Monday, September 10, 2007

Rebates

I promised to do a post on rebates, and how they work a few weeks ago. So here goes! If you continue to have questions, post them and I can do an additional post if need be with more information.

There are different kind of rebates. Rebates from the manufacturer of a product, and rebates from the store you purchase the item from. Some rebates you submit online, some you send the documentation through the mail. Rebates are actually very easy to do and take little time to submit. Don't be one of those people who don't take advantage of rebates...they will save you lots of money!

*The most important thing to remember in doing with rebates is KEEPING RECORDS of the information. (If you are sending the rebate through the mail anyway). Never, never send off a rebate without making a copy of what you are sending off. I scan them onto my computer in my and save them to my rebate file. That was I don't have to make actual copies, waste paper and have more clutter. I save the file as (for example) walgreens.sent.9.5.07 so I know when I sent it off. If I don't receive the rebate in the allotted time, then I have record of it and can contact the company and re-submit if needed.

*Another important thing to remember is to READ all the instructions and follow all the directions completely. If you have any questions at all, contact them at the number provided so you can be clear before you go to the work to send it off. Most companies are pretty stiff about keeping to the rules. Exceptions are not allowed.

My favorite way to utilize rebates are to combine them with coupons and other sales. More often than not you can do that. For example, lets say that Walgreens is having a $1 rebate on Degree deodorant this month (this is only an example!). Well, then that week you notice they have a sale on the Degree deodorant, $2 each. You combine that with the rebate and you can get one deodorant for $1 after rebate. Not too bad, right? BUT....there is also a manufacturer's coupon out right now for $1/1 any Degree deodorant. So...combine that with the rebate and you can come away with FREE deodorant after all is said and done!

Another way is to double-up on rebates. This might sound illegal, but let me explain. Let's say that Revlon has a rebate sheet at Rite Aid when you purchase your makeup. It is a rebate for $7 back when you purchase a specific foundation. That rebate is from the manufacturer. It just so happens that also that month, you can get a $5 rebate from Rite Aid for the same Revlon foundation. You get 2 rebates for the same item, it is all good since each rebates is coming from different companies. When you get $12 back for a foundation that only cost you $8 to begin with, see how sometimes rebates are a money-maker? It is so FUN!

It might sound complicated, but it really isn't. Companies provide rebates as incentives to purchase their products. I read an article that said about 70% of the time consumers forget to send in the rebate or complete the forms wrong. SO many people are missing out of free stuff!

All this is one reason I like to frequent this site. Like most of you, I don't have a tone of time to search for rebates and find what sales and coupons they combine with. These guys do that work for you. I just check periodically to see what has been listed. YOU CAN STILL DO THIS even if you don't have much extra time on your hands!

The best and easiest places to get going with rebates is Rite Aid and Walgreens. Both do a monthly rebate program. Check the links for monthly details and products included. Since doing these rebates for the past 5 years, I have gotten so much free or nearly free (mostly .25 or less) things to stock my 72 hour kits with, our food storage, stockpile, and even give away to charity. Things like deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene, foot care, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, baby wipes, cleaning supplies, candles, dish washing detergent....NEED I GO ON? These programs are simple too good to pass up...give them a try before you knock them!

Rite Aid rebates can be done online, which is wonderful as there is nothing to send in the mail. I usually get my rebates back from them in 3 weeks or less. Really fast! Walgreens takes a bit longer, as you have to send it through the mail. But once you get the system down, it doesn't take much time at all. Just don't forget to request your rebate in time.

I personally really like Rite Aid because it is so much faster and can be submitted online. The link above will tell you about the rebate programs and how they work. Or, you can go into any Rite Aid store and pick up their monthly rebate catalog that they have in the store. Everything is explained. You purchase the required item, come home, register for their online rebate program, submit your receipt, and whalla! You are done. They usually take a few days to email you letting you know if your rebate was approved, and then it stays in your rebate account until you request your check. It's that simple!

Walgreens works the same way, except it is all on paper and submitted through the mail, so it takes a bit longer. And, they have specific rules on how to record your rebates on the receipts and their form, so read the directions carefully from their store link above, or from the rebate booklet in the store.

If you are wanting to do this, my suggestions are:

1. Organize your shopping trips. Make sure you aren't making a special trip. Go to that store when you are going that way anyway. Have your coupons, list and rebate information planned out and ready.
2. Know approx. what you will be spending in case there is a price mistake. It is always better to fix it before you leave, rather than finding it when you get home. Always check your receipt before you leave the store. Mistakes do happen.
3. Double check before you purchase the item that it is that one on the rebate list. Sometimes stores make mistakes with labeling.
4. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you can't find an item in the store. Rite Aid and Walgreens employees are really good about helping you out.
5. ALWAYS make copies of your receipts and/or information before you send it off.
6. Keep track of when you are supposed to send off your rebates so you don't miss the deadline. Use a regular schedule so you don't forget. Work it into your regular routine.

Please ask or post any further suggestions, questions, or experiences to help us all in our rebate experiences!
Share/Save/Bookmark

5 comments:

tonya said...

I am also a fan of rebate programs from stores. Don't forget that if you do your Walgreens rebate, putting your rebate $ on a Gift Card they give you an extra 10%! Pays for the stamp, plus some!

April said...

one thing about rebates is you still have to have the money up front even if you come out even in the end...do you have a rebate category in your budget?

Marne said...

Depending on how much I am spending and at which store determines that for me. For example, I will put rebates from Rite Aid and Walgreens on my credit card, because I am always reimbursed before my card statement is due. Sometimes Walgreens takes a little longer coming, but I'm not spending a ton there, so if I have to fork out an extra $20 or so before the rebate comes back it is okay.

Tami said...

I've never done rebates except on chips here or there from the grocery store. K-mart sometimes has rebates going on but I've never done it because I don't understand it. Is there a little booklet that tells the products you can get? I always just see a thing at the bottom of the add that says more info at the store.

Marne said...

Yes. If you want to learn more about Walgreens and Rite Aid specifically, I put links to those pages in my post. You can read more online about them. If you are out and about around town, stop by the store and pick up the monthly rebate booklet, and that has all the information you need in there. It really isn't hard. There is also a Walgreens FAQ link on the right side of my blog. If anyone has more specific questions, let me know.

Related Posts with Thumbnails