Day 1: We all have to shop! Why not save money while doing it?
Day 2: The Language of Couponers – Translated!
Day 3: Where Art Thou Coupons?
Day 4: Know Thy Coupon (What does that fine print mean?)
Day 5: When to Use Your Coupons
Day 6: Buy Groceries, Pay for College with Upromise eCoupons
Day 7: eCoupons the Alternate to Clipping
Day 8: Don’t Get Mad, Get a Rain Check
Day 9: Advance Your Couponing Skills with Rebates
Day 10: Stockpiling
Day 11: Organize Your Coupon Stash
Day 12: Surviving the Checkout Lane
A Mail in Rebate Offer for a $1 is not worth my time or stamp. However, higher dollar rebates, free product rebates are worth my time when I combine with sales, coupons, and other store offers like Register Rewards or Extra Bucks. It can turn an already good deal into a money maker.
For example, their was recently a Colgate/Palmolive Rebate to receive a free Travel bag loaded with goodies when you purchased $15 worth of participating products. I combined with store sales, coupons, and CVS Extra Bucks for my qualifying purchases as most rebates are BEFORE coupons. I received my bag this past week and was quite pleased with it. You can see from the picture it is an adorable bag with travel size items and $9.50 in coupons.
1. Read Rebate Rules for offer thoroughly and check dates. Most request original store receipt, UPC, and item to be purchased during a certain time period.
2. Do one rebate at a time. Do not combine rebate items on one receipt as you usually have to submit the original receipt with your rebate submission.
3. Start your paperwork as soon as you complete the rebate offer. Trust me, don’t let your rebates linger – otherwise that UPC will disappear. Even if I’m not ready to start my rebate, I will go ahead and start a envelope to put all the required materials in.
Bargain Tips: Use the free address labels that come in the mail to save time filling out your information on the rebate forms. Use envelopes you receive from your bills or special offers to mail your mail in rebates. I do most of bill paying online so I usually have numerous envelopes around – don’t toss them, save them and use them!
4. Make a copy or scan your entire submission before mailing in case you run into a problem.
5. Track your rebates either in a notepad, a spreadsheet, or with a rebate tracking program like rebate-tracker.com. I keep track of offer name, address, rebate amount, date submitted.
6. Use caution when buying rebates with Extra Bucks. If you only pay less than the rebate amount out of pocket, you may not be eligible for the full rebate. I like to combine my rebate items with other normal household purchases so I get my maximum rebate.
7. Look out in the mail. I’ve almost thrown out several rebates before even opening them because many times they come unmarked and almost look like junk mail!
8. If you don’t receive your check within the indicated time frame, give them a call. This is when your records come in handy. Personally, I’ve only had a rebate problem once and it was taken care of very promptly because I had all my paperwork to back it up.
The 15 Days of Couponing will guide you through the art of couponing. It is a skill that you can learn and maximize to the full potential to help your family and help others. So if you are interested in cutting your grocery budget in half or more, read yesterday’s edition and stay tuned for tommorrow’s edition where I will tell you what the fine print on those coupons mean!