Friday, February 19, 2010

Be Sure To Get A Rain Check!

My frugal tip for today is to always get a  rain check if the store is out of the sale-priced item that you were hoping to buy.

It can be frustrating to not get the product that is at such a  good price. And very disappointing if you had really good coupons to use in conjunction with the sales, too.

When I first became a serious bargain hunter, I wasted a lot of time running from store to store and even making several trips to the same store  in one week in hopes to catch the great bargain in stock.

Nowadays, I'm much calmer. If the sale-priced product is out of stock, I simply ask for a rain check. I keep it in my wallet and use it after the shelves have been re-stocked. Even if they're out of the specific flavor you wanted, you can get a rain check!

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Ask for the quantity that you want.  Bi-Lo lets you buy as many of the product as you want with a rain check, unless there is a limit posted in the ad. Other stores will mark the quantity that you want on the rain check and only allow that many to be purchased at the special price.
  • Check your coupon expiration dates. If the coupon will expire before the shelves will be re-stocked, ask the cashier or customer service rep. if you will be able to use the expired coupon. Most times, they will allow it and write something akin to " Use expired coupon" on the rain check. Stores vary, though, so be sure and ask!  Be aware that most stores will not triple or super double your coupons after the event is over, even if you got a rain check during that time. Instead, the store's normal coupon policy would apply. 
  • Keep the coupons with your rain checks so you won't lose them. You can staple or paper clip them together if you want.
  • CVS gives rain checks even on items that generate Extra Care Bucks. Just be sure to have the cashier copy the price and product info from the ad. They will print the ECB's for you when you use the rain check. CVS' rain checks do not expire, so you can use it next week or even next year if you'd like! 
  • Walgreens gives rain checks but you will not receive Register Rewards after the sale is over. I much prefer CVS' policies! I try to hit Walgreens early in the week if there is a Register Rewards deal that's especially appealing to me.
  • Sometimes the store will substitute something else for the same price. Last fall, I accidentally grabbed the wrong bags of dog treats, thinking they were the ones on sale. It turned out that they didn't even carry the treats that were featured. So they gave me the ones I had picked up (which were the same brand but a larger bag) for the same price! I don't know who was happier- me or  Cherished Dog!
  • Some sale items may not be available for rain checks. Especially if the ad states "While supplies last" or "No rain checks." Each store is different.
Asking for (and then using) rain checks saves me money and time!

**For more frugal tips visit Life As Mom!


gail said...

i was at shopko today and was supprised to see several sales with the note underneath "no rainchecks" is this becoming more prevalent?

also, love how you refer to your pooch as the cherished dog =) i cant' wait til we move and can finally get another dog again.

Mary Ann said...


I haven't noticed "no rainchecks" that often around here. I think it depends on the store and the product being offered.