I have been getting a lot of readers asking what exactly a catalina is so I thought I would touch on this subject to clear it up for you.
Most grocery stores and some retailers will have a little box that will print out coupons at the register mostly when the transaction is complete.  Like this picture below:

catalina coupons
These machines will give you for the most part two kinds of coupons.
1. It will be for a specific product like: $1.00 Pampers Products
2.  They will be something like: $5.00 OYNO (on your next order)
What Promps this to print?  The products you buy.  For instance Safeway is doing a promotion for P&G Products.  If you spend $25 on the participating products you will receive a $10 catalina to use on your next order.
Now there are a few things you need to look out for.  For the most part these offers will print when you reach the $25 BEFORE coupons.  So if you end up only paying $10, but the total before coupons was $25 then you would still get that $10 catalina and you can use it to do another similar transaction.  But with this Safeway Promotion it is AFTER coupons.  So make sure you read the ad.  If it doesn’t say then it will be after.  Have I lost you?
Here is an example of a store promotion:

Spend $30 on participating products and receive $10 Catalina OYNO (this deal is over and just an example)
Buy (2) Pampers wipes = $17.98

Buy (1) Pampers Jumbo Pack $8.99
Buy (2) Gerber Graduates Snacks or Entrees $3.98 (this is your “filler item” to get to $30)
Total Before Coupons & Discounts: $30.95
use $2/1 from RP 3/14
Pay $28.95 OOP, and receive a $10 Catalina + a $4.00 Catalina for buying the Wipes

You can then use those catalinas and do the exact same transaction and lower your OOP and still receive more catalina coupons.
Here is an example of a catalina that is on a certain product these can be limited to certain stores or be national:
Betty Crocker Instant Potatoes:
buy 1, get $0.50 OYNO
buy 2, get $1.50 OYNO
buy 3, get $3.00 OYNO
:Deal Idea:
buy 3
Load $0.40/1 from Cellfire.com or Shortcuts.com
Load $0.40/1 from QFC.com
Total OOP: $1.00, and receive a $3.00 Catalina on your next order
Transaction #2
buy 3
$3.00 catalina from previous order*
or if you have more printable’s you could turn this into a money maker
Total OOP: Free
Other things you need to know:
IF you receive a catalina and you are using it to buy something that is less then the total you will have to use a filler item.  They will not give you cash back.
You can use these to buy the same product and still get another Catalina.  This is what makes them so great! (but remember to make sure you know if it is before or after coupons)
If the catalina offer is on a specific product and not a store promotion those always roll.
IF you receive a manufacturers coupon out of the catalina machine you CANNOT stack those with other manufacturers coupons (like the ones you get in the newspaper).  No mater what the rule is 1 Manufactures coupon per 1 product.
You will need to use those coupons at the store you received them from.
How do we find out what items are offering a catalina? A lot of times the catalina will print out upcoming offers.  My favorite place to find these is at Fred Meyer from there Coupon Exchange.  You will also sometimes see hanging tags that are next to the product.  For store promos those will be in the ad.
I hope this clears things up a little be and gives you more of an idea on what a catalina is.    If you know of any great offers you can always email me.