MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Take a rain check, save more

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Have you ever driven to the store after you found a really good deal, only to find the product is sold out? Here's how to ensure you'll eventually get what you're after.

I've told you how I combine my gas and grocery budget to save money - I buy things on sale, using coupons and earn gas rewards to get the lowest price possible. Every once in a while, I can't find what I'm looking for.

This week at Martin's, there is a huge moneymaker on Reach floss: the product is $1.13, and when you buy five, you get 40 cents off per gallon of gas. That's less than $6 out of pocket for $8 bucks worth of gas. Plus, I have $2 worth of coupons to better my savings.

Obviously, everybody else wanted to cash in on this deal too, because no matter which Martin's I went to, none had five I could buy at once, and most were sold out.

"Sometimes, those hot deals are hotter than we think," said Short Pump Martin's Store Manager Kevin Canard.

Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo is on sale for $3 and part of the gas rewards. I also have four '75 cents off' coupons. I'll pay less than $4 for five of these products - but again, I can't find them. Each store is completely sold out.

There is an answer to my dilemma, and it lies at the front of the store. I'm going to customer service to get some rain checks.

"They're great. You can come back in a week or two weeks at your earliest convenience and we'll have the product here at the sale price," said Canard.

Customer service reps will fill out a slip of paper, detailing what product you want, what the sale price is and how many you want, but there are limits.

"We have a limitation of six per item, unless it is tied to a advertisement like our fuel perks. If it's a 'buy eight,' we'll honor eight," said Canard.

When the product comes in, the cashier will adjust the price, and customer service will add the fuel perks to my account.

Most retailers have a limit of one rain check per product. Rain checks never expire and you can still use your coupons when you redeem them.

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