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Rainchecking - Eating tomorrow at today's prices

July 30th, 2007 at 01:02 am

Rainchecking. It's not in the dictionary as a real word yet, but it should be.

Rainchecking is the art of collecting rainchecks. A proficent Rainchecker is one who knows the precise time that rainchecks can be had.

Ideally, a skilled Rainchecker can capture several rainchecks for items during the same week of the sale. Then the Rainchecker will also know how to follow up on rainchecks by collecting matching manufacturers coupons to be used in conjunction with the raincheck at a later date.

Why be an active Rainchecker? Simply stated, the goal is to eat tomorrow at today's prices.

The raincheck policy for most stores varies wildly across stores and store types. Some as little as 30 days, and others have no expiration date (my favorite).

A good example of why Rainchecking can help stretch dollars and maximize sales. Today I went to Safeway and they were out of corn. At 4 for $1, in my area, it doesn't get much cheaper than that anymore. So, I captured a raincheck. Their raincheck gives me 90 days to get it used. That puts me into October when I have to use the raincheck. Corn is still flavorful then, it's just a lot more expensive. So now when the rest of the customers are buying corn for .79c each, I'll still be paying summer's price of .25c each. I will get enough that I can freeze to have for the winter right at the end of the season, so I am freezing the freshest products from the fall harvest, instead of freezing from the summer harvest and adding a few months extra time in the freezer.

The other nice thing about Rainchecking is that if you get a good one, it gives you time to get additional coupons to go with the raincheck. That way, you can get additional items, more than if you had purchased during the sale.

Also, sometimes additional offers present themselves at the current higher price, but you've got a lower-priced raincheck handy.

A good example is when there is a register coupon deal (catalina) like a buy 5 of something, get free money for your next shopping purchase. Instead of buying the 5 at today's price, you get it at yesterday's sweetheart price, making the register deal even more lucrative.

So, how do you know when to score rainchecks and not waste time making multiple trips.

First day of the sale is a great time to go. People wipe out the shelves because the store wasn't prepared for the sale. Snag a raincheck, and come back later in the week. Ask when the store gets freight deliveries and be there the night before a freight delivery because the shelf will likely be empty.

The last day of a sale is hit or miss. It could all be gone again and you might score big, or depending on when their freight comes in, you might be out of luck to fund holes in the shelves with missing products.

A few tips on scoring rainchecks...

1. If only one flavor is out, ask for the raincheck in that flavor. Just because the shelf is full of eggo waffles, if they are out of the obscure pinstripe moonberry flavor, ask for that one - most times the raincheck will cover all flavors when you return to redeem.

2. Talk a walk up and down each aisle and look for holes on the shelves. Even if it isn't for something you use, if it's a hot enough deal, you can use it as a raincheck to trade with someone else.

3. Be sure to bring a pad and paper so when you walk through the store looking, you can write down the ones you need and the details so it speeds up the cashier and you don't miss a raincheck because you forgot about an item before you got to the cash register.

Rainchecking will give you sale prices when there is no sale for an item you're looking for. Don't forget that it's a sure fire way to save big bucks at the store.

5 Responses to “Rainchecking - Eating tomorrow at today's prices”

  1. librarylady Says:

    Thanks for the info! I didn't know all of that.
    And good job!

  2. dtjunkie Says:

    Does every Grocery store do this? (I shop at Ralphs mostly)
    Do you ask the Cashier or the Manager?

  3. Hotcouponworld Says:

    Most every store I know of has a Raincheck policy. I believe Ralphs is part of the Safeway chain, and I believe they do offer Rainchecks.

    Here's some more info on Ralph's store policies here:

    http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29026

    You should be able to ask any cashier or manager, or go to Customer Service, to have them write you a RC. Be sure to ask them when it expires if it's not pre-printed on the RC.

  4. Robert Pierce Says:

    I shoped at safeway today on bell rd. and they were out of progreeso soups that was on sale and I fogot. to get my rain check. can you please email me one.

    Thanks Robert pierce phone # 888-7880

  5. Robert Pierce Says:

    I shopped at safeway today on bell rd. and they were out of progreeso soups that was on sale and I fogot. to get my rain check. can you please email me one.

    Thanks Robert pierce phone # 888-7880

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