Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cheap/Free Batteries, Free Gifts for Christmas

(Post applies to 12/4/11 - 12/10/11 week)

Most of us deal shoppers print coupons, and have to buy ink for our printers every so often.
I used to buy my ink at Walmart because I thought it was cheaper, until I learned that even though all the cartridge sizes were the same, the amount of ink they held were not. I eventually figured out I was paying more in the end buying Walmarts cheaper inks, than the higher priced, but much longer lasting inks from Staples/Office Max.

I just bought a set of inks at Staples a couple of weeks ago. They cost me $71.13, and Staples gives me 10%, or $7.13, back in Rewards.

Used to I could spend these Rewards on other deals that earn Rewards, but now they deduct any Rewards you use, from the Rewards you earn, so they're no longer "rollable".
But if there are some good Free After Rewards deals, then you can always use your Rewards to buy ink or something else you use or need.

For instance, this week Staples has 16-packs of Durcacell AA and AAA batteries at $12.99 with 100% Rewards back (Rewards Members, limit 2, in-store only).  So if you buy items at Staples anyway, you can use the Rewards back to purchase that item instead of cash, and this is like getting free batteries.

Today I was going through some papers and stuff from my desk and ran across my Staples and Office Max cards/log in info.  I was fussing at myself a couple weeks ago for not checking to see if I had any Staples rewards before going to buy ink, so I decided to check on them all today.

Looking at my Office Max account, I was reminded that, being registered for a Teacher account (aren't we all teachers?) that I earn $10 Rewards for every $75.00 (in qualifying items) that I spend.
At Staples the other day, I spent a total of $95.25 before tax, buying ink and some SD cards that were on sale.  All I earned was $7.13 Rewards.
But had it been Office Max, I would have earned $10 Rewards.

Also I saw where Office Max still gives $3 per ink cartridge brought back in for recycling, where Staples went down to $2.00.

I also compared ink prices, and found them to be a couple dollars cheaper at Office Max.

So now I'm seriously wondering why Staples has been my store of choice when I'm just running in to get ink, when there's an Office Max right across the street?

While I'm at the Office Max site, I see they also have a battery deal. They cost 1¢ after Rewards, but the purchase amount counts towards my $75 threshold for earning $10 Rewards.
The limit is 2 per item, which I understood to mean per SKU#, which would be like (2) 10 pack AA, (2) 10 pack AAA, (2) 20 pack AA, and (2) 20 pack AAA.

I also saw this 100% back on Tablet sleeves and bags deal (appears to be online only)!
This, people, is a goldmine of FREE Christmas presents.

There are some very nice *ahem, expensive* Tablet sleeves, backpacks, and bags to choose from. If you're looking for gifts like these anyway, you can't beat free.

The Tablet sleeves are $24.99 each, and are 11" sized for iPads, Netbooks, MacBook Air 11in, and Kindle DX..
Mine and Mom's Kindle Fires are 7.5" so these aren't really suitable for us. I have a cousin that has an iPad, though, so I can gift one to her (she lucked up because she wasn't on my shopping list previously, lol!).

My total before tax was $95.54, of which I'll get back $95.50 in Rewards, plus another $10.00 in Rewards for spending $75.00+.

Now, the rules are any Rewards I spend aren't applied to the $75.00 threshold, so when I use these Rewards to buy my ink and whatever, I won't earn another $10.00 Rewards.

But that's okay, because when I went to Staples to buy my ink last week, all I got is $7.13.  No 1¢ batteries, no free iPad sleeves, no free $10.
(Okay, I could have gotten free batteries, and I likely will go and do that deal this week, too. Here's why.)

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