Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tracking Rebates

Do you use rebates as part of your plan to save money? I have never really done so previously (other than Caregivers Marketplace), so this year I am giving it a go. I have already filled out my first 3 forms of 2010.

Currently, SC Johnson has a rebate where you receive $5.00 in rebates with the purchase of three listed items. You are able to do this rebate 3 times per household giving you the ability to get up to $15.00 back. I figure this is a great start to rebates!

The keys to saving money with rebates is doing them correctly (reading the small print) and submitting them. I know this sounds very obvious, but that is why the manufacturers can offer so many rebates. People purchase the items with the best intentions, but then forget to send in for the rebate. So here is what I did today:

1) Printed my rebate forms when I gathered my coupons
2) Made filling out the rebates the first thing on my todo list for when I get to my desk tonight
3) Filled them out all the way
- this means the form is filled out, the envelope is addressed and stamped and it will go into the mail tomorrow.

Now tracking. This I am not sure what to do. For now, I built a simple Excel spreadsheet with:
Company, date purchased, date due back, date received, amount due, amount paid, and a comment area. We will see if I can continue tracking them over the year.

(I do not count rebates as part of my Out of Pocket expenses. When the rebates come in, I will put them to my spending budget if needed, or add it to our vacation budget.)

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