I don't know how all of you that are coupon & rebate gurus do your rebates, but I often find myself having trouble spending my allocated grocery money on rebates items even when they will be free. I have always tried to use my grocery money on them and when I get the money back I put it back into my grocery money whenever I cash it out.
I think my problem in not purchasing the freebie items is having that cash that I wouldn't have spent tied up for 6-12 weeks. It just doesn't work for me.
My answer? As I cash the incoming rebates checks they will have a separate envelope in my coupon box for me to use only to purchase rebate items. This way I will have a revolving fund to use on rebates and won't feel the guilt in tying up the money in the grocery fund for this.
I just went last week to cash the several checks I had waiting for a trip to the bank and I have close to $15 in that fund to get me started. I realize that sometimes I may have to still pull from my grocery $ to help supplement the rebate purchases, but won't feel the pressure to make the grocery budget work, and won't miss the extra $2-$5 here and there returning from rebates.
Now I know that this won't work for me on stores like Walgreens and Menard's, but those rotate already... huh...novel idea :)