Walgreens and Rite Aid are the two biggest rebate programs as far as drug store shopping. The Walgreens program ended in April and it isn’t clear yet how the new program will work.
For Rite Aid, you can click here to sign up online for the program. I like this program as you can enter your receipts online so there is no need to waste a stamp on a small rebate. It also comes in handy when there are overlapping rebates as you can keep your receipt and submit to both!
An example would be a Chapstick rebate a few months ago. Both Rite Aid and the manufacturer offered simultaneous rebates on the same product. I purchased the Chapstick for $1.99 and submitted the rebate online to Rite Aid- I was reimbursed in full. The rebate from the manufacturer required mailing in the original receipt. I did this and was also refunded by Chapstick for $1.99.
Rite Aid publishes a rebate book at the start of every month. You can pick it up in store or check it out online here. They also highlight certain rebates in the weekly ad to make it even easier.
You can quickly enter your receipts online and at the end of the rebate period request your check. You simply enter the transaction numbers off your receipt and Rite Aid automatically figures which rebates you qualify for. They will send you a check in postcard format that can be cashed at the bank or any Rite Aid store. In my experience, Rite Aid is extremely prompt in mailing out these rebates. They will send you a reminder email if the period ends and you haven’t requested your check.
I also like to take advantage of manufacturer rebates for items we need. Often times I can find a rebate for an item we already intended to purchase or I would like to purchase. An example would be the Resolve Carpet Cleaner Try Me Free rebate. This is an item I would have purchased regardless and for a few extra minutes to send out the form, I will get this item for free.
The best case scenario for rebates are when you can combine a coupon with the rebate. In the example of the carpet cleaner, I had a coupon for $2 off Resolve. The purchase price was $7.17, I paid $5.17, submitted for the full purchase price and will receive a refund of $7.17.
I also utilize rebate offers as a way to roll Register Rewards at Walgreens. If I have a Register Reward that is close to expiration, I can always purchase an item with a rebate and submit for a refund. In doing so I have spent very little out of pocket and found a way to get my money back. I have also padded a transaction at the store by using rebates. Last summer Safeway released several $10/50 coupons. Since my weekly grocery budget is less than $50, I would occasionally buy a rebate item to hit the $50 mark.
Here is how I organize my rebates:
I have a small file folder that sits by my printer. I usually fill out the rebate form right after I purchase the product to avoid losing receipts or forgetting. I find it more convenient to do it right away as many products will require UPCs and such, so you can get all the required information together quickly.
I then make a copy of the information required in the rebate- UPCs, a copy of the receipt etc… I make a note of when the rebate is due- usually 6-8 weeks from the date of mailing. I then address the envelope and put my copy in the file. When the rebate comes I just pull my copy out of the folder and toss it.
I have been rebating for over a year now and have only had 1 rebate I didn’t receive. Once I do get a check in the mail, I pull the copy out of my folder and toss it. If it is a tiny rebate- like the $1.99 Chapstick I usually don’t even bother making the photo copy.
This may seem time intensive for what amounts to just a few dollars- but it is actually a very quick process. It is also a great way to stick to a small grocery budget as every rebate check I receive is added back into what I have to spend for the week.
Ever since I started couponing I love to check my mailbox to see what great freebies have come and it is always a pleasant surprise to see a rebate check as well.
I would encourage you to look into the drugstore rebates and be on the lookout on your shopping trips for try me free forms attached to products.
Another great resource are two rebate blogs- Hurray for Free-bates (check out her running total of rebates received this year!) and Coupons, Rebates and Refunds. I check these sites regularly to see what products may have rebates available online.
For more great ideas check out Frugal Friday at Life As Mom!