Extreme Couponing Strategy #19 – Rain checks
One of the best extreme couponing tips I can give you for dealing with out of stock items is to always ask for a Rain check. So many times I hear from readers who are frustrated that they didn’t get to take advantage of a deal or the items were sold out when they made it to the store, Most stores offer Rain checks on items that are on sale and unless the item specifically says No Rain checks this is a great way to get the same awesome deals at a later date after the store has had a chance to restock.
Extending the Deals with Rain checks
If you find an item on sale is out of stock and you know you have a coupon to use on the item then it’s a great time to ask for a rain check.
This recent Free Stayfree Pads Deal is a great example. The sale price was $1.99 and the coupon made the item free. Since the sale price only lasted a week, getting a rain check allows you to get the $1.99 price the following week when the store has restocked, but normally the sale would be over. You should still be able to use your coupon with the rain check which means you can still get the free items after the sale is over.
Here’s the step by step on the process you should follow:
- When you Find a Product is Out of Stock Ask for a Rain check! This is a good idea regardless of what the deal is, because you may find a high value coupon at a later date or a Reward like ECBs or Register Rewards that you can stack with the rain check.
- Save Your Coupons and wait for the Product to come back in stock
- When purchasing the item present the Rain check at the beginning of the transaction, some stores need to price modify as they ring up the items to match your raincheck price
- At the end of the transaction use your coupons like normal!
Rain Checks & Produce
Did you know that you can frequently get rain checks for produce. Check with your local grocery store but if they allow rain checks for produce be sure to ask for a rain check any time you see produce marked down and out of stock! This is a great way to save money on produce because you can get sale prices on produce constantly or at times when items might be out of season.
Check the Expiration Date
Some stores have really long Expiration Dates on Rain checks, some up to as long as 6 Months which means you can really have plenty of time to find a new coupon, or stock up on items you need! In the example of Produce it’s a good idea to save rain checks that last a long time until the seasonal prices go up and then you can save even more money!
Combine Rain Checks with Coupons
A Really Great way to get deals with Rain Checks is by combining Rain Checks and Coupons. You can stack B1G1 FREE Rain Checks with Coupons, In Store Ad Rain Checks with Coupons and more! Sometimes you may even find a better coupon after you get the rain check than you had when the sale price was first around. Since you can’t use an expired coupon make sure your coupons are valid when you are Using the Rain Check not when the original sale price was valid.
Shop The Last Day of the Sale
The best time to pick up a rain check is the last day of the sale. I have been known to grab what I want from a sale on the first day of the sale, then to pick up a rain check on the last day. That way I can take advantage of the sale price twice, once during the sale (By Shopping Early) and a second time by shopping a few weeks later when I need to restock with a rain check. It’s a great way to take advantage of sales twice!
Check these posts out if you are looking for more posts on Rain checks:
Savings 101: Don’t forget the Rain checks
How to Use Rain Checks to Extend the Deals
Don’t Forget: You can Download the Stockpiling Price Sheet to see all of the estimated prices you could expect to pay for the basic items we buy each month. There is also a place to compare unit pricing. This is just a guide, but a great way to help you learn the prices of each item.
Tomorrow we will be talking about another strategy for getting the most out of your coupons!
Make sure you check out our Saving Money Blog and also our How to Coupon Page for more tips, tricks and videos on saving money and using coupons.
View all the posts in the Extreme Couponing Strategies series.
If you have a coupon that is expiring, and the product you want is on sale but not availabe, explain that you have a coupon that you want to use, but it will soon expire. Both Publix and CVS have stapled my expiring coupon to the raincheck with a note explaining that the product was not available but had a valid date when I tried to buy it. There was not a problem using the expired coupon at Publix on the next shopping trip. I was told that the coupon would be useable for a month from the expiration date with the raincheck. I haven’t tried to use the CVS coupon because the product still isn’t in stock. Hopefully it will be as easy to redeem as the one at Publix.