Understanding Rain Checks
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Understanding Rain Checks

Posted on Friday, August 5th, 2011 at 6:12 am
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So, you see an amazing sale advertised. You get in your car and rush to the nearest store location only to find an empty shelf. You stand, face to face with the empty shelf, wondering what you should do. Do you pick up the regularly priced equivalent next to the gaping hole that was once a great sale? No. You get a rain check!

What is a Rain Check?

A rain check is a paper voucher issued to customers when a sale (not clearance) item is sold out. The rain check allows the customer to either A) buy the item at the same sale price when it is back in stock or B) get an item equivalent to the one that is sold out at the same sale price. The idea of the rain check is to discourage stores from offering sales on very limited quantities of an item as a means of drawing customers into the store. However, there are some cases in which you can not get a rain check. These cases are when the store clearly advertises that there are “limited quantities” or that the sale is only  “while supplies last.”

How Do You Use a Rain Check?

Typically, you can redeem your rain check at any time for up to a year (but it’s best to double-check if there is a different expiration date). Since a rain check is not the same as a coupon, you can combine it with coupons. Therefore, having a rain check gives you the upper hand because you can hold it until you find a coupon for the same item that was on sale. Then, when you combine your rain check and coupon you are getting the best of both worlds. Just let your cashier know when you are redeeming a rain check at the checkout.

Where Do You Get a Rain Check?

If you find the ever ominous empty shelf where a sale item is supposed to be, head to the nearest customer service representative or cashier for assistance. If the item is really out of stock, they should either offer you a rain check or a comparable item at the same price. While grocery stores are required to provide rain checks (unless otherwise stated in the advertisement), other stores that provide rain checks include (but are not limited to)  Walmart, Target, CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. Using rain checks really is as easy as that!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.