Saturday, March 7, 2009

How to Use Mail In Rebates

Mail in rebates are something that most people overlook when searching for a great deal. However, if you are diligent to send them in, they can be a great source for free stuff or even a money maker if you are lucky.

Here are 3 Basics to get you started with Rebates

1) Where to find Mail In Rebate (MIR) Forms:

-Keep your eyes open when you are shopping at Walmart, Walgreens and the Grocery Store. Yesterday I saw MIR's on Make Up, Shampoo, Carpet Cleaner, and Cereal

-Newspaper Inserts are another great source of MIR's. For example there was an orajel mail in rebate a couple of months ago, and one for Excedrin that both turned out to be money makers.

-Websites and Blogs often have links to MIR Forms. I typically print these out and then keep my eyes open for a great deal.

2) Types of Mail in Rebates

Cash Back - Some mail in rebates offer a set amount of cash back for purchasing the items, others offer a full refund. Read the fine print to learn if you will receive a full refund of the purchase price, or a refund for the purchase price less the coupon used.

Free Coupons/Products - Often rebates offer free products in the mail, recently there have been several coupon back offers. These require you to purchase a certain amount of products and you receive high value coupons back in the mail.

3) Tips for Using Rebates

-Remember that you typically need your original cash register receipt for a rebate. So make sure that you only purchase one mail in rebate item per transaction.

-Look for sales on rebate items, especially try me free offers. This keeps your out of pocket low and allows you to purchase more items before your rebate arrives in the mail.

-Combine Mail in Rebates with Coupons and Store Sales. With most rebates you receive the Purchase Price back. This is the price that the receipt states next to the item description. If you combine this with Register Reward Deals at Walgreens, or Manufacturer Coupons you can reduce your out of pocket expense and make a profit at the same time.

Here is an example of how you can use a Rebate to make money:

I received a coupon for a free box of Just for Men in the Mailbox about a month ago. I always sign up for offers like this because you never know when a great deal will come along. While I won't use the Just for Men. Here's how I would use this coupon and rebate together to get something I did need.


$6.99 Just for Men Purchase Price

$4.50 Laundry Detergent

$11.49 Total

$12.55 Total with Tax

- $6.99 Free Just For Men Product Coupon

= $5.56 Total including tax for both items.

Now I mail in the rebate form and I will receive a check back for $6.99

I will make $1.43 profit! and I have some free Laundry Detergent

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