Pros: Very comprehensive listing of current deals
Cons: Is it about refunding or hording?
I'll admit it, I'm a coupon junkie. I am the person who you do not want to be in line after when you go to the grocery store. Using coupons its not uncommon to save over 50% and usually more of your weekly grocery bill. And usually the grumpy shoppers behind me, or the clerk who has just scanned 100 coupons reacts positively when they see the before and after totals my coupons net.
As a SAHM, couponing is something that I do to not only save money but as a challenge. How much can I get for free or for pennies? When there is a rebate involved or some sort of premium then its even more bang for your buck. I became introduced to Refunding Makes Cents through an online coupon group that I am a part of. The magazine was recommended to me as a source for information about refunding and its many aspects.
The Magazine Itself: Refunding Makes Cents
A subscription to RMC runs $25 per year. I thought that this was a bit pricey for a refund type magazine, but part of the subscription includes access to a companion website, so I sprung for it. In the month that I subscribed I had already saved over $200 in coupons and various rebates so I felt justified to spend that extra $25 over a year.
For $25 a year, Refunding Makes Cents is one of the more expensive magazines that I subscribe to. However, its also the one done on the most shoe string budget including newsprint pages and only color on the front and back cover.
Each issue of Refunding Makes Cents is around 75 pages and contains the following:
Monthly Letter from the Editor
Each month you will get a status report of new offers that have come out that month, as well as any updates to current offers going on. Here you will find "newsy" type updates regarding different promotions. Its not uncommon for her to report something like "If you sent in for such and such offer, you might get your envelope returned. Here's the new address for the offer", or something like that. I've found this to be helpful on more than one occasion. I find reading this sort of like reading a letter from a refunding expert each month. The publisher, Michelle Easter, also includes information here about upcoming issues and seeks articles from the readership for these theme issues.
Index to New Offers
This is a one page snapshot done alphabetically by product and numbered of all the offers included in the issue. This is a quick way to see if there are any great deals for products that you use on a regular basis.
Here's where the meat of the magazine rests. Over several pages are offers (numbered) according to the index and sorted by expiration date. The offers are broken out by "No Form Required", "NED" (No expiration Date) and then by month of Expiration. Each offer is explained briefly but includes all the info necessary - how many UPC's you need, if a DCRTC is needed, etc.
The bulk of these offers are on grocery items, but there is also a section for computer and fax rebate offers as well as alcohol purchases.
High Value Coupons
Each month new high value coupons come out. A high value coupon is one that is for $1 or more off per item. A listing of all the new coupons and where they come from (manufacturer website, sunday paper, tear off pad, blinkie machine, etc) is also included in each issue.
Expect 5-10 pages of ads per issue of Refunding Makes Cents. Ads can be inexpensively placed in this magazine which claims to have the best ad section among the refunding bulletins. Ads are broken out into the following sections: Simple Form Trades, 1-4-1, Forms for Qualifiers, Seeking Free Items Coupons, Mixed, Tobacco, Buying, Giving Coupons, Giving Qualifiers, Selling Qualifiers, Selling Coupons, Forms for a H/F, Refunding Aids, Crafts & Non-Refunding, Need Help, Card Showers, and Message Board. Each issue lists some subscribers names and addresses who are looking for coupons or others to share with them as well as any coupon exchanges that are going on.
While I enjoy the listings of all the new promotions going on, the pages and pages of classifieds on newsprint are a bit much. I firmly believe that there has got to be a better forum for these classifieds, and that is something online via the companion website www.refundcents.com.
I got all this
Here you will see great refund accomplishments that others refunders have done and sent in pictures of. Its not uncommon to see a table or room full of toilet paper, cereal, kool-aid, etc they have stocked up on - aka hoarding. I admit to taking my couponing overboard on occasion but the space limitations of my home prevail. We simply do not have room for a separate room full of toilet paper so any dream I had of such a room or bargain must go unfulfilled.
Tips & Terms
Each issue contains helpful hints for refunding as well as a glossary. Since refunding is full of acronyms a glossary is needed. If you are not sure what B1G1F, NAZ, SMP, etc are - then the glossary is for you!
The Companion Website: www.refundcents.com
Part of your $25 subscription to Refunding Makes Cents also covers special access to a companion website.
The website is easy to use and includes pretty much everything that the magazine includes in an online format vs. newsprint. The only things you won't find are some of the special theme articles or the photos and articles about different hoarding accomplishments of other readers.
On the website there are a couple message boards including a general chit-chat area as well. My favorite part of the website is called "Hot Deals" and it includes links to
Today's Internet Hot Deals, Discount codes for on-line merchants, Amazon & Target Good Deals, Internet Freebies, a
Preview of Next Sunday's Coupons and also Forms & Coupons To Print.
I check into the companion website www.refundcents.com at least once a week and always find useful information posted there. Most things on www.refundcents.com can also be found at www.mycoupons.com as well though, and thats free.
I do enjoy reading my hardcopy of Refunding Makes Cents Magazine but will probably not renew to receive the magazine itself. RMC offers subscriptions for website only access, and that option seems more appropriate for me.
Also check out the publication Refund Express