Health & Medicine

The power of the rebate

Cutting coupons and watching for deals can save money. But so can applying for rebates. Although they take a little more time, some rebate offers give you back the entire purchase price and/or will reimburse you for a product you don't like. This week's ­column includes information on all of that.

The next step to saving money is to track your spending. Take time to analyze where your money is going. All of us need to decide between needs and wants..

For the young ones

■ A free activities book for ages 6 to 8 from the National Eye Institute. ­It contains games and comics designed to help ­children learn about parts of the eye and how they work.

■ A free rewards calendar from Chuck E. Cheese. This is a fun way to reward your kids for their accomplishments. You can download and print calendars to help your kids develop in areas that are some of the most common challenges of parenting, such brushing teeth and going to bed on time. Here's how to do it: Download and print out the calendar; mark the days off with a pen or sticker as your children accomplish their goals; take it to Chuck E. Cheese and receive 10 free tokens as a reward.

■ A free booklet from the Cancer Project on kids and nutrition.

■ Call Elmo and let your little one listen to him sing Brush Your Teeth to the tune of Jingle Bells. Call 1-866-356-6847. Sponsored by Gumline Oral Care.

■ A trial issue of Baseball America magazine.

■ A free DVD to help prevent obesity in children, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

■ A list of places where kids eat free in your area.

■ Free United Way Mileage Plus bonus miles when you graduate from college.

■ A free package of Stride gum after playing an online game.

A bit of everything

■ A free wood skull auto air freshener from AJ-Tuning.

■ A free holiday ornament from Holidays at Home.

■ A free two-day sample of Hyland's Leg Cramps with Quinine, a homeopathic ­formula for the relief of ­symptoms of cramps and pains in lower back and legs.

■ A free packet of ­wilde_SDHpflower seeds from Burt's Bees.

■ A free sample of Pledge Multi Purpose Wipes.

■ Don't forget about It offers different free samples every week; scroll to ”in stores now,“ then click on ”free samples.“

Not satisfied?

A number of companies will offer a full cash refund if you're not satisfied with their products. It's a money-saver to get this rebate, particularly if you were disappointed in the product and wish you hadn't bought it. Here are a couple of those offers and some other rebate offers for products you do like.

■ Try Yo-Plus Yogurt for 10 days and ”feel a difference or it's free.“ Value up to $9.42.

■ Love it or get your money back on Arm & ­Hammer Plus Oxiclean detergent. Up to $13.99 value.

■ Caregivers Marketplace offers rebates on many items for caregivers. Your cash-back check will arrive in the mail within four to six weeks.

■ Look for Try Me Free coupons on Pert Plus bottles in stores.

■ Buy three packages of Huggies diapers and get a $5 rebate.