This is a question I get a lot...
What is a catalina? How does it roll? A catalina (or cat) is any piece of paper that prints out of that little box next to the cash register. ("Catalina" is just the name of the company that makes the boxes.) They may announce new products or promotions, but most of the time they are coupons. They are triggered by what you buy. For instance, buy baby food, you will probably get one for diapers and formula, or buy frozen food and maybe you will get one for another kind of frozen food.
The most valuable catalinas are the ones you earn by doing promotions. Like buy $25 worth of certain products, get $5 back to spend on your next purchase. This comes out in the form of a catalina. Grocery stores like Albertsons and Safeway use these the most. You can also get them at KMart, Fred Meyer, Walgreens, and Rite Aid (they are called Register Rewards at Walgreens and + Ups at Rite Aid.) Make sure your cashier gives you all your catalinas when you leave, you never know what you might get. Also, the promotion ones usually print out after you have paid, so watch for the flashing green light on the box, if it is still flashing, it is still generating catalinas for you. Make sure you get them and not the lucky person behind you.
A rolling catalina is when you do a promotion, earn a catalina and then turn around and do the promotion again (on your next shopping trip), use your catalina coupon, and then earn another one. Sometimes they roll nicely, sometimes they don't. I will be sure to point out when one is rolling nicely. FYI a "shopping trip" is defined when you leave the store, so technically you can go to your car, unload your car, and come back in to complete another transaction.
So, remember a few weeks ago how Albertsons had that great catalina sale, where you got $ off coupons for buying certain products. Well, I went and redeemed them and I got $132 worth of groceries for $20! That is why learning about catalinas is so important, they can save you big time money!