Frances | March 21, 2011
As you know we are always on the look out for “Try Me Free” peelies and rebate tear pads in the grocery store. This is a great way to try products for free.
Did you know that you can even use a coupon for these free items? It is OK, don’t worry, you are getting your cost of postage back plus some. But, be careful when you use CVS ECBs and rebate forms. CVS ECBs can show up as a coupon and making your total purchase less than the amount for the rebate item.
Here are a few helpful hints to tracking and keeping up with rebates.
Number One and the most important of all tips.
Apply for the rebate immediately after you get home. Even if you haven’t opened the box. You can cut the UPC code from the box without opening it. Have you ever heard the saying “if I don’t do it now, I won’t do it”, well Mamo use to say this all the time. It is so true for us, if we don’t file that rebate immediately when we get home we won’t do it. It will end up in a drawer or purse and it will not see the light of day until it is too late. We know that this is hard, you just got home from the store, kids are hungry, the phone is ringing… Do yourself a favor and place it where you will see it again after things settle down. Tape it to the TV or computer screen, put it next to your keys, place it with your bills, or what we do (we keep a clean desk) we put it on our desk out in the open so we have to deal with it. If it goes in the desk drawer we will never see it again.
Make sure you only buy one item per receipt that has a mail in rebate. Most if not all rebate offers require the original receipt. Some stores can print two receipts if you ask. Be careful with this, sometimes the top of the receipt may indicate that it is a duplicate and will not be accepted as an original receipt according to the rebate form.
Take a minute in the store and read the rebate. Make sure you understand the small print and that you have met the purchase requirements and the rebate period has not expired.
Place the receipt, rebate form, and UPCs in an envelope immediately when you get home. Those UPCs are small and can get lost. Receipts to us are like the socks in the dryer, they just disappear to never be seen again. We immediately address the envelope (sometimes just the first line of the address) and place the rebate form, UPCs, and receipt in the envelope and place it on the desk for later. Sometimes we complete the envelope before we shop for the products.
Make a copy of the rebate form and receipt. Create a rebate file or keep track of your rebates on a spreadsheet. We have never had a problem with getting rebates back but you never know. You can create a spreadsheet with the name of the company, contact information, when the rebate was mailed, and the link to the offer.