Wow! I didn’t realize that I had so much to tell you about using coupons with rebates – but don’t miss my giveaway at the bottom of this post for coupons + rebates for Purell Gentle Foam, Kraft LiveActive Cheese Snacks, Orajel, Minute Maid, and Glass Plus products.

Rebates are great to do if you are good about completing and submitting the required paperwork on time. Better yet, combine a coupon with the rebate and you will usually increase your savings. Manufacturers like to offer rebates to try a product for free because it entices customers to buy the product, but only a small percentage of them follow-up with submitting the paperwork required to get the rebate. I’m guessing that if you are reading this blog, that you are one of those moms who takes the time to submit your rebates. I get at least one rebate check a week in the mail, and it has definitely been worth the time I spend on it.

There are five new rebates that Lori at Hooray for Free-bates! just posted for: VEET, Kraft LiveActive Cheese, Act II 94% Fat Free Popcorn, Febreeze Noticeables, and Dawn Direct Foam. There are coupons for the Kraft, Febreeze and Dawn Direct, so check your coupon file!

Using coupons on products that you get a rebate on is a great way to make your coupons work harder for you. You do have to read the fine print on the rebate offers, because some of them will automatically deduct the value of the coupon (whether you use the coupon on your purchase or not). At other times if you submit a receipt that clearly shows a coupon was used on the product, then the value of the coupon will be subtracted from the rebate amount.

Here are a few tips that I have learned from my experience with rebates. Visit the FAQ’s on Hooray for Free-bates! for more tips.

Heather’s Mail-in Rebate Tips:
* One Rebate Item Rule: Only buy one item per shopping trip that has a mail-in rebate. Most rebate offers require that you submit your original receipt.
* CVS Warning: Be careful about buying mail-in rebate items at CVS and using your ExtraBucks. The ExtraBucks show up as “Coupon” on your receipt, and may end up making your total purchase less than the amount for the rebate item. This is an easy way for your submission to be invalidated, so just avoid it.
* Stash Rebate Paperwork in Envelope ASAP: As soon as you buy an item with a rebate, throw all required paperwork in an envelope: receipt, rebate form, UPC. Put a sticky note on the envelope, and then set aside in a file marked “Rebates” to complete later. This keeps those small pieces of paper all together until you have time to fill out the form, address the envelope, and get it ready to mail. I’ve learned this after losing a few UPC symbols that I cut out – they are so small they are easy to lose! Of course you should fill it out and get it ready to mail immediately if you have a few minutes.
* Keep a Rebate File: Label a file that you have easy access to (i.e. you look at it every day) and keep rebates to do and rebates to submit inside. Pull out your Rebate file at least once a week to catch-up on your paperwork. I often find rebates for items I bought before I knew there was a rebate for it. So I have several “search and find this receipt” rebates that will take me a little bit of time to complete. I save my receipts in an 81/2 x 11 clasp envelope, one for each month so that I can go back through them if needed.

I’m giving away the following coupons with mail-in rebate instructions to a few of my lucky readers. Tell me which ones you are interested in by e-mailing me. Please note that the mail-in rebate instructions with links are available to everyone – I just want to mail the coupons to a few readers (I’ll include the printed instructions as well).
* Purell Gentle Foam Product $1 coupon (given away) and mail-in rebate instructions (coupon exp. 2/29/08)
* Kraft LiveActive Natural Cheese Snacks $1 coupon and mail-in rebate instructions (coupon exp. 2/17/08)
* Orajel Cold Sore Brush, Kids Sore Throat Relief Strips, or Advanced Tooth Desensitizer $1 coupon (I have 2 of these to give away) and mail-in rebate instructions (rebate exp. 4/30/08)
* Orajel Kids Sore Throat Relief Strips $1 coupon and mail-in rebate instructions (rebate exp. 2/29/08)
* Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry juice $1 Kroger coupon and mail-in rebate instructions (rebate exp. 2/28/08)
* Glass Plus Dissolveable Refills (I have 2 of these to give away) $1 coupon and mail-in rebate instructions (coupon exp. 1/27/08)