Friday, November 13, 2009

Rebates: Are they worth it? Balancing Savings and Convenience

One savings strategy I have yet to try are rebates. Of course it makes sense to get a rebate on high price items if they are offered. But what about the lower price ones like at drugstores?

According to Sue Stock, at Rite Aid this week you can get an Oral B Crossaction toothbrush for free with rebate (usually $2.99). If you use the Nov. 1 coupon for $1 off, you can make a buck on it. Sounds great - free money right? I don't mind getting paid to shop. But then I think, is the time it would take to find the coupon and mail in the rebate worth making $1? $1 an hour is a pretty poor pay rate for any job. Even if we take into account the $2.99 we save on the toothbrush, $4 an hour isn't great either.... If we take it a little further though and say it would only take 30 minutes to do this since you have the coupon clipped already and will stop by Rite Aid on the way home from work, it might not be an hour. More like 30 minutes. Then you're being paid $4 for a half hour. At least that's crossing the minimum wage line.

So my point is this, saving money does take time and planning. And the more you do it, the easier and faster it is. I don't spend several hours planning my grocery shopping anymore because with practice I've increased my ability to plan faster and shop faster. Since I work full time, I mostly plan in the evening when K is in bed and D is watching football. Maybe if I included the drugstores and other stores in my planning I would save more, but would it be worth the time? This is why I'm pretty much a one store shopper when it comes to groceries - I may be able to save more on some items by shopping at multiple grocery stores in the same week.

Please feel free to comment here about savings vs. convenience. I know I have cut about 40% (sometimes more) of my grocery budget, which is worth the time to me. Would taking it to the next level save me more and be worth the time in the long run?

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