Rebates

Another strategy I’m employing to bring down the household budget is to go for the rebates. Rebates are great because they either pay you back part of your purchase price or they result in free merchandise. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can even make money off a rebate offer. However, rebates require both time and organization. Otherwise, you may find that you get a “rebate reject” letter. Here are some tips to make sure you get your green back:

  1. Where are the rebates? Rebates can be found in newspaper circulars, on manufacturer websites, or on the actual product. Look for the words “Try Me Free,” “Special Offer,” or “Promotion.”
  2. Make sure you carefully read the rebate offer. You need to know exactly what product and quantity you need to purchase in order to get the rebate. Rebates also come with a “mail-in by” date. Mess any of this up, and no green back for you!
  3. Check to see if the purchase amount is before or after coupons. If you can use coupons on the product, you can make the rebate deal even better. Also, shop the sales to try to maximize savings.
  4. Organize, organize, organize! Lose the rebate form or the receipt, lose out on the rebate check! If you don’t already have a method for organizing rebates that works for you, here are my suggestions. As soon as you find the rebate form, fill it out and address an envelope. Keep the form in the envelope and paperclip any coupons you have for the product to it. Bring the envelope with you on your shopping trip so you can double check the information. As soon as you’ve made your purchase using your coupons, put the receipt in the envelope. When you get home, make copies of what you are sending in. This is key to keeping track of what checks should be coming in. Once you’ve made and filed your copies, you need to enclose any UPC codes or other product information the rebate requires. Affix a stamp and mail. Sit back and wait for the green to come back!
  5. Budget for Rebates. Even though a rebate may pay you back part of the purchase price, you will have to wait several weeks before you’ll receive it. You need to ask yourself the following:

  • Do I need it?
  • Is it worth the financial outlay?
  • Will it prevent me from buying something else I do need?

What will you do with your rebate check?

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