Friday, January 28, 2011

REBATING as an Income Stream......2010 Totals

Did anyone around here do any rebating in 2010?
Are you a casual rebater?  By that I mean, you do a rebate every now and don't seek out rebates, but if you happen upon one and it makes sense to buy the product and if it's not TOO MUCH trouble(the rebate process the company makes you go through)you take the time to complete it.

Do you keep track of the rebates you send for and keep a copy of the materials you send off?  Even casual rebaters should always make a copy of the info.(receipts, forms, UPCs or other qualifiers, etc.)before they send it.  It's also a good idea to jot down on your copies what date you mailed off your rebate.

I posted last year about rebating.  You can read it HERE.  I am a low tech rebater who uses a notebook to keep track of my submissions.  For those of you who love technology, you can keep track of your stuff via spreadsheets and graphs on your computer.  It's probably less work that way, once you get the software all set up....just enter your data and it automatically calculates, etc.  I just love the feel of a pencil in my hand

I just went through my 2010 Rebate Information.
My cash refunds amounted to $1,161.46.
   $60 of this was from doing Surveys.
   $75 of this was for Focus Group work.
   $102.35 was Ad Revenue from the blog.

This $237.35...the income from surveys/focus work/ad taxable income.
Rebates in general are NOT taxable income.  Rebates are considered a discount on the goods you buy, it reduces your cost for the product.

My gift card refunds amounted to $563.99.
   $75 of these gift cards were won in giveaways.

So my total cash and gift cards/certificates in 2010 is $1,725.45.
This isn't counting any free items, free item coupons or $ off coupons I received.

This was my first full year of rebating.
Though looking at my paperwork I did take 4 months off from actual mail-in rebating during the spring/summer months.  I did do some online rebating but mostly it was Rite-Aid SCRebates, Blog Giveaway wins, Surveys and Facebook type freebies.
My full year of Rebating total was $1.19 LESS than my Rebating total for 2009.

My costs to rebate added up to.....
$17.60 for 40 stamps
$1.00 for a box of envelopes
The copy paper was free as I still have a ton of that Staples reams of paper deal from 2009.
As for the ink cartridge costs.....not sure how to figure that.  Estimate how many pages I copied I suppose.  I'll call that 1 cartridge(I only use black ink), so $30.

Estimated total for rebate supplies.....

Not a bad return on investment, huh? ;-)

There is something about rebating I don't care for.  The fact that some people can be ineligible for certain rebates because they happen to live in a certain state.
If you live in a state where you can do alcoholic beverage/other foodstuffs rebates and that state doesn't require you to purchase the alcohol, you REALLY should do these types of rebates!
Usually you can find these rebates on the alcoholic beverages('wine tags' are what the forms are called).
You will need to purchase something like $20 of meat or $10 of cookout items, etc. and the rebate will be for the whole $20 or $10 cost of the non-alcoholic items you bought.  So basically, if you don't have to purchase the alcohol, you are getting $XX worth of food or other items for FREE!
How awesome is that?
Unfortunately for me, the state of PA does NOT allow it's residents to send off for these kind of rebates.....sniff, sniff......

As for 2011.....
Since the types of food items I purchase seems to be evolving, I don't see myself sending off for as many rebates as I did the past 2 years.  That's not to say I won't continue to rebate however.
I also don't shop and buy "stuff"(non-food items except toiletries)at the rate of most of Americans, so I don't do many clothing, or other "hardlines" type of rebates.  I may qualify for a paint or other hardware store type rebate here or there as an exception to this since we have home related purchases.

When I go looking, I don't see nearly the number of rebates so far this year being offered by the usual suspects(companies)as the last 2 years.  That may change as we get further into the year but for now it's looking sparse out there in the rebating field.

I'll continue to rebate in 2011 and I'll be interested to see how this year goes and how my numbers stack up when all is said and done.

If anyone has any rebating questions, feel free to leave a comment.



  1. I'm a very casual rebate. I decide what I need, and if that product has a rebate, then great. I send in for it. If a similar product has a rebate, and it will make the item cheaper than the original product, then yes, I'll consider buying it instead. Usually, for me, it's a matter of the final price and not product loyalty.

    I don't hunt for rebates and don't buy something I wasn't otherwise going to buy because of the rebate.

    I write in the calendar the date I sent the rebate in and when it's expected to arrive. Because I'm lazy, I never make copies of receipts or forms or contact information, though. I like the rebates that can be done online...sometimes you can track them and/or they'll send you an email to let you know they received it.

    In 2011, I think I received about $200 or so in rebates. They were on our new dishwasher, Behr paint, headlights for Shane's truck and a couple of bottles of Southern Comfort. They were all pretty large rebates, but I will also send in for small ones if they come my way.

  2. I received the windshild wipers, electric toothbrush, and chestal so far. I am waiting on the copy paper from Office depot. I also love rebates from Rite Aid because it is done on the computer. I got around 150 back for 2010.

    Sluggy, your numbers are amazing.

    Annie, Southern Comfort and lemonade is my favorite! I will have to look for a rebate form.

  3. Annie--Those big rebates add up fast! I wish every company would go with online rebates vs. Mail in paper ones. It would bring costs down, at least on the customer's end. But since most companies count on a percentage of customers eligible for rebates NOT applying for them, I don't see them working hard to make it a paperless system. It's def. more work to cut out UPCs, staple things on forms and address an envie, put a stamp on it and get it all to a mailbox. They don't want to make it too easy for us to get our money

    April--The office store rebate systems are awesome. I highly recommend the Staples one.
    And you know how I feel about Rite-Aid SCRs by

  4. I really like the rebates (don't do a lot for things other than at Staples and Rite-Aid mainly because I can't find the rebate forms). The money goes into a special account for things for the house - last year paid for the chimney cleaning and repairs out of that account among some other things.

  5. You did awesome. I am a casual rebater. Some months I do more than others but not as many as you.

  6. That's a wonderful rebate summary - yay on money!!! I am more of a hit-or-miss rebater. Thinking back, I actually did quite a few more in 2010 than I have any year before, probably because I'd just gotten into the drugstore (CVS/RA) game via all the different blogs and therefore was a lot more aware of rebates than I would normally be. Even though I knew all about making and keeping copies and notes, I tended to be lazy about it until that bit me on one of the Olay rebates last year. Then I started keeping better track. For anyone who might be using The Coupon Project's 2011 Savings Tracker spreadsheet, there is a rebate function built in that helps with the tracking info.

    I don't know how many I'll do this year, but I'm with you - I much prefer the online submission ones, not just because of the stamp/envelope cost and hassle but because usually the fact that it's an online submission means I have done and collected and purchased everything correctly already. The manual ones that require UPCs and register receipts also seem to be the ones where something can go wrong, like I've sent them a UPC that's not on their list of acceptable ones (Olay) even though the rebate form said "any", etc.


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