Tracking Your Mail In Rebates

A few months ago, Denise asked me how I keep track of my Mail In Rebates. I realized that I could not show you my rebate book the way it was, so I made a new spreadsheet to share with you.

I put together a spreadsheet with the information that I keep for my rebates.  I typically print a rebate form when I find it and add it to the rebates list. You can then keep this list in your coupon binder, so if you are at the store you will easily be reminded of what mail in rebates are available, without having the forms with you. It also allows me to see if I have a rebate I haven’t taken care of mailing or if I haven’t purchased the products. I typically hand write it, it is just easier to keep that way. Another tip, print the rebate form as soon as you see them. Rebate forms can disappear at any time and you don’t want to buy products you won’t get the rebate for.

You can print the sheet I use to track rebates here. There is software available that is much more sophisticated as well.

Here are some general tips for mail in rebates.:

1. Be sure you fully understand the rebate requirements. Make sure you read all of the fine print and understand exactly what you need to purchase, the date you need to purchase and mail by.  If you are unsure, call the number on the form for further clarification.

2. Follow the specific rebate instructions given. If it says to circle in blue pen, be sure to circle in blue pen. If you do not file the rebate exactly per their terms, they could deny your rebate.

3. Keep a photocopy or scan of the rebate form, the receipts and UPCs.  (If you are unable to keep a photocopy, write down all the details of the rebate, including your UPCs but I highly recommend copying)

4. Keep a log of all of your rebates.  Important information to keep;

  • Rebate Name and Company Responsible for Rebate
  • Purchase Requirements
  • Phone number and Mailing Address so you can check on your rebate status. Sometimes there is a website as well.
  • The date you sent the rebate.

5. Mail your rebates on time - Give yourself an extra day to make sure you item gets postmarked. Most rebates will not be accepted if they are even postmarked one day late.

What are your tips for mail in rebates?


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  • Rachel Durfee

    I love the idea of the rebates going in a seperate account. Maybe so me and hubby could actually go somewhere like a hotel. I don’t know maybe in to the kids college fund. I do tons of the budweiser rebates. They are really good about mailing them to u. Bonus in my state utah u don’t have to buy the beer. I never thought about keeping track but am definately going to now. What google doc do u use?

    • Carrol

      @Rachel Durfee, How do you do the rebate without buying the beer?

      Thanks,
      Carrol Herrin
      carrolherrin@yahoo.com

      • rachel

        @Carrol,
        In utah it is not required to buy the beer. Chec kthe rebate form to see if your state is required to purchase state. This is really the only big way I save on groceries is by the rebates. I gpt the drugstores down pretty well but still not so hot at the grocery store. I told hubby if we ever move I want to move to a state that does double coupons!

  • emikom

    just a suggestion: if you don’t have a scanner/copier, take a photo of your documents. many digital cameras has some option to take photos of the text just like a copy. you can keep the soft copy in your hard drive and delete them as you receive the rebates. green way to go :)

    thank you for the effort to bring us all these deals!

    • Shannon

      @emikom,

      Very good suggestion!

  • MARILYN MORRIS

    I got some Neutrogina rebate but was short by about $10. I called and was told since they had not made the rebate expectations clear in the beginning they would send me the difference. I received a check in today’s mail for the full amount instead of the $10 I was expecting. I will need to call them tomorrow to see what I need to do with the check since it is for too much money. Usually something like this is as difficult to straighten out as being too short. I really think they are trying to do the right thing now.

  • Caroline

    I really like that idea! We got a MIR returned to us for $20 off 3 bottles of liquor. I think it was only valid in VA. The due date was 8/15. It got returned to us unopened, stamped with “unable to process, late entry” or something like that. The postmark on it was 8/10, 5 days before it was due! My husband tried calling a number of times and never got anyone, finally started pressing “0″ over and over and got someone. She said to send it directly to her and she’d take care of it because the postmark showed it should have been on time. We haven’t received it yet but hopefully we will!

  • Kathy

    I ALWAYS take my rebates into the post office and have them stamp them right then….that way I know that it has the dated postmark on it. I started this after I was denied a $70 rebate on a computer monitor because they said it was late…even though I mailed it before the deadline.

  • http://www.journeytoourhome.com Sandy H

    Thanks for sharing your tracker! I recently got into couponing and wasn’t sure if rebates are really worth the time and effort. I have tried a couple. One has come back but not the other. I did make photocopies.
    The more I get into couponing and especially the MIR aspect of saving money this will really help me. It also reminds me to print the rebate form as soon as I see it! I didn’t know they could/would disappear!

    Very good information!

  • emi

    Hi there! I had a quick question about rebates since you seem very experienced =)
    They always say “Not valid in conjunction with any other offer,” but do you know if all companies combine BOGO deals in store with mail-in rebates? Or does it just depend?

    • Shannon

      @emi,

      It would just depend.. Things like this vary greatly.

  • Beverly Costanza

    Hi there, would you happen to know how long it takes to get a rebate check?
    I sent my rebate form in on May 4th and haven’t received it yet…there doesn’t seem to be any address to write to.

    Thanks,
    Beverly

  • Lee Ann

    Yes I have checked that out… thank you! I have printed your spread sheet. that helps alot! I look forward to your emails and all the deals. boy does it take a lot of time, figuring out where to shop, what the prices are and who has the better deal.. and is it worth having the coupon, if its a brand you don’t typically buy.. Even after you have helped me out! overwhelming sometimes.. not sure how you do it!!

  • Lee Ann

    I am fairly new to the couponing thing, but i am for sure getting hooked.. i have printed out a few rebates that i have heard about thru different sites, but i have a question… how do you typically find rebate offers??? Any suggestions on how to find all these great deals? Besides your site of course!! :) Thanks for all the work you do, giving all this info, so we don’t have to do all the work!

    Now if I could just remember to get different receipts for the different rebate offers, since they all want original receipts! rite aid is gonna hate me when i ask them to re-ring a couple items!! :) oopsy!

  • Megan

    I scan my receipts and put the scanned documents into a specific rebate folder on my computer, then I put them into an envelope marked with the name of the rebate (and when it needs to be postmarked by.) Those envelopes go into a great photo organizer I got at Target.

    I also created my own spreadsheet to track when I sent it, all the information, and if I’ve received it.

    It’s great to see what others are doing! :D

    • Shannon

      @Megan,

      Wow! That is super organized!

  • EgyptLyn

    Great for your MOM!! When my kids were younger I used to write myself a check for the amount of coupons I saved each week and deposit it in a savings acct. for their Christmas presents. Can’t afford to do that now, I’m a single Grandma on disability and I MAKE TOO MUCH in coupons !! LOL

  • Oanh

    I use the spreadsheets on Google Document for all the freebies/samples/contest/ and rebates to keep track of things. I label them by item name, date requested, weeks for delivery, date received, and side notes (rebate website to check on progress or what contest I won from).

    • Shannon

      @Oanh,

      A google doc is an excellent idea – can access it from anywhere.

  • Denise

    Shannon,

    You ARE AWESOME!

    THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU for doing this and while I should be totally shocked that you actually remembered that I was the one that had asked for this, you are so organized and on top of things, I’m finding I’m no longer surprised by what you can do! :)

    This will work out super! I had some sort of a system going, but it is so nice to know the inside scoop of how you are doing it…something told me you would have a more logical way that was complete and comprehensive. LOVE IT. I will absolutely use it!

    Thanks again for your thoughfulness and responsiveness and for a site that is so easy and so fun to use!

    Blessings to you!
    Denise

    • Shannon

      @Denise,

      No problem Denise, my pleasure.. and I have a pretty good memory.. This might sound a little sappy, but you have all become my friends. I look forward to communicating with you each day. Facebook has been really fun because I can put faces with names too!

  • EgyptLyn

    Hi Shannon..I keep mine in a spiral notebook, the kind the kids take to school. I have basically the same info except the phone #s. Great idea!! I also like your form better as I usually forget to peek in my book and this sheet could hang on the side of the fridge and then go in a folder until the end of the year to see all the goodies I got! Thanks! Just another reason I love this blog!!

    • Shannon

      @EgyptLyn,
      Oh I like the idea of keeping them.. My mom actually has a separate rebate account she sticks all her checks in for her “vacation” fund.

  • Christina

    Jennifer-I only JUST got mine the other day. $8.59.

  • Amanda H.

    Speaking of rebates, the one for P&G products has to be postmarked by 6/15/10! I found the form in the 5/2 P&G insert. Also , if u google “list of P&G products” a list comes up from Hot coupon World that was very helpful to me.

  • Irene

    Thanks for sharing! I’m always forgetting what I’m still waiting for to come back. This should help me! Thanks again for everything!

  • Jennifer

    I never got my quench for clunkers:( Which is a bummer, only reason I do the purchase is for the rebate. So, of course I didn’t save a copy, but do keep a log. Would it pay to contact them.