Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thought Provoking Thursday

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Thought Provoking Thursday.

Thought Provoking Thursday's goal it to offer a new-ish perspective to saving on necessary items aside from our grocery and household needs. Each week I will bring an idea to the table to share how I personally tackle areas of my own family's spending. I am hopeful that my faithful readers will feel the freedom to offer more advice through comments below each post.

Today's provoking thought is rebates. Rebates... hmmm. Purchase an item, clip the UPC and send that along with the purchasing receipt and later receive a dumpy little check in the mail... hardly worth your time and postage?

Think again!

I used to feel the exact same way... until I decided to give 'rebating' a try. (Have you ever noticed that every word turns into a verb with coupon spenders?)

At first I started small. I looked for rebatable products within the coupon insert sections of my Sunday newspapers. Often times the rebate form was accompanied by a coupon (yippee) and all I had to do was wait for a sale to come along.

Rebate checks are written for the purchase price BEFORE coupons... so if I spent my coupons strategically (in a store that would double my coupon) I would not only receive a FREE product, I would actually make a little bit of money as well (my husband would call this 'passive income!).

I found myself very eager to peek in my mailbox each day- knowing that I could possibly be receiving my very small salary for being a savvy consumer.

After awhile, I began to branch out from just purchasing rebatables that came to me (via my Sunday papers) and I began to prowl around to find more money makers for myself.

I learned to keep my eyes open in the stores as I shopped- especially the drug stores. Many health and beauty items like shampoo's and vitamins offer money back rebates. I actually honed my drug store rebating skills by spending my store reward money on items that I would in turn receive a check in the mail for! SWEET!

The grocery store is littered with rebatable items... think cereal, yogurt and even cleaning supplies! The more you actively pay attention while shopping, the more money you can keep in your pockets!

So far this year I have collected $579 back in rebates! (My May, June and July grocery and household purchasing combined was $705.96 -or- just $127 more than my rebates received!)

My family has decided to keep adding each rebate check into a special savings account to pay for Christmas on other various gifts throughout the year. We could just blow each check as we receive them, but it makes far more financial sense for us to lump the checks together to gain purchasing power later on. Your family may want to save your rebate checks for a new washing machine or for spending money on your annual trip to Disney!

You have the choice of becoming one of three different kinds of rebaters:

1. The Recycling Rebater: the recycling rebater will set aside maybe $25 or so per year to purchase rebatable items, and when the checks come in, (s)he will recycle that money into purchasing another rebatable item. Thus recycing the $25 over and over while scoring some FREEBIES.

2. The Loaning Rebater: The loaning rebater allows stores or companies to borrow their money for a short while in return for their money being returned in a few weeks + FREE items. This rebater is willing to shell out all sorts of cash up front.

3. The Budgeted Rebater: the rebater on a budget will look for ways to include rebatable items into their weekly/ monthly shopping adventures. Scoring some FREE products while maintaining enough funds for the rest of the items necessary to run their household.

I'm sure that you probably guessed that I am a Budgeted Rebater!

What kind of rebater are you/ or do you aspire to become?



What an awesome job you are doing! Congratulations! I am a loyal follower and love to spread the word about your classes.

The Pohl Family


I have not been much into the rebates, hence the term "Budget". I assume when I start getting more into that area I will be listed as a budgeted rebater. I am having trouble right now justifying a purchase, say at Walgreen's for "register rewards" or CVS for their rewards. It is hard to spend money up front and then put it toward stuff later, when you need the money "now".

I made my first attempt at my Walgreen, I did mess up but still came out only paying .32 tax for my toilet paper that I like, which was on sale for the same at VG's. However the coupon I had would have doubled at VG's but the items I bought a Walgreen earned me $9 in RR.

What I did wrong was I bought all my items, that earned rewards, in one order, and I prob should have bought separately. I still have $4 in RR now, which is good for later day, but my total on my main order would not have been so much had I split it up.

You are doing a great job!