Mail-In Rebates Are A Pain – Day 37: Eating Well On $1 A Day


I am not at all a big fan of mail-in rebates. I understand why companies do them — it makes it look like their products are cheaper than they really are because they know that most people will see the mail-in rebate price, but never actually send in for the rebate. I find this to be especially true with grocery store rebates because they tend to be a few dollars at most. Subtract your time and the cost of the stamp (and not knowing if they will actually send you the rebate) and it just isn't worth it for most people.

When you are eating on $1 a day, however, they do become relevant. I mailed off two rebate forms yesterday in hopes of getting some money back. One was for Kraft for $10 when you buy $30 or more of Kraft product. The other was $5 for SC Johnson for buying three of their participating products (the scrubbing bubbles money makers from last month). While $14.16 (when you subtract out the cost of the stamps) may not seem like a whole lot, that is half a month of food for this current challenge. I have my fingers crossed that they will both be processed quickly and I can get a bit more breathing room on what I have to spend.

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This is part of a continuing challenge to eat well while spending an average of only $1 a day on food. You can find the beginning and the rules of this challenge here

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Breakfast

I'm back on track with both an early morning and late morning breakfast now. I started today with a simple bowl of Corn Flakes with banana on top:

day 37 early breakfast

For the late morning meal, I made myself pancakes from my Bisquick, this time taking a bit of the creativeness of readers on how to sweeten them up a bit by topping them with the blackberries that I found mixed with half a banana.

day 37 pancakes

It was wonderful — so much so that I made myself another two pancakes…

Lunch

I finally was able to use up all the meat in the Deli Creation meals I purchased with this lunch. I cooked the meat in oil with 1/4 of the onion and placed it in a piece of flat bread with cheese and tomatoes. I then had some Wheat This toasted chips and a Power Bar:

day 37 lunch

day 37 lunch plated

I also had a late afternoon peanut butter sandwich and finished off the nut clusters (I knew those wouldn't last long).

Dinner

I really like it if I can find the time to make five smaller meals during the day because that means I don't need to have a big dinner. For dinner, I boiled a couple of eggs, steamed up my broccoli crown along with some carrots and placed them all on top of some lettuce with Italian salad dressing on top to make a dinner salad:

day 37 dinner

I did stay up to watch a late night movie and broke open the tortilla chips to snack on. I currently have enough food that I am starting to gain back the few pounds I lost when I had the intestinal issues. That is good as I hoped that I would maintain my weight throughout this entire challenge, but I will have to make sure that the weight gain stops when I hit my ideal weight again.

This is the current list of what I have purchased:

Money Spent $34.13
Money left to spend: $26.87 ($0.51 must be spent at CVS)
Retail Value of everything bought: $733.09

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The Beginning ::: Day 38: Blackberries!

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10 Responses to Mail-In Rebates Are A Pain – Day 37: Eating Well On $1 A Day

  1. Liz says:

    I have done both the Kraft and SC Johnson deals and had no problems getting my rebates. I believe Kraft even has a website that you can log into to check on your rebate/promo status.

  2. Elisabeth says:

    My turn around time on the SC Johnson $5 rebate was almost 4 weeks. That was mid-April and rec’d mid-May. I had an email of receipt within 5 days of mailing which was very nice. I was impressed with SC Johnson’s rebate.

  3. Colleen says:

    When I worked for a contact lens company, they would count on the fact that 80% of the people would not send in their rebates and those ones are high dollar value (40.00-100.00) Keep up the good work I am totally loving this and learning a lot!

  4. Joomi Lee says:

    For some breakfast variety you could try making some crepes instead of pancakes.

  5. Diana says:

    I’m glad you’re continuing this challenge–I started subscribing to your blog yesterday after reading from the beginning in a quick catch-up. Can you tell us a little more about yourself, please? I would love to know what you do for a living. I’m s SAHM so I have more time than the average person to find deals so I’m curious as to how you find the time. Keep up the good work!

  6. T says:

    I suggest considering pre-making what you can, at times. For example, if you like the dinner salad, when you go to make it again, boil a couple extra eggs. I know you don’t want to boil a dozen at a time, as that reduces your flexibility, but it gives you a fast and easy snack later in the week OR a shortcut to a later dinner.

    Also, pancakes freeze fairly well in freezer baggies. Make some extra there too next time, pop your normal serving size into freezer baggies (so, for me, I’d make 8 extra, and freeze them in baggies of two each), freeze them and then pop them in the toaster to reheat when you need a fast meal.

  7. Dana says:

    I don’t eat Skinny Cow ice cream and I didn’t test to see if the coupon is valid, but I found a site that says you can print out a coupon and possibly get free ice cream at CVS:

    http://refundcentsdaily.blogspot.com/2010/06/free-skinny-cow-with-1-coupon.html

  8. jeffrey says:

    @Dana Thank you 🙂

  9. Peter M says:

    I have to say that Ive tried the flat bread with chicken and cheese thing before. It was good and I have friends who love them.

  10. Marian says:

    I never had any problems with rebates. Sometimes you can get the item for free or nearly free.