• Posts Tagged ‘rebates’

    Save Receipts, Save Money!

    by  • September 14, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Start saving your receipts, and you could save some serious cash! I never used to save receipts, but for the last year we have saved every single receipt – and saved over $125. Here are ways that saving receipts can help you save cash:

    • If you change your mind, you can return your purchase and get cash back.
    • There are a lot of errors on grocery store charges. If you scan your receipt and find an overcharge, you can get cash for the price difference, and may even get the item free.
    • If the item fails or is defective, you can usually return it for cash or credit.
    • You may need the receipt to make a claim on the warranty.
    • If the item later goes on sale, you can get cash back for the difference.
    • If you find a rebate offer after the purchase, you may still be able to qualify if you still have the receipt and packaging.
    • If the purchase was supposed to count toward any kind of rewards program, you may need the receipt if the purchase is not credited.
    • You may discover that the purchase qualified for a tax incentive, and may need the receipt for tax purposes.
    • You may want to resell the item at consignment or elsewhere. You can often get more for the sale if you can include the original receipt with the purchase price. Some consignment stores will not accept items without the receipt.

    In the last year, I have returned a garment that I changed my mind on, got store credit for a defective printer cartridge, got several grocery items free for being overcharged, got cash back when a vase from Pottery Barn went on sale a week after I purchased it, qualified for a “Free salad dressing!” rebate after I already bought the dressing, got credit for a Discover card promotion that I was originally not credited for, and got tax deductions for items I donated to charity. I estimate that by saving our receipts, we saved at least $125 this year.

    Cha-Ching! 144 Free Cans of Soda

    by  • July 7, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    gross-soda.jpgThis week I went on a rebate rampage and earned us 144 free cans of soda. Both Dominicks and CVS are offering a promotion where you can purchase four 12-packs of soda for $10, and get a rebate for $10, making the soda essentially free (except for sales tax and a stamp, of course). The offers do not conflict, meaning that you can get all three. Two of the offers are for select Coke products while one is for select Pepsi products.

    Total value of freebies: $3.99 per 12-pack (at regular prices), for twelve 12-packs: $47.88. Still, not as good as my record freebie value, $76.

    Actually, I suppose I really only got 143 free cans. I accidentally cut one open when I was removing the UPC from the box. Oops!

    Make Your Money Multi-Task!

    by  • June 10, 2006 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    I am expected to multi-task my entire day, and I bet you are too. But how often do we demand the same multi-tasking performance from our money? Whether your money is coming in or going it, it can be doing two things at once.

    Coming In (Income):
    The easiest way to make your income multi-task is to take advantage of the entire benefit package offered to you at work. Putting part of your income into a 401(k) or similar program helps reduce your taxes, save for retirement, and can even earn you a substantial bonus in the form of a company match. Other payroll deduction programs for parking, child daycare, health, etc. will reduce your taxes and can help create a safety net for unexpected expenses.

    Going Out (Expenses)
    They say you can only spend a dollar once. That might have been true for your parents but it doesn’t have to be true today. Every time you make a purchase, look for ways to multi-task your money. Can you earn a rebate from the manufacturer or store? Can you earn rewards through a loyalty or credit card program? Can you save for college with Upromise or its newer competitor, LittleGrad? Can you negotiate a better deal and pocket the difference?

    For the last year we’ve been seriously demanding that our money multi-task. Sometimes we are able to get six different rewards on the same purchase. We also fully utilize the benefits packages offered at work.

    Sweet! Getting a $30 Rebate

    by  • June 8, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Tonight I confirmed that I will qualify for a promotional $30 bonus cash rebate from Discover card. I usually just throw away any fliers that come with my bills without reading them, but recently an offer caught my eye. Discover card was offering a $30 bonus cash rebate if you set up an autopay feature with any number of service providers, including cell phone service providers. Autopay can take a few weeks to activate, so I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the service activated before the rebate offer expired. Tonight I just checked my cell phone account online and it looks like the autopay feature will go through five days before the offer expires. Looks like I will just make the cutoff!

    I love when things work out properly!

    BY the way, the credit card I used has a zero balance. I’m going to get the rebate then cancel the autopay service and immediately pay off the (small) charge to my card.

    Combining offers to maximize savings

    by  • February 5, 2006 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    We try to minimize our monthly expenses on boring everyday items so we have more money for fun stuff like dining out. There are many types of product offers available, and by combining multiple offers you can get products for free or even profit from your purchase. The types of offers available include:

    1.Sales

    Get to know the regular prices of your favorite products, then look for the rock bottom prices offered during sales. Memorize both prices so you know the range of prices a product can sell for. For example, cereal is usually $4.99 a box at the regular price, but a rock-bottom sale price is 2 for $4.00, or $2.00 per box. So the price range for this product is $2.00 to $5.00. Knowing this range will help you determine how good of a deal it is.

    2.Coupons
    Like sale prices, coupon savings also vary over time. Coupons are usually at their highest value when a product is new and lowest when the product is an old favorite. Some old favorite brands do offer high value coupons when they are targeting a new customer. For example an old favorite brand of pet food might offer a low-value coupon in the Sunday paper (for it’s loyal customers) but offer a high-value coupon in a gift bag given away at pet adoption centers (to lure new pet owners). Search for and stock up on high-value coupons.

    3.Rebates
    Rebates are often a good value because they require you to put forth effort. Remember Econ 101, where the reward must offset the effort required? Check store displays, online stores, and advertisements to search for rebates. These are becoming more popular, so ALWAYS check for a rebate before you buy a big ticket item. Then remember to fill it out and mail it in!

    4.Loyalty cards
    These are the “Value Cards” that are given out to regular shoppers at grocery, pharmacies, and retail stores. They typically only grant you the opportunity to pay the stores sale prices instead of their regular prices, but sometimes these cards offer perks such as coupons, rebates, etc. Be sure to sign up for these cards (so long as they’re free) at every store you shop.

    5.Loyalty websites

    The most famous of these is www.upromise.com. You sign up on their website and give them your loyalty and credit card numbers. Then, every time you purchase a designated product (the list is on their website) using one of the registered cards, they automatically deposit a tiny rebate in an online account. When you accumulate enough cash, you can request a check be mailed to you, and the money can be used to pay for educational expenses. These websites also offer seasonal promotions such as free shipping (visit here) or extra rebates on designated products. This is an easy way to save cash because it requires no effort after you do the initial sign-up.

    6.Referrer websites
    These sites display links to online retailers, who offer special deals for customers who are referred through the link site. One great example is www.igive.com. This website will allow you to donate a percentage (it varies by retailer) of your purchase price to the charity of your choice. Or, if you’d rather pocket the cash yourself, you can just request a check. A similar site is www.mypoints.com. Instead of earning cash rebates, you earn points, which can then be redeemed for gift cards and other rewards.

    7. Credit card rewards programs.
    These are preferred credit cards that offer rewards based on your purchases. The rewards include cash or gift card rebates, air miles, etc, typically ranging from 1-5% of your purchase totals. To qualify, you usually need to have a good credit rating. Also beware of rewards cards that charge an annual fee or other fees. And of course, you would have to pay off your balance every month to avoid the interest charges.

    For the ultimate in cost savings, try to combine as many offers as possible! We have sometimes been able to combine as many as six kinds of rewards and actually profit on our purchase! Things we have profited on in the last year include 24 rolls of toilet paper (made $10), toothpaste (made 11 cents), cheddar cheese (made $2.99) and lots more! Nothing feels better than bringing home a product you got for free and knowing there’s a rebate in the mail.