Off to the grocery store – last day for this week’s ad. I have a few coupons to help me save a bit more money. I hit the aisles looking for spaghetti sauce. It’s all gone. OK, on to the dairy section for some yogurt. Not quite the same result, but a very limited selection. It always seems to be this way on the last day of the advertisement. I could just head out, and call it a wasted trip, or maybe head to another store. This time, I decided to take a different approach.
I head to the customer service desk to see if they are offering rain checks on the out-of-stock items. A store rain check may be an option when items are out-of-stock. Be sure to ask for a rain check at both retail and grocery stores on out-of-stock sale items to keep you on budget.
Regional grocery stores may offer rain checks on sale items that are out of stock. We don’t often think about rain checks at the grocery store. I was trying to combine a sale advertisement with coupons, and I didn’t want six of the same flavor yogurt in my fridge just because the store has a limited selection at the end of a sale week. Combine this with a good deal on spaghetti sauce, and I figure it was worth checking on rain check eligibility. As it turns out, the employee working at the customer service desk was more than happy to write rain checks for both the yogurt and the spaghetti sauce, which will allow me to save a bit of money when the items are in stock.
Retail stores offer rain checks only on certain items, so you have to check both the advertisement and the store’s policy. Just because an item is in a sales advertisement does not mean it is available for rain check if the store is out of inventory. Look for small print in the advertisement that may indicate “limited quantities” or “rain checks not available on this item.” Of course, retail stores also set policy on out-of-stock items determining whether a rain check can be written on items in the advertisement based on how the item is categorized by the store. If an item is out of stock, be prepared that store may not automatically give you a rain check.
We often forget about obtaining a rain check, or checking for rain check eligibility when sale items are not available. Again, the grocery store situation is one in which the savings increase when you combine the advertised sale with the coupons. If it’s either the sales ad or the coupons, it’s not worth the time & money spent for one instance – we’re not talking about a lot of money in savings if you separate the sale advertisement and coupons. But checking for a rain check can help you increase your savings when those items are back in stock at the store – whether it’s a retail chain or grocery store.