get them for next to nothing.  

1.  Get Your Ad!  Okay, first, get your Shaw's ad if you have it.  It might be easier to understand my babble if you have some sort of visual.  On the back, there is a big thing that says "Buy 10 participating items, get $10 off your next purchase".  When I come across these, I sort of scan the ad for a minute or two, and for some odd reason, I can memorize most of what is part of these things.  Then I go to my coupon organizer and I pull out every single MFC that correlates to the sale - whether I want to buy it or not.  Then they are all in a nice little pile for me.

2.  Break Down the Prices!  Then I break down the prices and write them on the circular - since they put everything as 4/$10 ($2.50), 5/$10 ($2), 4/$5 ($1.25), 3/$5 ($1.67), 3/$6 ($2).  In my head, I have a goal to make those 10 items cost me as close to $10 as possible after the MFCs - so it's like I'm "breaking even" between fronting the money, but getting my OYNP coupon.   If I can get it below $10, it's like I'm "making money."  

3.  Group Your Coupons!  Then I group the coupons so the quantities equal 10 (for instance, if I plan on using 5 $1/2 MFCs, that would be one group because those 10 items will give me a $10 OYNP coupon).  I mentally try to make the first 2 or 3 groups "really good" - things we actually use with high MFC amounts.   Paper clips are good for this step.  With all of my coupons, I can do this deal about 8 times if I wanted to.  I probably will not do it that many times.  After I do the deal with my "good" coupons, I weight the pros and cons with doing it again with my remaining coupons.  I ask myself "Is it a good deal?"  "Do I actually want these things?"  

Here's How I Figure Out My Scenarios:

I have a notebook where I just scribble grocery gibberish (pardon my 3rd grade level handwriting).  I know for this one, I need to buy 10 in one transaction to get my $10 coupon.  So I write what I'm getting, the price of it, and the coupons that go along with it.  My Shaw's doubles all MFCs 99 cents and under.  

I add up the pre-coupon price, add up the coupons, and subtract the coupon total from the price.  This becomes my Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) amount.  But remember, for each of these groups, I'll get a coupon for $10 of my next purchase.  In a way, you can think of it as me "making .15 cents" on my first round, and only spending .28 cents on the second round.  I also double check to make sure I actually calculated in 10 items and not 9.  

This probably looks so hard and confusing, but really, it's not.  I usually work these scenarios while standing at the kitchen counter while my kids are playing or whatnot.  If I have to take a break, I do.  

I also want to point out another thing about why coupons are WONDERFUL!  Pretend you didn't even get the $10 coupon - just using the coupons on my first round saves me 43% off SALE prices!  43% is a lot!  Round 2 coupon savings is 38%.  Some people will say "What's the big deal?  It's just 50 cents, it's just $1, it's too time consuming, blah blah blah."  Saving 43% off already reduced prices is fantastic!  As long as you'll actually use the products that is!

4.  Go to Shaw's and SAVE!  Now that you have your list and your coupons, you are ready to head to Shaw's and save!  

Other Tips on Catalinas:

Pay special attention to the lower priced items - for instance - if you don't have any coupons, you can get 5 Grands rolls and 5 Betty Crocker Cake Mixes.  You pay $12.50 out of pocket, but walk away with $10 off your next purchase.  That's a great deal in itself.  

You can usually use these OYNP coupons to purchase items that will generate more OYNP coupons (think of rolling CVS's ExtraCare Bucks).  However, Shaw's does have the right to not accept the OYNP coupons when you are going to be earning more.  Just be prepared to fork over the cash in case the cashier and manager say "Sorry Ma'am, you cannot use this coupon on your purchase."  

Read the fine print under all the pretty pictures.  There are products that are included in this sale that are not pictured!  Progresso Soup ($1.33 ea), Romano's Macaroni Grill kits ($3.33), Chex Mix, Cheerios Snack Mix, Gardetto's Snack Mix, & Bugles.  I'm not sure how much the snack mixes are on sale for this week.  I found out the Soup and Romano's by looking through the circular.  

Sometimes you can work 2 deals in the same transaction.  For instance, if you bought 20 of these sale items, the register might pop out 2 $10 OYNP coupons.  I usually don't try this unless there is confirmation out here in internet land.  The SlickDeals forum is a good place to find out if this works or not.  Again, I do not know for certain if you can double up this sale yet - so don't try it and blame me if it doesn't work!  ;) 

If you won't use these products - either don't do the deal or do it and donate it to a food pantry!  Just because something is a good deal for some, doesn't mean it's a good deal for others.  Our food consumption is pretty much based around sales and bargains.  I know most people actually eat what they want to eat! ;)  If you know that you will never ever eat Grands Biscuits, just don't buy them!  

If you look on my side bar, Deal Finding Mom posts a lot of what is on sale at Shaw's (God Bless her!  I don't think I can find the time for that one!).  She also posts links to print coupons for almost everything that is part of the sale (again, what a wonderful blogger!).  Check her out if you want to print coupons for any of these items!

Hopefully I did not confuse you even more.  Let me know if you have any questions or are lost - explaining things in a simple manner is not something I'm good at.  But I try!


Heather said...

Thank you for posting this! I am fairly new to blogging and am so excited about it. We are regular Shaw's shoppers, so this is useful information to have!

BECKY! said...

Thanks Heather! Checked out your blog and it's great! What a great goal!!

Katy said...

This is a really great post, Becky!

Tiffany said...

Great post! I just wished we had a Shaws near me!