budget talk

Ways To Make Money While You Shop

Does it seem like putting food on the table is taking, and please excuse the pun here, more of a bite out of your budget? The other day while I was shopping, I realized that within the last month or so, many of the items I buy on a regular basis have jumped up in price, some by almost a dollar. However, there are ways you can turn some of your purchases into free money and free gifts. If you already use coupons, you probably know there’s also something called a refund that can help stretch your budget.

Some Work Involved
I’ve found that it does take more time and effort to look for refunds than it does coupons, but it’s definitely worth it. One of the easiest ways to learn about all the current deals is to subscribe to one of the many coupon and refunding publications. Some have print editions and others are online. The latter tend to be much cheaper to subscribe to. And if you don’t mind reading a newsletter on your computer screen, it’s a great way to get a subscription at sometimes half the cost. A few sites you might want to check out include-
www.refundcents.com and www.refundexpress.net

Go to the Web Sites
The Internet has made refunding just that much easier. I often go straight to a company’s Web site to find if they’re currently offering promotions or refunds on certain products. The best thing about visiting the site is you can print out the refund form and not have to worry about sending a stamped addressed envelope or go searching in your local stores for the right form to submit.

Check The Aisles
I’ve found a couple of good promotions for things like ‘try it for free’ that I haven’t seen anywhere else, right in the supermarket aisle. So it pays to keep your eyes open while you shop.

It’s Easy, but…
Refunding is fairly easy, but there are some rules you have to follow. Most refunds have an expiration date so make sure you beat the deadline. Also, read the instructions carefully. Don’t forget to include everything the company asks for. Sometimes it’s the UPC label (this has lines and numbers printed on it). Sometimes it’s just the cash register receipt with the product and price circled. Sometimes it’s both. Manufacturers are really picky about receiving everything they’ve asked for. If you forget just one thing, they’ll return everything to you. This often means that by the time you send everything in again, you miss the expiration date.

Start Saving Those Receipts
If you want to give refunding a try, then it’s time to start saving your cash receipts and also the UPC codes and filing them. If you really want to get serious about it, cut out the UPC codes from everything you use and not just the ones you currently need for a refund. Somewhere down the road you could find a refund for a product whose UPC you already have, and yes, you won’t have to buy it again.

Some of the Bonuses
So what are some of the rewards you get for buying a product? It could be in the form of a total refund of your purchase price. A coupon for a free item. It could be a coupon for say $3 off of produce or chicken. Sometimes your rewards come in the shape of gifts. I’ve received t-shirts, relaxation CDs and exercise DVDs. And lots of companies offer books and toys for the kids so it’s a great way to build up a supply of stocking stuffers for free.

More Sites to Check Out
Try this site if you want to look for more free offers and promotions www.shopfree.com And if you’re new to refunding, I’ve found this site is one of the best for explaining what letters and codes mean on forms and boxes www.dennis.gleeson.tc/cterms.htm

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