If you've been couponing or bargain shopping for any length of time, you've probably run into a deal that just didn't go your way....the product was out of stock, the coupon was expired, the store wasn't participating, etc. I've had two deals not work out this week, so I wanted to talk a little about what to do if this happens to you.
1) Review what might have gone wrong: Did you check the coupons throughly? Did you pick up the right item? Did the clerk scan in all the coupons? Is the store participating and stocked? Lots of things can lead to a deal going bad, so pay attention to what you can do to prevent that by preparing and throughly reviewing every aspect of a deal before it's time to shop.
2) Get a Raincheck: Stores do run out of items especially during big sales. Sure, you could go another day, but what if there isn't time? Or did you not have the coupon(s) needed? Get a raincheck and you'll be covered! Just go another time when the store will have plenty and you have coupons. Some stores do have limits and expirations on rainchecks so make sure to ask beforehand.
3) Make your own deal: If the product you want/need is not included in a sale, you can try to make your own deal. If you have coupons for other items on sale, you can try to save enough to pay for the item that is not. Coupons on items that will result in overages (ex. $1 coupon on a .80 item) are great for this. Also, use the highest denomination coupon you have for the cheapest size item available to maximize savings ($1 off a 1 lb item is better than $1 off a 2 lb item).
4) Move On! Despite your best efforts, a deal can go sour. Remember, deals come and go (usually about every 6-12 weeks for most items). If you miss it this go around, chances are another deal or an even better one are in your future. So, don't get hung up on what you couldn't do and prepare for the next one!
As for my two failed deals this week, on one I was able to get a raincheck and I will try again at another location; as for the other, the details of the deal were unclear and my clerk was uninformed, so I'm going to contact corporate. It may not solve anything for me, but maybe someone in the future won't be disappointed.