Rebates can be a great way to save money for your family and no one does it better than the office supplies stores and drugstores. Unfortunately, four out of ten people never even apply for their entitled rebate. Maybe this is why these companies offer them?
Consumer Reports offers the following tips to better your chance of successfully completing a rebate and getting your money back:
- Read and understand rebate requirements, including deadlines, before making a purchase.
- Make copies of all rebate materials and put everything in a file folder, in case the company rejects your rebate claim or loses your submission. A paper trail is critical if anything goes wrong. Write down on the cover of the folder in big letters the date when the refund is due.
- Act quickly. If the rebate form is available online, be sure to print it out immediately after you buy the product. While you may have a few weeks to submit the claim, the official form may be removed from the Web site after the promotional period ends.
- Submit rebate requests promptly. Don’t wait until the filing deadline. If the company informs you that something’s missing, the extra time will be necessary to gather the requested documentation before the clock runs out. It may sound silly, but also remember to put enough stamps on the envelope, in case the enveloped is oversized.
- Keep a careful eye out for your rebate check, as it sometimes resembles junk mail.
- If the rebate doesn’t arrive when promised or at all, contact the company and jot down the name of anyone you speak with. If the matter isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, file a complaint with the state’s Attorney General where the company is based or the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov or 877-382-4357.
I used to take advantage of rebates more regularly, but have fallen off the bandwagon this summer. I checked my paper on Sunday though and the rebates were too good to pass up. I clipped my coupons, grabbed the rebates flier in the store and came armed with that week’s advertisement.
I hit the store, when we got home from church, and was able to get the following:
10 boxes of Post cereal
3 boxes Kotex pads
3 Aquafresh toothpastes
1 Colgate Total
2 Colgate Advanced (with bonus free toothbrushes)
1 box Revlon Hair Color
1 Schick Silk Effects Razor
Grand Total Before Savings: $60.28
Coupon Savings: $8.75
Rebate Savings: $35.97
Total Savings: $44.72
Final Total: $15.56
Walgreens also offers a similar rebates program and they run some pretty stellar deals themselves. You can check their EasySaver catalog online or pick a copy up when you get to the store. From what I understand, these rebates do have to be mailed in and take up to three weeks to clear.
CVS offers instant rebates that print out on your receipt. Bring in your Extra Care Bucks and they will scan them to put these savings towards your purchases. You also do receive 2% back on all of your purchases in the store or online.
Potential Monthly Savings: $40 or more