Saturday, July 24, 2010

Making Money From Rebates

In the short span of time that I've been doing the rebates (May of this year) I've managed to make:

$36.37 at Rite Aid (includes the GCs from skin care rebate, GC P&G rebate & has my out of pocket costs subtracted out of the total. This is everything I’ve ever bought at Rite Aid!)

$20 rebate OLAY (Rite Aid already paid for everything except for about $2. I took that money away from my Rite Aid total so I'm looking at this as a bonus)

$10 rebate Kraft (I didn't think I would get this rebate. I didn't specifically head out to the store & buy $30 of product to get $10. I just happen to do so in the time span required. Definitely a bonus)

$10 Johnson & Johnson rebates ($5 more Johnson & Johnson to arrive in the mail. Again all items I would have gotten anyway.)

Grand Total: $76.87 and I still expect another $5 to come in!

I'm not counting the Office Depot as of yet because I haven't received it. I don't count CVS Money Makers because it has to be spent at CVS. If I could turn around and get gift cards with the Extra Bucks you better believe I would. (Pre-paid Visa anyone?)

In the long haul $75+ doesn't seem like that much over 3 months . . . If you add in the free products it's an awesome deal! There are some things I wish I had done at the beginning to keep better track of what was going in & what went out.

1. Given my rebate “fund” a head start by setting aside $50-$100 to use. Once it grew enough to be twice the size I would take back the initial amount back into savings or use it to pay off more of my debt. (Depending on where exactly I got the money from in the first place. As it is everything either came out of my spending cash or groceries.)

2. A written record of all rebates. For The Mommas has a wonderful rebate tracker (here) to put on paper. It really helps keep everything organized. It’s easy to see what I should be getting back, when it should be coming and eventually will give me good expectations on how long things will take in the future. (I don’t plan on using this for Rite Aid, except perhaps to keep track of my totals. I want to make a month to month accounting of that specific store.)

3. A box to keep ALL my receipts regardless of whether or not there was a rebate at the time that I knew about. You never know what your might find three days latter, only to have that receipt in the trash the night before last.

4. An ‘open’ filing system to readily file coupons, rebates, envelopes, mailing labels, stamps, receipts that have rebates & copies of receipts & mailings. This would be a nice bin with hanging folders that make for easy filing right next to my desk.

I think I will have better records of everything given I follow the above plan. In addition to a ‘normal’ rebate fund I plan on having a separate Rite Aid rebate fund. There have numerous free after rebate products at Rite Aid and the money will continue to just keep cycling through. A quick look ahead it seems as if the Single Check Rebates don’t look as good for the up coming month. (See here.) I hope it gets better, because I would hate Rite Aid to end up like CVS with their extra bucks.

Freebies have been spotty lately. Here are two that I've gotten since I last posted. Kelloggs sent more than just the one cereal sample which was a pleasant surprise. Boscia blotting sheets are really nice. $10 for 100 sheets is a fair price. CVS blotting sheets retail around $4.99 for 50, so it's about the same cost. Now the question is can I get free shipping? I might switch brands if such is the case.

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