Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coupon Stacking and Rainchecks

Ever see those great buys in the sale circulars, and when you go to the store they’re all gone. Me too, in fact it happens frequently to me. Meijers puts out Sunday ads, but when I get to their store on Sunday all the advertised items are gone, or at least the ones I wanted are. Often I am told a truck might be in later that week with the desired items, then again, maybe not. What I’ve learned is to ask for a rain check. The rain check is always the better deal. Let me explain why.

A good day is when I arrived and there is still two packages of the .99 per lb skinless chicken breast left. I would only get a few packages because that’s all that was left or there was a limit on the sales. Usually the limit is two, never more than four. With a rain check I can go back with the item isn’t on sale and there is plenty of stock. Stores are usually generous with their rain check amounts allowing six, eight, even ten of the out of stock item.

Rain checks are only good for the time printed on them. Usually a month, but Walgreens writes open rain checks that have no expiration date. All you have to do is hold onto them. In the summer, when all the back to school sales were in full swing, Uniball roller pens were on sale at Walgreens. Very popular pens at an excellent price, which equaled no stock. I was able to save my rain check for later in the year when I did need to purchase more pens.

What if a store doesn’t issue rain checks? It should say so if their sales ad. If you carefully read Black Friday ads, it will say on the door busters in 4 count font, no rain checks. If you point out there was no disclaimer printed in the ad, they will often give you a rain check. Still, not satisfied, you can contact corporate via their website. Lost leaders, like turkey, around Thanksgiving do not get rain checks. In fact, they will often limit you to one. Need help on the rest of your shopping list, try coupon stacking.

Many stores issue coupons exclusively for their store. Their name is printed somewhere on the coupons. I can take my Huggies diaper coupon for Target, which is a dollar and combine it with my manufacturer’s two dollar coupon for three dollars off in total.

The store coupon value is usually over fifty cents, so the coupons are not doubled, if your store doubles coupons. Just a word of caution here about coupons: avoid installing a coupon printer. Many coupon sites will offer you free coupons if you install a printer. The coupon printer software not only gathers information, but often brings viruses with it. It took my computer down. I am eighty dollars poorer, but wiser whenever a site specifies a device has to be installed. Don’t do it.

So go out and get those rain checks. Patronize stores who offer rain checks this will usually be grocery and discount stores. I guess it never hurts to ask wherever you shop there maybe even more stores out there offering rain checks.

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