Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tuesday Organization Tip--Rebates

I spent a lot of time on Monday and Tuesday on organizing my rebate paperwork. Before you can really take advantage of these "deals," you really need to have it all together or you will miss out on deadlines, deals and really a lot of money that you could be getting back on things that you buy.

Here is what I did:

First I organized all my receipts into baggies marked by month. I needed to deal with receipts from the end of 2008 so I organized all of those as well. This blog taught me this method: http://moneysavingmethods.blogspot.com/2006/07/getting-started-with-my-step-by-step.html She has a lot of helpful tips on getting started on saving money.

Then I went though the rebate forms that I had on hand. I threw out any of the ones that were expired. Then I created a form to keep track of my rebates. http://www.lulu.com/content/5889001

With this sheet, I can keep track of:

How much the rebate is for
What it is for
What I need to turn it in
Date it started
Date it ends
Mail by date

Now I know what I can do rebates on and the range of dates, I can easily look through my receipts and match things up.

When I find receipts for rebates, I put them together in an envelope and then track down anything else I need. Then everything is all together before I start filling out the paperwork and making photocopies for my own records.

For my rebates, I keep everything in a binder. The front page of this is a piece of notebook paper where I keep track of rebates that have been sent in. I note the amount, name, and date sent. When I get a check, I mark off that rebate as paid.

Basically, my binder is set up thus:

rebates sent out
photocopies of sent rebate paperwork (receipt, forms, UPC, etc)
tracking sheet of rebates available
paperwork for available rebates

In the pocket of the binder, I keep the envelopes where I have matched receipts and paperwork.

Hope this helps you get your rebate adventures organized.

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