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Thanksgiving Shopping List Article
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Coupons, Discounts and Rain Checksfrom: Maxx Family Life
For bargain hunting junkies, the terms "coupons," "discounts," and "rain checks" spell euphoria and major happiness. Why? Because these terms mean greater savings, larger bargains, and more money that stays in your pocket once you've finished your shopping spree. So what's the big deal?
Coupons are easy to come by. Open your daily newspaper, remove the inserts, and chances are you'll be swimming in all those valuable coupons that will save you money on everything from music DVDs to chicken wings. However, make sure you inspect your coupons carefully, since they do have expiration dates.
In addtion, some coupons carry specific conditions before you can use the coupon. Some coupons specify you haveto purcase two similar items, while others require the purchase of an item for the coupon along with another item specified on the coupon. This is common for grocery stores that may offer a coupon for $1 off a gallon of milk, that you can only use if you purchase a certain brand of cereal.
There are times when a coupon deal isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially if you have to purchase products you don't really need. However, coupon experts will say that if you're very organized with your coupons, you'll be able to reap the rewards, such as saving lots of money on essential items.
Of course, there's no need to wait for the Sunday paper to get your coupons. Many retailers have coupon flyers at the front of their store, at their websites online, or they may even send them to you in the mail.
Discounts are specials advertised by the each retailers. They're often advertised in newspapers or TV commercial or on the radio. These discounts are a great chance to buy a high-ticket item you've had on your wish list for long time, but didn't want to pay the full list price. However, discounts can be a bit of a double-edged sword because sometimes an item isn't really reduced a lot, and the store’s discounted price could still be higher than a similar item at another store. Before taking advantage of a discount sale, do your homework and see what the competition offers, especially on high-ticket goods.
Rain checks are a frustrating occurance for consumers. Let's say you've read the ad offering a great deal at your local store. So you head on down the first day of the sale, and end up staring at an empty shelf. What's happened is the retailer simply didn't anticipate how popular the sale would be, and didn't order enough merchandise to handle the demand.
One way retailers try to protect themselves from angry customers is including in the fine print of their ads "while quantities last." Sometimes you won't see this -- usually in grocery store ads -- and this is where you can invoke the rain check.
Once you've tried to hunt down the item, you may discover the sale item is stocked in a couple of areas in the store, so an empty shelf in it's regular spot doesn't mean the items isn't available. If the store really is sold out, ask for a rain check, which means when item comes in again, you can purchase it at the sales price, even if the sale has expired. Sometimes you'll be able to get a similar item at the sales price. This is usually the store management's decision, but it never hurts to ask.
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