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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Ever had questions about how mail-in rebates work  Get your questions answered here and start saving some $$.

Shopping sales and using coupons are one huge way to save, but adding in mail in rebates can make the game even more fun!

First, everyone wants to know how they work with coupons.  Most mail in rebates work beautifully with coupons!  You buy the item in the store, use any coupons and discounts you would like to use and then submit your rebate.  Must manufacturer’s will reimburse the full value of the rebate no matter the final price paid.  Obviously there are exceptions, but look in the fine print of a rebate and as long as it doesn’t mention “minus the value of any coupons used” you’re probably going to have a money maker!

To get better at mail in rebates there are a few things you need to do:

Keep all of your receipts for 4-6 weeks.  We are no longer shopping week in and week out for the items we need.  You are now buying something and not buying it again for 6 more weeks.  What happens if you find a rebate 2 weeks from now for something you bought today.  If the rebate window went back a few weeks you would be ready to submit it without even going shopping, you just need the receipt.  You don’t need some big organizational system, just shove them all in a big ziploc bag or a drawer.  The point is to at least have them!

Ask for duplicate receipts.  What happens if you buy 25 things today, submit your rebate for one item and then find another rebate for another item??  If you know that you are purchasing an item today that is for a mail in rebate then always get a back up receipt for the other items.  Another reason… most DVD’s and Blu-rays have two UPC symbols and you can actually submit two mail in rebates for them.  Often Disney movies will have multiple offers available from various brands.  Now you can buy a movie, a box of pasta, and a roll of duct tape and submit two separate mail in rebates.

To get a second receipt just ask the cashier at checkout for a “duplicate receipt”.  Most every register has a button they can push and out comes the receipt.  It’s doesn’t mean they will know where that button is, but there is always something new to learn!

When it comes time to submit them, I would recommend that you create a way to keep track of them.  Either grab a pad of paper or use this spread sheet and keep it where you pay your bills and handle mail.  The big things to track:

Rebate Value
Purchase Requirements
Date Mailed
Length of Processing Time (ex. 4-6 weeks)
Phone Number to Contact with Questions

Remember too, with all mail in rebates you should make a copy before you mail it in.  I don’t tend to actually print a copy (that uses ink and costs money) I just scan them and keep the files in a rebate folder on my computer.

One big tip:

If you live in a state that doesn’t require alcohol purchases for mail in rebates then you are about to be a mail in rebate queen!  Check out the beer & wine section in most grocery stores and you will find mail in rebates for $5 back when you buy beef and some beer.  In select states, you don’t have to buy the alcohol, just the beer.  So you are going to buy $5 in beef and then get it all back by rebate!!!  There are tons of offers available throughout the year, so keep your eyes open for them.

If you live a not fun, alcohol required state… I can’t really help you on this one. Just grab a mail in rebate and send it to a sweet friend in a more fun state!

Looking for Rebates

Any rebates I find, go into the database here on Southern Savers, so always check there first.  Just type in “mail in rebate” and you’ll see the long list.  The next place to look is directly on manufacturer websites.  In stores the alcohol corner of the store will tend to have most rebate offers.

If you ever find any I don’t have, send me an email and I’ll add it to the database!

    • David Lachnicht

      RE: States that do NOT require the alcohol purchase to redeem rebate.

      OK then, which states are those?

      • Sandy

        How about you do a little research and find out?

        • David Lachnicht

          Settle down, Francis.

          • Sandy M

            I am a different Sandy than the one you responded to and thank you for making me laugh today, lol   :)

        • Sandy, why don't you post to a blog where people DON”T want to help people! What is with people today? I happen to appreciate when others share their knowledge. Sometimes looking up something takes quite a bit of time and sometimes the information isn't always clear. It's nice to get the facts from people who have already done this. Therefore, to those who took the time to explain this, THANK YOU! I was confused myself, but know I have learned something. I also learned that my state does require the alcohol purchase, but oh well, at least I know.

          • Sandy

            I help people on here all the time thank you, very much. Just click on my name and you'll see. I didn't like how David asked his question. Thought it came across quite rude. As for Francis, never heard of her.

        • Collegenugget2

          Funny, I thought reading posts on Southern Savers was the BEST way to do research.  I learn so much from reading all of these comments and tips.  For instance, today I learned that SOME people get a bit cranky when asked questions?

      • Danyeln

        It will say on the rebate form.  The ones that come here in Alabama, as well as any coupons from alcohol companies, say on the form “No alcohol/beer purchase required”.  Right now in my binder I have coupons for soda, bottled water, ice and produce all from beer companies and none of them require a beer purchase.

      • Lea

        The lucky states are AL, AR, CT, HI, KY, ME, MD, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OK, UT and WV.

        All it takes is a little googling friend. God helps those who help themselves.

        • Nancy

          I live in VA and find rebates quite often at Food Lion in the beer section that do NOT require the purchase of alcohol/beer.

        • What kind of attitude is that, Lea? I'm glad God doesn't tell me that when I need His help!

        • Peggyandbobby2

          and once again Florida is not included.  I think we are discriminated against down here for some reason!  They don't double coupons either!  Also, the 'good' coupons that are regional are never included in my newspaper here on the coast.  :( 

          • Megansmom636

            we are lucky though.  we get bogo's most of those other states do not.  and bogo's are great!!!

        • cahugh4

          YEA! I'm located in KY. I did not know that I do not have to purchase the booze to get the mail in rebate. Which is nice, because we get tons on liquor rebates in the  mail circulars. (Just got one yesterday).

          • Kaela

            I'm in KY too and I've had a million of them and NEVER paid any attention b.c. we do not drink so I've always just threw them away now I'm disappointed :(

        • guest

          Actually, God helps those that can't help themselves…it's called grace. :-)

    • Danyeln

      Alabama is one of those lucky states that doesn't require an alcohol purchse.  Just last week I got a $5 check in the mail from Corona from a Cinco deMayo rebate.  All I had to buy were chips and salsa.

    • Akamarilynmary

      Regarding your tips…how true.  I will now save my grocery receipts.  I have missed many opportunities.  I am glad to know that cashier can print me a second receipt.  thanks for the information.  Mary

    • Katkoupon

      Jenny, do you know if we can do multiple but different rebates from the same manufacturer per address? Like the Finesse rebates, there are Try Me Free peelies on the Clean and Simple Shampoo and there is the $2 MIR on any Finesse. They have different PROMO ID's, and I sent off for both of them, jic, but I wanted to see if you've had any experience with this? Thanks for your helpful posts!

      • Danyeln

        I suppose it might depend on the manufacturer, but I know that last year around Christmas I sent in 3 different rebates with overlapping purchases for different P&G rebates. However none of them was for cash and that might make a difference.  They were for things and/or coupons.

    • Slvarvel

      I do live in one of the lucky states that don't require a beer purchase, however those rebates are hard to come by because of the greedy pigs who take the whole pad and sell them!

      • Buff

        What states don't require them?

        • Buff

          Never mind, saw the list further down. :-)

      • Peggyandbobby2

        what state do you live in?  I'm in florida, any idea if that is a lucky state?

        • Jennifer A

          The lucky states are AL, AR, CT, HI, KY, ME, MD, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OK, UT and WV.

    • Marla

      Speaking of Rebates – I had mailed in some JC Penney rebates over the Black Friday holiday and never received my checks. Of course this is the ONE TIME I don't keep a copy =( Does anyone know if there's something I can do to reclaim this lost money??

    • Hailey Hurst 22

      I just sent off about six rebates today. One for four free keurig drink tumblers!

    • MallorysMommy

      Has anyone ever run into the situation where you send in all the necessary documentation for the rebate then they send you back you did not send in the UPCs? I jost got this in the mail yesterday from nexcare and of course I didn't make any copies. Anyone with any advice?

      • Beck

        probably not much you can do about this rebate at this point, except to count this as a learning experience to always make copies of everything you send in, in the future. it sucks, i know.  sometimes if you call the 800 # for the rebate and argue with them, it helps, but usually companies are too stubborn. good luck!

    • Crickettjd

      Jenny, I just make copies of everything I am sending in my rebate, and keep them all in a what I call my Follow-UP file. When a rebate comes in I make sure the amount of the rebate is correct, then pull it out of the file and put the copies in my stack of paper that I reuse to print coupons, etc. on.

    • DC

      I checked the database for mail in rebates and the scrollbar does not work. I could view a few pages if I selected view 10 items at a time, but if I chose more than 10 I couldn't see all items because the scrollbar doesn't work. Also, even at 10 per page,  I needed to scroll down at about page 4 or 5 and I couldn't.

      • Prsol

        Hi DC… I see what you are saying, but the scrollbar actually works only if you type something on the “Search Coupons” field of the database.  If your search populates many results, then you will be able to use the scrollbar.
        Type “Mail In rebate” on that search field and it will display all the offers that are currently on for this kind of deal. Good luck! :-)

    • Prsol

      My husband is the King of Mail in Rebate (MIR) for wine!
      Ever since I announced that we must stock up when the items reached its lowest price, he has been doing the same with his wine!

      So now he:
      -Keeps his eyes peeled for any mail-in-rebate coupon sticking out of a bottle
      -Buys a bunch of bottles of that brand whenever it goes on sale
      -Purchases wine at Ingles (they usually give you additional discount on certain wine brands)
      -and then I apply for the MIR (he is not organized enough to keep track of the offers)

      Final price on his wine is about $2.99 per bottle, and it's good tasting wine! AND we are currently waiting for $47 back thanks to my King of MIR!!!!!! :D

    • Megansmom636

      i have 2 questions.  do you find most rebates are 1 per address??  how do you get around this?  and is there anyway to save on postage?  i just sent in a rebate for the bayer aspirin and almost a third of my rebate will be eaten up by the stamp i have to put on the envelope???  i still make $1 and i know $1 off anything coupon would be something i would use so i figure it's worth it, but if the rebate is for $1 and i have to buy a stamp to get it then is gets cut in half!!! only the staples rebates have i seen that i can do online.

      • tarheelbaby1

        Yeah, this dissuades me from doing some of the little rebates.  Spending half the rebate amount on the stamp in the hopes I'll actually get the rebate money (usually happens  but not always) isn't worth it to me.  I do the bigger ones ($5+ though).

    • tarheelbaby1

      I live in NC and frequently find wine tags that offer discounts on grocery purchases ($1-2 coupons on meat, seafood or produce) but I am yet to see a MIR form on a wine bottle.  I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.

      • Amy

        I found a rebate for $5 back wyb $5.05 in meat and another for $1 off chicken wyb $1 or more. They are WTs. I can't find any coupon WTs around here. As soon as they are on the bottles, couponers swarm like bees.

    • Coupondes

      I am a little confused. I live in NC. Because they do not require the alcohol purchase, can I just submit the MIR without the purchase of the beer?

    • Appleshell

      This is the one thing I can't bring myself to bother with. It's not that some of the rebates don't sound nice, but it seems to be such a tedious thing to deal with while worrying about taking care of a house and kids…on top of regular couponing. We always send in rebates for large items/services, of course. And we sometimes buy large items specifically because they have a great rebate offer, but a $2 rebate just seems like a lot of trouble when you have to wait 6 weeks to get it back, then have to take it to a bank to cash it. I hate to have that attitude, and maybe I'll try to start doing it with the larger rebates (over $5) but when I see the word “rebate”, I cringe. I know, I'm the odd-man out on this one. :-)

    • Michele

      Do you know which states require the alcohol purchase? I have never never even heard of that…thanks I live in NC

      • CM6755

        I am NOT certain, but I am pretty sure alcohol rebates/incentives are illegal here.  FWIW…again, not certain though.

    • MarySC

      I scan my entire rebate submission and save it as a pdf in a document subfile called “rebates”.  I then send myself an email, putting the rebate name and expected check date in the subject line, and add a link to the pdf in it.  Then I just keep the email in my inbox until the rebate comes back.
      Once it does it is easy to delete the email and the pdf.  If it doesn't show up when it should, the email sitting in my inbox reminds me to follow up… and I have all the needed documents to resubmit right at my fingertips!!

    • Kristen

      So… Do I understand this correctly? I live in NC and I hear we're one of the lucky states that doesn't require an alcohol purchase… So basically if I stumble across one of these rebate forms in the beer/wine aisle and I just buy the product, I can still send off for the rebate? Sounds cool… I think? lol

    • Csg1611

      Does anyone know what to do when you mail in a valid rebate for a recently purchased item and the envelope is returned as PO BOX CLOSED?  I bought a BHG Coffee maker at Walmart, found the rebate inside, followed the directions and received the envelope back.  I can't find anything online about it.

    • Debbie

      On the beer coupon in the state of Alabama, we can only use for meat. So, I have been told that you can only use one address per “month” to get a rebate. Can I use my name and a different mailing address? Or is there a different time frame? Can I use a different beer company and use that rebate during the month when I have used another one?