Rain checks are wonderful things, designed to let you buy things after a sale at the sale price. I always ask for a rain check when I can't get something on sale that I especially want. But sometimes when it comes time to redeem the rain check, you just don't have the money before it expires.
I don't like missing out on a great bargain, and I really don't like wasting a rain check so I pay for my rain check items when I get the rain check.
Last week Coles had 12 packs of Mission tortillas on half-price sale, $1.99 a pack. I like to make our tortillas, but at that price making them actually costs more in dollars and time. I went to three different Coles supermarkets during the week and couldn't find them anywhere. The last store had an empty spot for them. So, off to the service desk I went to get a rain check.
Which you'd think would be simple but it was quite a procedure. And then I had to beg to get rain checks for 12 packets (and then only after I'd explained I would have bought every packet on the shelf if they'd actually been on the shelf). In the end I was given two rain checks for six, with a two month expiry.
As soon as I walked in the door at home, I went straight to the kitchen, took out my slush fund envelope and put the $24 for the tortillas in it. Then I wrote the date, the amount and what it was for on the envelope and put the rain checks into the pocket in my purse so I have them on me when I'm shopping.
Now, when I'm in Coles and find the tortillas I can buy them with the rain check, knowing they are already paid for. After I buy them I'll reimburse my grocery budget with the money in the envelope.
It's simple really. You have the money to buy the item when it is on sale, so put that money away when you get the rain check - you are paying for your rain check items when you get the rain check. When you redeem the rain check you'll have the cash ready and waiting to pay for your bargains, your grocery budget will be safe and you won't have missed that great bargain.