This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.
One of my favorite ways to save is to stack store sales and coupons with current mail in rebates. The tricky part is keeping up with the rebates and making sure you get the reimbursement you are supposed to though!
Here are some tips to keep track of rebates and not miss out.
You will find rebate forms everywhere! Forms will come in the Sunday inserts, inside products, attached to tearpads near products in the stores, and online. We try to keep any forms we find in the coupon database, so try searching there too.
If you can’t find a rebate, be careful of making copies from friends. You’ll see in the fine print whether a rebate must be an original or not.
Using them Correctly and On Time
Finding the form can seem easy next to remembering to use it and making sure you use it correctly. The first thing I would recommend is that you write on the top corner of the form the date you must purchase the items by. It is usually on the bottom in the fine print.
There are two more important thing to note in the fine print:
- Can you use coupons and other discounts?
- Does the purchase need to be made in one transaction or does it allow for multiple receipts?
Sometimes the use of coupons isn’t clearly spelled out. If that is the case, generally a receipt will not show specifically what coupons were used, so if you are greatly concerned just buy a few more other item you need so that the receipt is at least the value they are looking for.
Submitting A Rebate
This is where is all comes together. You have lost out if you bought the right products and followed all the rules, only to lose the receipt…
Gather everything the rebate calls for and the rebate form. Once it is all ready to go in the envelope – stop! Head to your computer or printer and make a scan or a copy of everything. I know it sounds like work, but the last thing you want is to mail them your only copies and then have them lose it all. If you don’t have a scanner, then another easy thing is to just take a picture of what you are submitting.
Once you have some sort of copy, then it’s time to record it for you to remember. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of the important things I need. You are welcome to download the form and try it out for yourself. The biggest part on the spreadsheet is knowing when you mailed, how long you should have to wait (usually in the fine print on the rebate) and some way to contact them if it doesn’t come.
Keep your tracker and all the copies you made in a folder together. When the rebate comes back mark it on your sheet and then go ahead and throw away the copies.
Tip: If I know that I am purchasing something in the store that will be for a rebate I always ask the cashier for a duplicate receipt. They push one button and a second copy will come right out. This gives me an automatic copy, but also helps me if I later find a different rebate for something else that we bought that day.
Turning Rebates Into Money Makers
My favorite place to buy rebate items is in the drugstores! When I can pair a rebate purchase with a deal that is giving Extra Care Bucks, plus use coupons… this is a fun day! This lines up a lot with Procter & Gamble rebates, but doesn’t always work so well with groceries. For groceries, try to catch the items on BOGO or some sale at least, and again pair in coupons.
Some of you can have a blast with grocery rebates though… select states do not allow for alcohol purchases on rebates to be mandatory. This is everyone in AL, AR, CT, HI, KY, ME, MD, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OK, UT and WV. This means that you have a $5 mail in rebate when you buy beef and beer, well you guys don’t have to buy the beer! You grab $5 in beef and then submit your rebate to get it all back! Look for these rebates in the beer and wine section of the store. For all the rest of us not in those states, we have to buy everything the rebate calls for, sorry.
Do you have any other tips for keeping up with rebates?