Rain Check Strategies: Save Huge Dollars with a Rain Check File!

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Rain Check Strategies

Do you have a rain check file? Read this entire article.  It will save you HUGE dollars!  How many times have you spent time preparing your shopping list, preparing your spreadsheet, clipping your coupons and driving to the store only to realize that once you get there they only have 1 of the 10 items you were shopping for? Not cool. Not cool at all.  Certainly I read all the comments from frustrated Wiz Kids about the shelf clearing in their area. I agree. There is nothing more frustrating than going to the store for something you had your heart set on only to find out that there is no more stock. Well I have really good news for you!  When you are in the “stockpile maintenance mode”, you have a HUGE leg up on the shelf clearers!

What Dictates When You Shop?

Why & when do you shop? Is it a need for the merchandise or the sale price?  If you are effectively stockpiling, you will never be waiting until you are already out of something before you go shopping to replenish your stock.  That means we shop BEFORE we need the item based on the hot sale price.  For those of you that have been following us for any length of time, you know that Andrea and I go to Publix for our shopping twice in a week: the first day of an ad cycle and the last day.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is, to get a rain check!

How I “Work” the Rain Check

Using Publix as an example, last week they had Prego on sale BOGO.  The price was $2.05 which made them $1.02 per bottle.  There were store and manufacturer coupons that could be stacked, which dropped the overall price down to .20 per bottle.  We were there when the doors opened last Thursday.  We were also there late this past Wednesday afternoon.  On Thursday, they had tons!  Huge endcaps plus the regular shelf was filled to capacity.  We knew that we needed 30 jars to fill our pasta sauce needs for basically the whole year.  I love finding a deal like this in January!  That means I won’t have to buy another jar of pasta sauce until 2013!    We pulled the trigger and spent our $6.00 on pasta sauce and were set.

On Wednesday, we went back to the store to do our quick walk-through before the new ad.  They had no more Prego on the shelves.  What did we do?  We got rain checks!  Publix limits you to a total of 10 units per rain check, so if you feel like your stockpile calls for more than that, you are best served getting multiples.  Annie and I each got one, so we have a cushion of 20 jars should we need them.  These are only good for 30 days so we will need to determine whether or not we will use them before February 10.  Hold that thought!

“Rain Checking” at the Drug Stores

Rain Check H&B

The drug stores are different.  They have less product, less shelf space and hotter pricing on many of the detergents and household items that we would want to stockpile, thus a much bigger shelf clearing problem.   They also have a major difference in their rain checks, they DON’T EXPIRE!  As you can see in the picture of the CVS rain check in this article, it’s in big, bold letters!  Use this to your advantage!  As soon as you see that your drug store is out of an item (whether it’s the first day or the last day of the ad) GET A RAIN CHECK!  If they are already out and it’s the first day of the ad, it’s more than likely that they aren’t going to get any more of that product for the rest of the week.  If you choose to go back and check for re-stocking, get rain checks every single time (if the shelves are bare).  You want as many “DOES NOT EXPIRE” rain checks as you can find!

Rain Check File

As you begin to accumulate open-ended rain checks, you will want to have a file for them.  I recommend an extra coupon caddy or possible a recipe box.  You want something that will allow you to file them by category.  When you get rain checks for detergent, file them in detergent. When you get rain checks for body wash, file them in personal care.  You get the picture.  What this does for you is allows you to shop based on COUPONS, not on SALES ADS!  Your rain check file is your personal sales flyer!  It dictates that you can get the stockpile price you wanted any time you want!  By doing this, you will be in a position to wait for a super hot coupon to drop.  Once it does, go to the store BEFORE the item is in the ad again and use your super hot coupon with your rain check.  You will get a better deal than you would get by waiting, and you can score your product when they have it.

Having a rain check file is an absolute must if you are going to maximize your savings.  We do everything we can possibly do to procure coupons, shop the ads, read the match-ups and plan our trips.  The rain checks file is a hole in a lot of couponers’ game.  Until now!  Got get ’em Wiz Kids!  We won’t let the shelf clearers beat this crew. I can’t wait to hear about your rain check file success stories in the coming months!

See More Tips from the Pros Here



  1. jacci leslie says

    I have one from last year when the hersey air delight came out- the coupon expired before they got more in- well the Q for buy any hershey bar get an air delight free just ran again, and the rain check is for a $.99EB when you buy the air delight. I almost got rid of the raincheck, glad I saved it (although the chocolate doesn’t fit so well into the eating healthy challenge- not sure about the air delight, but hte regular hershey bar has a whopping 210 calories 🙁

  2. Kathryn Slepicka Skokna says

    This was the best advice on the webinar! I enjoyed the article as well of course…lol 🙂 I had never thought of stockpiling rainchecks! We have a lot of shelf clearing going on here and it is very frustrating when I only need 1 or 2 of an item and it’s gone the first day. 🙁 Awesome idea and I look forward to getting my rainchecks! 🙂 Thanks!

  3. Awesome info thanks!

  4. I love getting raincheck. I can then wait for a good coupon or a better sale.

  5. Gale Kelly says

    Oftentimes the best ideas are the simplest! Who would have thunk? David you are awesome!

  6. I have been starting to stockpile rainchecks also. My question is… At CVS I did a partial ECB deal with the Mennen speed sticks & soft soap. I bought the soft soap and have a raincheck for the deodorants. So I have half of the fulfillment of the deal done. How will they know that when we are not in the current deal period? Will the computer know I bought some? I know it keeps track during the ad period. I cut off the bottom of my receipt so they can see that I have purchased half of the amount needed. I have enough items on the raincheck to do a full ecb deal but then I have wasted the purchasing power with the softsoaps. No ECB = not great savings..I would assume it would prevent me from doubling up as the ecb event number is on the raincheck. Or do they force the ECB thus the possibility to get more than the limit 1 during the ad. Make sense? Would like your input on this one?

  7. I have been doing rainchecks for some time now! I LOOK FORWARD to stores running out of product!!! I can ALWAYS depend on the drugstores to run out before the sale ends! 🙂

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