Oct 6, 2009

Rite Aid Single Check Rebate Program

If you haven't heard about Rite Aid's Rebate Program, let me introduce you.  Rite Aid has a program similar to Walgreens or CVS; you buy certain products and earn cash back for that purchase that often makes the item(s) free or nearly so.  The significant difference between Rite Aid and the other two is that at Rite Aid you accumulate your rebate over a month's time and then submit them at once for a single check.  The upside to this is that it is a check, which means it is as good as cash.  You can deposit it in the bank or you can take it to Rite Aid and they will cash it for you.  CVS and Walgreens have ExtraCare Bucks and Register Rewards, respectively, which have two downsides in my opinion; one, the rewards expire usually within a month, and two, they are only good at those particular chains. 

I'm going to give you a short tutorial on how to make Rite Aid work for you.  I have been shopping there faithfully since June, and I have spent no new money there since July.  Since July, I have been paying for my purchases with either gift cards or checks as a result of their rebate program.

1.  Sign up at Rite Aid's website for their Single Check Rebate Program.

2. Go to sites that list the best deals and money makers at Rite Aid.  I personally prefer For The Mommas, but you could also check out MoneySavingMom, or Hip2Save.

3.  It will probably take you a few weeks to get the hang of the program, so start slow.  Try one or two purchases that are eligible for rebates, submit them as soon as possible (so you don't lose the receipt!), and make sure that you understand the concept before going "big time".  You don't want to waste money, as that will discourage you from trying again.

4. Once you get the hang of the program, try multiple or bigger transactions, but follow these guidelines.  

5. Make a shopping list; write down exactly what you plan to buy, how much it costs, the coupons you will use, and the final cost.  I always try to work out a scenario where my total before coupons is $25, so I can use the total purchase coupon that Rite Aid often offers.

6. Become familiar with Rite Aid's coupon policy.  Print out a copy and take it with you to the store in case you have a persnippety cashier. For example, you can "stack" or use two coupons on the same item, as long as one is a Rite Aid coupon (bar code starts with RC) and the other is a manufacturer coupon.  Also, the $5 off $25 coupon is good on your pre-coupon total, so have your cashier scan the $5 off $25 first.

7. If you go shopping after Sunday, be prepared for the free items to be gone.  Plan for a few variables, and bring along coupons for Plan B or Plan C.  This is not always necessary, but often it is.

8. As soon as physically possible, enter your receipt information at Rite Aid SCR

9. At the end of each month, submit your receipts for your rebate check and/or gift cards. Important: If you don't submit your receipts usually within 28 days of the end of the last month's rebate cycle, you will lose your rebates!

Hope this helps!

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