The rebate is just that: a rebate. Transferring our prescriptions to Costco in October provided an annual 2% rebate of $176 this May. The ground rules were for things anyone can regularly do. A rebate of $176 may seem out of reach, but what do your manufacturers rebates total over one year? Try Me Free, $10 with $20 purchase, whatever form your rebates take. They need to be applied to the grocery budget, not at purchase, when you are SPENDING the money, but 6-8 weeks later, when the money back is realized. The check is not a “bonus”; you’ve already spent the money. If you want to get your grocery budget down, you MUST cycle the rebate savings back into the budget.Adding the two stores together, we paid $27 for groceries originally priced at $338. Apply the $20 cash back from the Costco rebate to the total for both stores, and we spent $7. TOTAL! Still think using a rebate was unfair? Okay, let’s see how far we can STRETCH that $20 back at the next store. Here, I shop at a local chain, using the same ground rules.