Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Catalina Cereal Surprises -- Watch Out for Those Golden Grahams

Yesterday the girls and I went to Jewel with the plan of buying 2 boxes Total, 2 boxes of Cheerios and 3 boxes Golden Grahams for the Catalina deal. I had two $1/1 Total printables, one $1/2 Cheerios Q, and one $1/3 for General Mills cereals including Golden Grahams. So it should have cost me $1 for 7 boxes cereal after coupons and Catalina.
The first surprise is that my store was out of the right size of Total. So I got four boxes Cheerios and 3 Golden Grahams.
The second surprise is that as soon as we scanned 3 boxes of cereal at the self-checkout, it spit out a coupon for $1.50/3 GM cereals. Before we finished and paid. I pocketed the coupon immediately, which was good because ...
The third surprise was that the Golden Grahams were ringing up at $2.79 before card, unlike the Cheerios which rang up at $3.95. I asked the manager to void our transaction while we went back to the shelf. I thought we got the wrong size, but then I saw the "sale price" listed on the yellow tag on the correct size cereal, right above the card price.
So I ended up getting four boxes Cheerios and four boxes Golden Grahams, for a pre-card total of $26.96 and a card price total of $16. I used two $1.50/3 Qs, the one that came out during our first attempt and the one that came out when I scanned these for the real transaction.
So I ended up paying $13, getting another $10 Cat, for an expenditure of $3. Only as we were walking out of the store did it occur to me that with 8 boxes, I could have ALSO used the $1/2 I had with me, which would have meant getting 8 boxes for $2 instead of $3.
Oh well, we're still talking less than 40 cents a box.
I want to squeeze in a few more transactions today before the promo ends, although it is kind of rainy out which does not really encourage me to get the kids on over there. Would be nice to do a granola bar stockup, get some more ice cream and some Klondike bars, and maybe one more batch of cereal.


Anonymous said...

I tried this catalina twice tonight at my Jewel - first time on breyers ice cream, yummy, and the second time with 2 bertolli pasta sauces and 5 boxes of cheerios & total. The self checkout would not scan my $10 catalina from the first transaction so the girl had to manually take $5 off twice. Then the second deal only gave me a $5 cat instead of a $10 cat. The girl at customer service tried telling me that you could only do the deal once per customer with your preferred card. I argued long enough that they finally relented and just gave me an additional $5. But now I am nervous to try this deal again. You have clearly used it several times - do you have more than one preferred card?

Carrie said...

Hi Anon,

I have been using just one Jewel card and had no problem doing the transaction multiple times, that has never been a rule I've heard about or read in the fine print. But it's totally the norm for me for Jewel employees to pull explanations out of their, um, ears about why a transaction didn't work.
I have heard of it not working on the same card for transactions within a few MINUTES of each other, but since you got a Cat, just not the full one, I don't think that was the problem for you.

It COULD have been that one of your products was ringing up for less than the shelf price. I hadn't tried the Total. Look at your receipt -- did the Total ring up at $2.79 instead of $3.95 before card? That would have messed it up.

If you still have time to go and are worried that it won't work, there are a few tactics you could use:
1) Just save your Cat for regular groceries and pay cash. That way you can return items if it doesn't work out, without arguing with the staff. Not sure how you'd feel about doing a return when you already got a $5 Cat, but if you figure out which items caused the problem you could return only those and be in the clear.
2) Stick to items you know worked already. Personally I would stock up on more pasta sauces or Cheerios (not other cereals) cause I can vouch those worked for me.