Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Writing El Paso

...or my own version of a stimulus plan...

I've been putting together rebates - for the software we bought when we bought TurboTax, and for the kids' cell phones. All together, over $500 worth of rebates. That's why I'm very, very particular and obsessed with doing these right.

First, I listed all the rebates and requirements to make sure everything came out free like it was supposed to (on the software) - and I found that I had grabbed the wrong version of the Print Shop. So, Jeffrey went back and got the right one. Then, I just started going through all those rebate forms, filling them out, seeing which ones I could fill out online, cutting out UPCs, and making lots and lots of copies of everything. As I finished each one, I put all required materials into the envelopes, but I did not seal them. No, first I have to look each one over at least once to be sure everything is right, and I have to enter the info into my spreadsheet - so I can keep track of what rebates have been requested, for how much, when they were mailed, and when they are received. That way I can easily see if there are any that need tracked down. Hopefully I won't need to do any of that, but at least I will have all the documentation if I ever need to.

All in all, it's good to know that the money will soon be rolling in. No, it's not money we can go spend on luxury hotel rooms or vacations, because it's money that we've already spent. We're just reclaiming it. Still, it works out, doesn't it? We spend the money in the first place - so the software manufacturers can stay in business, the stores can stay in business, those rebate processors in El Paso can keep their jobs, and it really only costs me some time, some envelopes, and some stamps. I say, if they want people to spend more money, offer more rebates. Even if I don't really need it, I'll often buy it if I can get it for free.


  1. In this economy every little bit back helps.

  2. Wow, how many hours did that take you? And how much money do you get paid for all those hours?

    I don't go for rebates because, at least in my experience, they'be been way more hassle then it's worth. At least when I think about it in terms of an hourly wage.

    But if you need the products and have the time to spend, of course you shouldn't pass up on money.

  3. Frigga - I'm really not sure how much time it took. Maybe an hour or two? It would be less if I wasn't so obsessive about checking and double-checking everything to be sure it's right. Of course, there's all the stopping and starting - checking laundry, fixing dinner, etc. One of these days it would be nice to just sit down and do something from start to finish without interruptions. I wonder if that happens in real life?

    The phone rebates were definitely necessary, since we bought the phones and why spend $100 more than you need to? The software? We could have lived without it, but I got some really neat titles I wanted to try but never would have if I'd actually had to pay for them.

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