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Rebates: A Great Way to Get Freebies

by Freebies4Mom on June 17, 2010 9:12 am

The following is a guest post from Christina at Northern Cheapskate.

Rebates can be a great way to score freebies and discounts on products you use everyday. You can find them in your Sunday newspaper, in magazines, online, and attached to the very products you buy.

Rebates usually come in one of the following forms:

Try Me Free offers. These are my favorite because it means that you get to try a full-sized product for free once you send in the rebate.

Money-back guarantees. If you’re not satisfied with a product, you will be able to get your money back on your purchase with these special offers. While you may be tempted to treat this like a “Try Me Free” offer, please don’t. When you abuse programs like these, everyone ends up paying more for the products.  Only take advantage of this freebie if you truly are unhappy with the product.

Rewards programs. These programs require you to collect codes from inside product packages or UPCs in order to earn coupons or merchandise. The key to success with rewards rebates is to use coupons to get the best deal possible on the programs you frequently buy.

Getting rebates isn’t all that difficult if you pay attention to the details.

Read the fine print closely. This will ensure that you are buying the right products and following all of the procedures for claiming your rebate. Pay close attention to when your purchase must be made by as well as the deadline for the rebate form submission.

Get an original receipt and keep the packaging. Companies almost always require an original sales receipt so be sure to get one. If you’re buying items for more than one rebate offer in a shopping trip, be sure to break them into separate transactions so you’ll have a receipt for each rebate. You may also want to keep the packaging in case an additional proof of purchase is required.

Stay organized. Write when rebates are due on your calendar so that you don’t forget to send them in. Make copies of everything before you mail in the rebate. If a rebate claim is denied, you’ll have copies of the documentation you sent them to help argue your case.

Don’t buy things just because there is a rebate. Use rebates to get deals on the things that you use. Remember that it can take several weeks or even months to get your rebate, so if you don’t have the money in your budget to wait that long, skip the deal.

Christina writes about coupons, freebies, and money-saving ideas at Northern Cheapskate. Be sure to check out her latest list of her favorite 25 mail-in rebates that are currently available.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jo June 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Great tips!
Actually I just leaned one myself.
Actually I was making some rebates even harder for my self by not reading throughly the rebate form. Read it like 2 times just in case, so you don’t make it harder on yourself.
For example. I have been doing that nabisco rebate for $20 where you buy 10 boxes of cookies/crackers, 5 mac and cheese cups and 5 capri sun. Well I have been colecting the receipts and UPC codes for like 3 months in an envelope. When I finally finished my purchases and filled out the form to mail in the rebate, I realized all it required was the dated register receipts with the purchased items circled. And i had been cutting out all those UPC codes for nothing. All that extra work! And yes I did receive my $20 check 4 weeks later.
So read the rebate, some reqireire UPC’s and others don’t.

Also I would like to mention you can use manufacturers coupons and 95% of the time they will give you the full purchase price back. So go ahead and use them and turn your rebates into moneymakers! (this is because the coupon is counted as a payment tender)
Now there are a few rebates like to Perdue chicken rebate that came with a coupon that states to use the coupon and they will refund you up to the maximum amount less the coupon.


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