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Weighing frugal methods

October 13th, 2008 at 09:26 am

Yesterday, I looked at the ad from
Rite Aid and got excited about all of the "free after rebate" items. I was all set to drive across town to purchase many of the items, until I gave some serious thought to whether we really needed those items. All are products that are for colds, flu, sort throats, etc. Yes, I would probably get the money back in the form of a rebate, but right now, I don' have a lot of extra money and it would mean a substantial outlay of money. I don't know that we would use the products this year, and don't really know if they do much good. When I have a cold coming on, I take some vitamin C and hope for the best.
I think I would probably be better off this month, purchasing loss leaders to stock my pantry. Still, all of those "free after rebate" offers are tempting.

I do get a few of Walgreen's "free" items, but only things we actually use on a regular basis. I request the gift cards, because they give you 10 per cent more. Then, I try to stay withing that month's gift card amount, so I'm not spending any more cash.

Do you find these offers consistently worth your time and effort?

8 Responses to “Weighing frugal methods”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I use very little in rebates cause I don't usually really need the product. Most over the counter medications do not really help. I did send in one rebate to rite aid for prilosec, but they must have lost my form. I never got the rebate.

  2. mbkonef Says:

    I use the RiteAid rebates for items that we use. For example last month they had the shampoo we normally use - after the rebate it cost me $.50 per bottle, rather than about $3.00 per bottle. I also saw all of the free after rebate items for this week. I plan to stock up but only on the things that we would be likely to use. I don't buy much cold medicine but there are other things like lip balm etc. that my daughters and use so I will get things like that. Plus, I am trying to use my rebate checks from the previous months to pay for existing purchases so I am not really laying out "new" money for the free after rebate items. Sort of "recycling" the rebate money to keep getting new free/deeply discounted items.

  3. nance Says:

    Julie, I had the same problem with "Rite Aid". I sent in for three rebates, and although the store agreed they were the correct product, the company refused to rebate the money for two of them. I have not had that problem with Walgreens.

  4. my english castle Says:

    I love the (W)algreen's ones, and they do get me to try new products with the free-after-rebate offers.
    But there's usually enough on my Walgreen's gift card to not require any cash outlay, especially since I can use the online rebate center.

    Occasionally I get something I can't use and put it in the food pantry donations. I prefer Walgreen's to the CVS extra bucks which I can never seem to find after the fact. The centralized gift card works for me.

  5. nance Says:

    My english castle brings up a good point. You can contribute to charity, with no pocket expense, when using the "free after rebate" deals.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    if you don't need it, and it's free, you are still spending money on petrol anyway, and wasting time going to get the items.
    so if you don't need it it would probably be wise to not bother, and let someone who does need it, get it.

  7. my english castle Says:

    Yeah, I don't make a special trip for free stuff I won't use. But I walk by a Walgreen's on my way home so I figure the ladies at the shelter would like bouncy shiny hair.

  8. Blue Eyes Says:

    I consistently do these offers at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS. Since we are not brand loyal, it gives us a chance to try lots of new items to the market that I definitely would not pay at full price. I use my credit card to purchase the items and use manufacturer coupons whenever possible. When I receive the rebate checks I add them to savings. Any items that I accumulate by the end of the year (and we haven't used) I donate to charity.

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