Hello again, savvy savers! Can you believe it, we are almost a week into this no spending challenge! As I have already mentioned “meal swapping,” and “eating out at home on my Day 3 post for this months #31DayLWSZ challenge, I though I would have a different turn today.
Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to continue to “shop” for deals, particularly my weekend drugstore deals for my weekly scenarios, especially during my no-spend periods, and that is with rains-checks! Yes, rain-checks, a couponers best friend!
So, why rain-checks?
For me, participating in this months #31DayLWSZ challenge was so potentially difficult is that while a spending freeze helps me put needed funds into other planned savings ventures for my husband and I, it does pose the problem of not allowing me to continually add to my home coupon stockpile.
I do not buy groceries and goods on a weekly basis, instead I elect to buy goods below my price point, coupon shop on weekends, and use those staples to plan my weekly cleaning schedule, meal planning, and lunch preparations. I did not want to have to over budget for goods in November on missed deals in October, so with the help of rain checks and paired coupons, I can reserve my stockpile shopping trips until the end of this coming month, at my working, seasonal price points.
As well, not only is requesting a rain-check, for not-currently-in stock items a handy way to save money on much needed household and pantry goods, but when you are in the midst of a no spending month, rain-checks can help you lock in deeply discounted items to use in spending weeks, too!
It’s like shopping for goods on an extended time line; you can lock-in your savings, and shop later, on your schedule!
A few general tips on rain-checks:
- Make sure that the coupons you are using on the item you need a rain check for won’t expire before the store gets the items back in stock.
- Most stores allow you to use a rain check at a different location of the same store.
- Rain checks are not redeemable at a different store.
- You cannot get a rain check on Clearance Prices, at most stores.
- When redeeming your rain check, be courteous of the checker and let them know you will be using one–BEFORE they start to ring you up; they are going to need to manually enter in the amount.
So, here is what I do:
1) As I live in a small town, I wait until the last day of the current sale week, or in my case, the end of the week when the hottest weekly deals, freebies, and offers are sure to be sold out during no-spend months, and then go to each store and ask for rain-checks for each and every one of the offers that I will still be able to redeem later; this means your rain-check window of opportunity is generally Friday-Saturday for drugstores, Saturday afternoons for grocery store deals which sale cycles renew on Sunday’s, and Tuesday evenings for stores that have new Wednesday sale cycles.
2) I ask for offers where I will be able to later pair with a coupon; if your paired coupon will expire by the end of your no-spend month period, skip that deal!
3) I then file my rain-checks by store!
4) At the end of my no-spend challenges, I will use earned store rewards, as most will last a full month before expiration, and then will go to the stores when able, and buy goods at my convenience!
When requesting rain-checks I keep the following guides in mind:
- Nationally, most grocery and market chains will offer rain-checks, without limit of goods.
- Grocery and market chain store rain-checks will normally have only a 30-day window to redeem rain-checks; this applies to stores such as Vowell’s Fresh Market, The Fresh Market, Publix, Kroger, and Winn-Dixie.
- Walgreens rain-checks will also have only a 30-day window to redeem rain-checks.
- Rite Aid and CVS do not have redemption windows, and their rain-checks can be tucked into your coupon binder, for use as “filler deals” as needed!
- Catalina Deals cannot be combined with rain-checks.
- Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart do not offer rain-checks!
So today, I challenge you to look online at your local stores sales guides and weekly fliers, compile a list, and head out to your favorite stores and “rain-check shop” for savings deals today!
Here’s to saving,