When I first started couponing, I quickly got overwhelmed by all the different ways to save money, so I started just at Walgreens, then started including CVS. I focused on just the coupons and ignored the rebates. I had done rebates before, back when Walgreens did the Easy Saver deals, so I knew how to do it. I started out slowly, only doing rebates on items I was going to buy anyway, and after receiving checks in the mail, my confidence increased. I still think it's kinda silly to buy $10 shampoo just because there's a $10 rebate on it, unless you have a coupon to turn it into a money-maker or you actually use the shampoo!
So why do I think rebates are important to mention now? Because I've started getting my totals together for my Quarterly Review and realized when figuring in the rebates, I have actually MADE MONEY this quarter. This could change depending on the next couple weeks, but dude, that's awesome! Most of my money-making comes from the Olay rebates which aren't available now, but if you ever see one in the future, make sure you do it! I received my checks back in less than 5 weeks!
If you're interested in current mail-in rebates (MIR), Greta at Friend Family Fun has a weekly post called Rebate Roundup. She matches a bunch of rebates with coupons for money-making! Check it out!
Remember - make sure to get a copy of the form, UPCs, receipt, etc before you mail the forms in. This way, you have proof in case your rebate gets denied. I also write the date on the copy so I know when I mailed it, so I can keep track of when I should receive it.