Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Free Stuff

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I like to think I'm a smart spender. I also admit that I get an abnormal amount of satisfaction from finding an amazingly great deal, which doesn't get much better than FREE!

Walgreens runs a monthly "EasySaver" Rebate Club
This monthly booklet contains a bunch of coupons, which I usually skip over, but what always intrigues me are the freebies listed at the top of the rebate form. Every month they include at least one item that is completely free.

The picture above are three of the choices for the April rebate - in all there are EIGHT items that are completely free this month. In addition to the toothpaste, toothbrush (which they frequently include as freebies) and snack bar there were "Wal-itin tablets", "Wal-Zyr Allergy Relief", "Tums Quikpak", "Just for Men Touch of Gray Hair Color" and "Jane Be Pure Mineral Blush" or "Kabuki Brush".

Sometimes I see something that is free and although I don't personally use it I'll still pick it up, get the rebate and pass it on to someone else or donate it to a charity. Just about any toiletry item is a welcome donation to many charities.

The other great thing about the Easy Saver program is that Walgreens lets you submit all the rebates on one form in one envelope - how easy is that? You can also use manufacturer coupons, so in some cases they have actually "paid" me to buy the items! The three items above cost $9.08 + .30 tax for a total of $9.38. Walgreens will refund me the $9.08, plus I had two coupons for an offset of -$1.75 plus Walgreens gives you an extra 10% back (.91 cents) if you take your rebate in the form of a Walgreens gift card (which I always do).

So even after paying .41 cents for a stamp to mail the rebate and absorbing the .30 cents for sales tax I get these items for free and have am still ahead by $1.04. As you can tell, this is somewhat of a game for me and I love it (I know, that's weird).

If you are like my husband you tend to not shop for something until the minute you need it which is, of course, not a smart way to shop. When you do this you tend to miss out on sales and end up paying top dollar. He also been telling me "no more toothpaste and tooth brushes!!" for about a year but I say "I don't care if we have 6 of them already, they don't go bad and we will eventually use them, won't we?". If we get too many stock piled I pull some out and put them in a charity collection. My motto is, if it's free, why not? If you can't use it someone else can - just pass it on!

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