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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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rain check

Many times a deal is so great that half the city wakes up and buys it.  The store could never have enough stock for that, so most stores offer rain checks to customers that missed an item.  I know it’s not as fun to leave a store with a piece of paper and not the product you wanted, but if you pass up getting the rain check it’s going to be a long time till you see that particular item on sale (6 weeks following the sale cycle).

If you are in a grocery store, take note of the items you didn’t get and head straight to customer service before leaving.  Tell them what you wanted to get and that they were out of it.  They’ll write a rain check that allows you to get the same deal later.  You can even use coupons with it!   If the coupon expires before they restock you will need to find another coupon or ask the manager before using an expired coupon, except at Publix!  As long as the coupon was good the day the rain check was written you may continue to use it until the rain check expires. (Watch a short video on this.)

CVS is the only drugstore that has great rain checks (don’t really waste your time asking in other stores).  If CVS has a great deal on Huggies diapers this week and you get there to find that they are out of the size you needed, get a rain check.  CVS rain checks never expire and will print the reward that should have printed today when ever you redeem it!

A Few Tips:

  • Remember that every store has a different policy on rain checks.  They will expire at different lengths, have different limits etc.  Understand your stores policy before redeeming them so you aren’t frustrated at checkout.
  • To get a rain check the store doesn’t have to be out of every product. They just need to be out of the type you wanted to buy.  You want to grab Pop Tarts and there are 23 (or some other crazy number) different flavors.  Odds are one of the types you wanted will be out.  You are still able to get a rain check, and don’t have to make your kids suffer through some horrible type.  Your rain check won’t be written for the specific type so you could get others later.
  • In 99% of stores rain checks do not have to be used in the actual store that issued them.  If you get a CVS rain check for soda (next week there’s a great 12 pk. deal) you could drive all the way to the beach and use your rain check at a CVS there rather than hauling soda cross country with you!


    • Tori

      Harris Teeter rain checks never expire too. I’ve seen people use rainchecks during Super Doubles and they are really able to leverage their grocery dollars.

      • Kim

        This is what I do! I collect rain checks on things that I know that I will buy (frozen chicken, cereal, etc.) or for things that usually have good coupons to save for super doubles (Tide, shampoo, etc.). When I know a coupon event is coming up, I can “make my own sale” rather than rushing to get in at 6 am on Wednesday morning before everything cheap sells out.
        Also, at my Harris Teeter if you have a BOGO raincheck, then they ring up the first one at whatever the current price is and the second for free. This is my store’s manager’s policy. This means that if it is currently on sale BOGO the first one rings up half price and the second one rings up free. Plus I can use coupons on top! I now keep a binder of rain checks instead of coupons :) I love getting rainchecks for B2G3!
        Don’t forget that you can also get rain checks for meats and seafood. I regularly get rain checks for fish when it is on sale on a Monday (when they are out of their best fish from the weekend). That way when we have a craving for seared tuna, we can go in and get it at a decent price.

        • jewells0607

          This seems a little sketchy to me. You’re taking advantage of two separate sales events (the old rain check deal and the current BOGO deal) and combining them. The basic rule is you can use one manufacturer coupon, one store coupon, and one sale to get the best deal; you’re doubling up on one of those which you wouldn’t do if it were coupons. If you happen to use a rain check during another sale and get an unexpected benefit, that is one thing. Intentionally hoarding rain checks and continuously using them to beat the system because the new deal will automatically scan crosses the ethical boundary for me. But, hey, your manager is the one who set the policy so he surely knows what he’s getting.

          • Why Judge?

            Actually, there is nothing sketchy about using your rain checks in conjunction with a BOGO deal – there is nothing in the rain check policy that prohibits the use of both. Our local store honors the rain check and the current price or sale. I don’t think she’s crossing any ethical boundary…let’s not judge…

            • jewells0607

              If you have a BOGO rain check and use it during a BOGO sale to get items an extra 25% off, to me that is unfairly taking advantage. The sale was the same weeks ago as it is now, they don’t get multiplied together. That’s just a byproduct of how the items automatically ring up and I would feel uncomfortable doing that on a regular basis. You’ll notice I used the phrase “to me” several times to note my opinion. I didn’t say “shame on you” or other harsh language because my point was to voice my thoughts on it and I clearly ended by saying that I understand she has verified that this is an acceptable policy at her store. Probably just because it would take too much effort to manually code in a higher item price once it’s already scanned lower. Still just doesn’t sit right with me so personally I will only be asking for rain checks when they are legitimately out of an item that I would otherwise be purchasing that day.

    • mommalana

      I was able to get a rain check at Walgreens in the last few months.

    • Thanks for the reminder! The only issue I have with rain checks is for B1G1 sales – Ingles rings up one of the items at full price instead of both of them at half, so I can’t use a coupon like $1/2.

      • mommalana

        I ask them to hand key the coupon after pointing out why it is not scanning and they have generally done so. The way they do rain checks must really mess with their inventory but they do everything backwards.

    • Tie Dye Jen

      At CVS they told me they can’t write the rain check for the ‘get $10 ECB wyb $30’ type of deals only for the ‘get $2 ECB wyb 2’ deals. But they will still write it for the sale price in the bigger deals so can help when the next one comes around if prices are more. I hope that make sense :)

    • dbphunter

      I had a CVS raincheck. Every time I went in, they were out of the product. It was at least 3 weeks to a month later when they finally got it in. They honored the raincheck and I got my extrabucks. I love CVS!

    • Pamela

      My Publix told me that I could no longer use expired coupons with a raincheck. This was since they changed their coupon policy in Oct.

      • Katrina

        I would show them the coupon policy. It clearly states they accept them..

    • Bean

      Kroger has always honored my expired coupons, as long as they were valid on the date I got the rain check.

    • Toni

      Where I live in Florida, Publix insists on writing rainchecks for the exact flavor, and refuses to let you use the raincheck on any other flavor. This becomes a problem when they never get my flavor back in stock, and the raincheck is about to expire. I am not able to use it. I have asked for them to rewrite the raincheck to extend the time on it, and they rewrite it without extending the date, making it useless. Not only that, the store by my house acts like writing rainchecks pains them. When needing a raincheck, I have been told, “Come back tomorrow. We’re having a delivery truck coming then.” I am not asked if I would come back, I am told to come back. This has happened several times. Other times, even when there is no one waiting in line at customer service and several people are present working there, they act put-out and write the raincheck very messily and hurriedly without the pertinent information on it, such as the name of the product or the specific size of the product. That has rendered the rainchecks useless as well. If I stand there and ask them to fill out the raincheck completely, they refuse, saying that if there is a problem using the raincheck, the cashiers will be able to look the item up at checkout since customer service keeps all old sale fliers. Just last Friday I was denied the use of one of these improperly filled out rainchecks. Customer service sometimes insists on writing rainchecks that neither their store nor any other store would accept. When I want a raincheck, I am treated like I am a problem. I think it is because Publix can’t always get the item from the manufacturer at the reduced price at a later date, and as a result, some Publix stores hate rainchecks. Anyone else have this problem?

      • Toni

        Also, last Friday, the store was out of the specific flavor of item on the raincheck. So I picked another flavor since the raincheck was expiring the next day. The cashier and the head management would not allow the alternate flavor. I told them the flavor on the raincheck was not in stock. They went back to the shelf and pulled yet a third flavor and told me I could get that since the flavor on the raincheck was not in stock. But for some reason, they would not let me use the raincheck on the flavor I had chosen. That defies all sense. Publix hates the use of rainchecks. I would not be surprised if they discontinued issuing them altogether.