Saturday, April 23, 2011

Help My Store is Out of STOCK - Rainchecks 101

Again, not written by me but I thought it might help out a beginning couponer or two. This article was originally posted by Time 2 Save Workshops.

One of the things that can be a hitch in your coupon giddy-up, is when sale items are sold out. For instance, I’m betting that many of you weren’t able to get your hands on the FREE Theraflu at CVS a few weeks ago. Or perhaps the FREE Irish Spring was just a big empty spot on the shelf at Wal-greens. That can be so discouraging, when you’ve spent time clipping and planning!

I thought it would be a good idea to share with you, in case you weren’t aware, that Rain Checks are some of the easiest and most time-saving ways to make sure you get the deals you’re after. With a raincheck in your hand, you can return to the store later and “Make your own sale” by just handing over your slip of paper.

Plus, there is no need to rush to the store and fight off the binder-toting coupon crowd, only to realize the shelf is empty. Take a deep breath, maintain your composure, and kindly ask your cashier to write you a Rain Check for the items you want! Here’s why you should love rainchecks too:

* While you wait for the item to restock, you may come across more coupons. When the clerk asks “How many?’ – I ask “What’s the limit?” even if I don’t have that many coupons at the time. Given a couple weeks, you’ll probably come across more coupons to use (or better ones)!
* The selection will not be picked through when you return at a later date. You don’t want the 2 measly packages of shortbread cookies on the shelf, do you? You want the Chocolate-Chip Pecan Sandies you had dreamed of! It’s fine if you ask for a raincheck for a particular flavor/variety that is out as well! For instance, a few weeks ago at Publix, I requested a raincheck for the Four Cheese Pasta Sauce – even though every other variety was in stock.
* With a raincheck tucked away in your binder, you can wait for the best possible time to use it. I got a raincheck for B1G1 Schick Quattro’s at Rite-Aid a few months ago. I only had one coupon to begin with. By the time I went back to use it, I had found another coupon so that both were free, AND those razors were earning a Single Check Rebate that would give me money back!

The rules of rainchecks differ from store to store, but you are usually allowed to wait at least a month before redeeming them. Rite-Aid and Wal-greens rainchecks say that they “should” be redeemed within 30 days from the date written. CVS and Publix, however, have no expiration date whatsoever.

* CVS will issue you the original Extra Care Bucks Deal upon redemption, but it is a good idea to remind the clerk of the exact details of the sale/deal when they’re writing it out- just in case they’re not familiar with it.
* Rite-Aid, in my experience, writes the raincheck to reflect the price the item WOULD have been, after considering the +UP reward. I believe this differs from store to store.
* Wal-greens does NOT write Rainchecks for Register Rewards. They do write them for sale prices, however.

So remember – asking for a raincheck is NOT a waste of time.

***Also, I realize that we don't have any Publix, Rite-Aid, or CVS around here, but there are still some very helpful tips! Plus, some of my readers come from out-of-state :)

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