Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rebates & Register Rewards

This is still a working theory, but I wanted to share it with you. One of the things that I dislike about register rewards is that I feel like with tax I am constantly adding money to them. I like to look at register rewards in terms of my "investment" in them.

For Example, at one point yesterday I had spent $13.60 including tax and I had $42.00 in Register Rewards to spend. I consider my investment to be the $13.60. If I keep rolling my register rewards then my investment keeps growing because of tax (are you lost yet?)

Here's my new working theory: The only way to recover the investment in the register rewards is through Try Me Free or Mail In Rebate items. Similar to using register rewards to purchase FAR items, my new plan is to purchase rebate items to cover my investment.

Here's how this worked today:
Because my out of pocket was about $15.00 including tax I knew I needed to use my $40 + in RR to purchase at least $15.00 worth of mail in rebate items. This way I get my money back and my items are indeed free.

I found a $5.00/1 coupon for Physicians Formula Bronzer, and a Try Me Free Label on the Bronzer, so it turned into a big enough money maker to cover a lot of my investment while only costing me one $5.00 RR. (You can read my summary of today's shopping trip here)

I wouldn't recommend doing this each time you have register rewards, because you will run out of rebate items, but if you did it every once in a while to cover your investment then you really are getting these items for free!

This worked great today! Because I already purchased my rebate items and made more than my investment I now consider the $32.00 in register rewards I have "Free Money" and whatever I buy with them is also Free!

Here are a few great items I saw at Walgreens today with Try Me Free Tags on them:

Physician Formula Mineral Wear Bronzer and Face Brightener (There is a pink bronzer coupon for $5.00 off on the front display) $13.99

Organix Shampoo - $6.99

e-sen-cia Shampoo - $7.99 (Use with $1.00/1 coupon here)

All Bran Products - Up to $4.99 (Use this rebate form)

Tums Smoothies (Details Here)
Please let me know if you find any other great rebate items! Also, remember that you need a separate receipt for each rebate item so you will have to do them on separate transactions.
I would love to know what you plan to do with your register rewards, leave me a comment and let me know!


  1. I personally don't like the idea of using my RR for things that I wouldn't normally buy that are Free After Rebate (such as random shampoos that I can't get the matching conditioners for free) because 1) I still have to pay tax on that "free" item and 2) I have to wait 2-3 months to get my money back. I use RR to buy Walgreens diapers (almost always on sale for $4.50 - $6 per pack) and these are probably my favorite diapers of all the brands. There are also usually some grocery items that I use that are a great price each week that I can buy too.

  2. Great Point! I am planning on using my register rewards this week to buy toilet paper and Fresh Brush refills. I think it just depends on your perspective and how much money you have in Register Rewards.

    I think we are all learning new ways of shopping now that the Easy Saver book is gone!

    Thanks for your perspecive, I know lots of people who aren't a fan of rebates, and like I said at the beginning, this is still a working theory!

  3. If I have coupons that cover the tax and if I have nothing else to buy, I think the FAR items are good - they're just likely my last option. I can't tell you how excited I am about the Bayer Glucose Meters! I have an aunt that is diabetic that they are going to and I spent $2.78 and got $10 back. That's a package of diapers or toilet paper for free and when I think of it like that, it makes me smile. :)

  4. I think similarly about RR. I will buy something that has an RR if I would buy it anyway, but only if the RR (perhaps combined with a coupon) makes the item free or really cheap. I miss the Easy Saver program because the 10% they added to the gift card covered my tax, so the item was completely free.
    I could go on and on about how much I hate sales tax, but I'll refrain. :) At least our grocery tax here in NWA is about to drop by another penny.