New shopping program: Good Housekeeping Rewards

In my July issue of Good Housekeeping, there’s a page introducing their new shopping rewards program, Good Housekeeping Rewards. While I encourage you to check out their site, I’ve included a program summary in this post.

Shop at specific online retailers (currently including Target, Macy’s, Banana Republic, and others) through the GH Rewards website and you can earn up to 20% back each time. The small catch: you have to wait until you’ve accumulated $20 in rewards before you can request your rewards, but you can get your rewards by check or by a prepaid, GH branded MasterCard. Although you have to remember to shop through GH’s Rewards website, their site offers many coupons and deals that you can use to further save money.

Finally, you must be a Good Housekeeping subscriber to participate. (Non-subscribers can participate, but only through a 90-day trial.) However, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that that doesn’t mean you have to spend any money to subscribe! AdPerk is still offering Good Housekeeping for free, just for watching some online commercials.

What do you, the readers, think of this? Does it compare to other shopping rewards programs you are familiar with?

SSS Walgreens trip – deodorant and more

It’s Super Savings Saturday at Money Saving Mom! It’s that time of the week when we show off all our deals from the past week.

Earlier this week, I had to make a trip to Walgreens. Well, I remembered reading over at Centsible Shopper about the Lady Speed Stick deal, and it seems like all the free deodorant I’ve been getting recently has been men’s deodorant. I needed some for myself, so I got three of them for free using the Walgreens weekly coupon ($0.99) and then $1/1 coupons.

I also heard from Centsible Savings that Zantac was free with the $5/1 manufacturer’s printable coupon from Walgreens and possibly printing Register Rewards. I didn’t get the RR, but I never say no to free Zantac since it’s so expensive and I actually use the stuff.

The Visine tears is something I’ve needed to buy for a while, but with a $2 off coupon and the WG weekly deal of $3.49 each, I couldn’t pass it up.

Finally, I had to get the WG Ibuprofen since it’s FAR this week only.

My total before tax was $3.45, which is $1.45 after the EasySaver rebate.

Tip Tuesday: Google Calendar

Today I’m introducing a new feature that might become a regular one here on Non¢ent$. Here, I’m going to share with you various methods that I have found helpful when dealing with money. These tips will be related to organization, frugality, couponing, personal finance, and other related areas.

I admit I was wary at first of buying things to get a rebate. I didn’t trust that the store or manufacturer would return my hard-earned money to me. I think my fear was based on what I heard when I was a kid. Rebates were not something my family trusted, and that was passed on to me. From what I’ve read online, though, the Walgreens EasySaver program seems to be pretty reliable.

Once willing to try rebates, I realized that my next hurdle was the fact that rebates (initially) seemed to require a lot of work and attention to detail. You have to make sure you get them sent out by a certain date, you have to save receipts,* sometimes you have to have the UPC, and you have to fill out a form, making sure to follow the rebate form’s specific list of requirements. It all sounded like way too much planning for me to handle.

Then, I noticed how much attention to detail my school schedule requires. I successfully keep track of tests, papers, grading, assignments, and all the other meetings and deadlines a student deals with. I use a simple system that I can access from home or school: Google Calendar.

Why couldn’t I just do that for my financial needs as well–including rebates? Google Calendar is a system that has worked for me because it is so easy to use. I have two calendars that keep track of the different areas of my life–school and money. The two calendars are even color-coded, and I can turn one on or off temporarily so I can focus on one at a time.

To help me remember to send in those rebate forms, I simply create an all-day event for the day that the rebates must be mailed, and then I add a reminder. You can have Google Calendar email you at a time you pick.

This method has given me confidence in my ability to manage the requirements for the EasySaver program. In fact, I just sent out my form for this month–my second month participating in the program.

*Actually, this was one thing that was not a problem for me, since I keep them all anyways…one of the few things I do right!

This week only: Freebate at Walgreens

Besides the usual free-after-rebate items at Walgreens this month, there is one *additional* item that is FAR, this week only.

EasySaver Rebate #15 is a $2 rebate on Walgreens Ibuprofen 200 Softgels or PM Pain Reliever Quick Gels, 20 Pack, limit one.

Last night I was browsing the weekly sales flyer when I noticed that those very products were on sale for $2, making them FAR. Then, today I was reminded by

Walgreens freebies and moneymakers!

Walgreens deals

Wow! I didn’t plan this out completely, but after rebates, all the stuff in the picture made me $4.95!

Inspired by Bethany at Centsible Shopper, I got Wrigley’s gum at Walgreens, and ended up with quite a bit of overage from the gum alone!

Let me break it down:
I bought six at $1.19 each, which is
=$7.14
minus the price of three, $3.57 by using 3 BOGO coupons
=$3.57
minus $3.14 from the 3 for $2 Walgreens 7-day coupon
=$0.43
…You can see where I’m going with this
minus $1.98 from using the EasySaver “$0.99 off 3 packs” coupon!
That leaves $1.55 overage!!

I gave my coupons in the order recommended on Bethany’s post: BOGOs, Walgreens 7-day, EasySaver

What’s more, I got a Glade Scented Oil candle for FAR. It’s not a monthly FAR deal, but since it’s on sale for $5 and I used a $3/1 coupon, it will be FAR when I get my $2 EasySaver rebate!

I also found one scent of Oust candles on clearance for $3.59. With my $3/1 coupon, that makes the Oust candle $0.59!

I bought Aquafresh for $2 and used a $2/1 coupon, making it $0, plus I can send in for the $3.99 $2 EasySaver rebate. I also needed some Wal-itin (6.99); lucky me, it’s FAR this month!

Finally, I got a box of Glucerna cereal for free using the RR coupon from the previous box I bought.

Overall, I paid $8.03 plus tax, and will be getting $12.98 ($3.99 + $2 + $6.99) back in EasySaver rebates, thus making me an eventual $4.95 on the entire purchase.

Edit: See Bethany’s post at Centsible Shopper–I was a little off on my rebate amounts. You can use coupons to make a profit on rebates, but not store sales. Thanks for the question, st8homom