How to Use Menards Rebates to Save Money and Get Free Stuff
I love Menards, and despite my husband's belief, my love of it is independent of it's song (though I do love me a catchy jingle). The song is true, though. You can save big money at Menards!
Plenty of deal sites focus on the bargains and freebies you can get at stores like Walgreens, CVS, and grocery stores, but did you know you can also get great deals on a wide variety of items at Menards? Menards offers rebates on all types of items they sell in their stores—from tools (obvious) to appliances to beauty products like shampoo to décor, like picture frames. All of these and more you can get at a serious discount (many even for free!) through the use of Menards rebates.
The easiest place to start is by glancing through the Menards circular that comes with the Sunday paper or by looking online at the weekly ad section of their webpage. Look for red textboxes stating “After $X Mail-In Rebate.” Many items will be free, and will be easily noticed because it will advertise “FREE” in red letters just above the textbox.
The ads tend to advertise deals that start that week. However, most rebates last for several weeks to several months. They just don’t advertise them every single week. You can find more rebate items by wandering around the store (signs clearly mark rebate items), or you can check out one of two rebate centers. The first one is on the website, and it lists all of the rebates available (at the time of writing this, there are currently 197 rebates available). In the store, you can also check out the rebate center, which is usually located near customer service on the way out of the store, so you can pick up rebate slips (which can also be printed online) after you purchase items. By looking through the rebate slips, you can see items that have rebates associated with them.
Each rebate item has a limit for how many you can buy. From what I’ve seen, this usually ranges from 1-6 items, though I’m sure there are exceptions. For example, the torpedo level pictured above has a limit of two. That means you will be reimbursed up to $5 ($2.50 each). You can buy more, but any additional purchases will not be reimbursed.
At the bottom of your receipt, rebate receipts for each of the items you purchase will print, so if you purchase three items eligible for rebates, you will have three different rebate receipts that print on the bottom of your receipt. Each rebate receipt is unique to the item you purchased. You will need to keep these to send with your rebates.
Sending Your Rebates
You will need to fill out forms that you either get in the store or print from the website. Each item will have its own form, so if you purchase picture frames and levels at the same time, you will have two forms to fill out. Be sure to check each form for the date it must be sent in by. Unlike many rebates, you don’t need to send in UPCs or anything else. You just need to send the completed form and the rebate receipt specific to that item. Most of the rebates go to a processing center in Wisconsin. As long as the items are all going to the same location, you can put them in one envelope. This will save postage.
Rebates Are Merchandise Checks
Menards rebates are merchandise checks, which means that you must use the rebate in the store; it’s not cash. In this respect, the Menards rebates are similar to Walgreens’s Register Rewards or the Extra Care Bucks of CVS. However, unlike their “rebates,” which print out immediately, these must be sent in, so you do have to wait a few weeks for processing to get your money.
Spending Rebate Checks
You will be issued a postcard-sized rebate check in the mail a few weeks after you send in your receipts. You can spend it all at once, or they will indicate how much you have left on the check and return it to you to use later, like a gift card. You can also use them to buy gift cards, but be aware that they only sell gift cards in standard amounts, like $10, $25, and so on.
You can just spend the rebate on any stuff at the store you want. That’s fine, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s like getting two things for the price of one, which is a great deal. However, to maximize your savings, you can roll your rebates. Rolling means you use the rebates from one (or several) item to then buy more items that have rebates. This is especially profitable if the items are free after rebate. For example, yesterday I bought two torpedo levels ($2.50 x 2 = $5), six picture frames ($3.50 x 6 = $21), and one cuddle-up blanket ($3), for a total of $29. In a few weeks I will get a rebate check for $29, which I can then go spend on other items that will also be free after rebate. If I buy $29 more dollars worth of stuff that is free after rebate, and I will get another rebate check for $29, and I can repeat the cycle, continuing to get free items. I’m only out the initial amount I spent ($29), but I can get hundreds of dollars worth of items for that $29 by rolling rebates. The main disadvantage here is the time it takes between buying an item and getting the rebate.
What to Do with All That Free Stuff
Many of the items we use ourselves. With other items, we keep them throughout the year to be given as gifts; we usually have quite a stockpile by Christmas! This makes cheap, affordable gifts, and they offer such variety throughout the year that you can find things for almost everyone. We also are able to donate things to charity. For example, Menards frequently offers rebates on a certain brand of shampoo and condition, which I don’t use. However, when it’s free after rebate, and I know I’ll be able to use the rebate for rolling or just buying things for home improvement projects around the house, I buy the limit of shampoo and donate it to the local homeless shelter. Tools and other items can go to Habitat for Humanity. This is a great way to make donations to charity while on a tight budget.
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