Extreme Couponing Tip: Rolling Catalinas

extreme couponing

Extreme Couponing Tip: Rolling Catalinas

Here is an Extreme Couponing tip that I love talking about.  It’s about rolling your catalinas and how they are an unbelievable tool to saving money on your grocery bill.

Often, I hear: “you used a Catalina so your out of pocket expense wasn’t actually as low as you say it was.”  I know it can be frustrating trying to understand Catalina deals, but honestly, this is one of my favorite ways to save.  If you’re new to couponing, I hope this little experiment will help you understand how to maximize your savings and keep your out of pocket (OOP) expenses low using coupons and rolling Catalinas!

Reader Laura D. was awesome enough to conduct this “Track a Catalina” experiment!  She started out at ShopRite tracking her purchases the week of  8/5.  As of 8/18, Laura has only spent $2.11 out of pocket and has just about $100 worth of products just from rolling her Catalinas each week!  I hope this gives you more confidence in using Catalinas.  They really help us save tons of money.  Below I will break down Laura’s purchases each week for you to see how she was able to score so much stuff for so little OOP.

I also would like to point out that obviously Laura does not live off of cookies, deodorant, body wash or air fresheners.  But what she is able to do, during her 2 week experiment , is stock up on items that were pretty much free.  Once you have built up your stockpile, like Laura has,  your purchases each week are really only for free or super cheap items along with any deals on meat and your perishable items like produce.  For me, I am able to keep my weekly out of pocket cost for groceries down to only $50 each week because I do shopping trips like Laura, spending next to nothing out of pocket and then I visit stores where I have found the best prices for meat and produce.  If there is a great deal on meat and produce, I’m sure to stock up on that as well, freezing items that I will not use before the expiration date.  For more on what you can freeze, be sure to check out the What Can I Freeze post.

Here is how Laura’s experiment went…

Week of 8/5:

Bought in 4 Different Transactions:

(4) Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist Starter Kit, $3.39 each

Coupons Used:

(4) $3/1 Glade Expressions Fragrance Mist Starter Kit Printable

Total OOP: $1.56
Received: (4) $1.00 Catalinas (Glade)
$2.44 Money Maker

Week of 8/12:

Transaction #1:

(3) Suave Deodorant ($2.39), $1.67 each 
(4) Nature Valley Protein Bars ($3.40), $1.88 each
(1) Sundown Folic Acid ($2.19), $1.09
(3) YoCrunch Yogurts ($0.99), $0.60 each

Coupons Used:

(2)  $0.75/1 Suave Deodorant (RP 7/29/12)
(1)  $0.50/1 Suave Deodorant Printable
(1)  $0.50/1 Suave Deodorant  eCoupon
(4)  $0.60/1 Nature Valley Protein Bars Printable
(1)  $0.50/1 Nature Valley Protein  eCoupon
(1)  $1.60/1 Sundown Vitamin Printable
(1)  $1.00/1 Sundown  eCoupon
(3)  $1.00 Glade Catalinas from week #1 (“Rolling” her Catalinas,”purchasing items that will produce more Catalinas)

Paid:  $0.02
Received: $2.00 Catalina (Suave-Buy 3 Get $2) $2.00 Catalina (Nature Valley)
Total OOP to date: $1.59 OOP spent
Total Catalina’s still have: $5.00 ($2 Nature Valley, $2 Suave, $1 Glade)
$3.42 Money Maker

Transaction #2:

(3) Suave Deodorant ($2.39), $1.67 each 

Coupons Used:

(2)  $0.75/1 Suave Deodorant (RP 7/29/12)
(1)  $0.50/1 Suave Deodorant Printable
(1)  $1.00 Glade Catalinas from week #1 (“Rolling” her Catalinas,”purchasing items that will produce more Catalinas)

Paid:  $0.01
Received: $2.00 Catalina (Suave-Buy 3 Get $2)
Total OOP to date: $1.59 OOP spent
Total Catalina’s still have: $6.00 ($2 Nature Valley, (2) $2 Suave)
$4.41 Money Maker

Transaction #3 (week 2):

(2) Suave Deodorants ($2.39), $1.67 each
(1) Suave Body Wash ($3.39). $1.77
(1) YoCrunch Yogurt ($0.99), $0.60
(1) LaYogurt Yogurt “Clearance” $0.34

Coupons Used:

-(2) $0.75/1 Suave Deodorant (RP 7/29/12)
-(1) $0.50/1 Suave Body Wash Printable
-(1) $2.00 Suave Catalina from this week (“Rolling” her Catalinas,”purchasing items that will produce more Catalinas)
-(1) $0.05 Canvas Bag Refund

Paid: $0.00
Received: $2.00 Catalina (Suave-Buy 3 Get $2)
Total OOP to date: $1.59 OOP spent
Total Catalina’s still have: $6.00 ($2 Nature Valley, (2) $2 Suave)
$4.41 Money Maker

Transaction #4 (week 2):

(2) Suave Deodorants ($2.39), $1.67 each
(1) Suave Body Wash ($3.39). $1.77
(1) YoCrunch Yogurt ($0.99), $0.60
(1) CraZart Crayons ($1.00), $0.33

Coupons Used:

-(2) $0.75/1 Suave Deodorant (RP 7/29/12)
-(1) $0.50/1 Suave Body Wash Printable
-(1) $2.00 Suave Catalina from this week (“Rolling” her Catalinas,”purchasing items that will produce more Catalinas)
-(1) $0.05 Canvas Bag Refund

Paid: $0.00
Received: $2.00 Catalina (Suave-Buy 3 Get $2)
Total OOP to date: $1.59 OOP spent
Total Catalina’s still have: $6.00 ($2 Nature Valley, (2) $2 Suave)
$4.41 Money Maker

Transaction #5 (week 2):

(4) Fudge Stripe Keebler Cookies ($3.69), $0.99 each
(4) Chips Deluxe Rainbow Keebler Cookies ($3.69), $0.99 each

Coupons Used:

(3) $0.55/2 Keebler Cookies (RP 7/29/12)
(2) $2.00 Suave Catalinas
(2) $0.05 Canvas Bag Refund

Paid: $0.52
Received: $5.00 Catalina (Keebler, Spend $25 Get $5 Catalina Toward School Supplies)
Total OOP to date: $2.11
Total Catalina’s still have: $7.00 ($5 Keebler, $2 Nature Valley)

Final Results after 2 weeks of shopping:

Total OOP: $2.11
Total Catalinas Remaining: $7.00
Total Value of Products: $99.16
All FREE + $4.89 Money Maker!

I know this may be an “extreme” example of rolling Catalinas, because it was done in multiple transactions and took a good amount of coupons, however this is just to give you an idea of the potential there is in strategically planning your shopping trips using Catalina deals as well as coupons!  Next time you see a reader shopping trip or one of my own shopping trips using Catalinas, with an OOP very low, I hope this helps you understand why we can really say our OOP was truly that low, because we are often rolling Catalinas from prior purchases that we hardly ever spent any money on!

A special thanks to Laura D for taking the time to prepare these trips.  You rock!

Do you have an idea for an Extreme Couponing tip you’d like to see addressed?  Leave your ideas in the comments!


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