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Staples Curiousness

April is coming, which means spring break is a good time for tax preparation, and in my case, tax preparation software. For the last two years, after some frustrations with Quicken, I've been using Microsoft Money as a money management program. Usually, something like TurboTax or H&R Block's TaxCut have done reasonably well in getting my taxes done quickly and (hopefully) accurately.

This, year, though, I got caught in Staple's Rebate Triangle: my software purchases were virtually dictated by the overlapping rebate offers and Staple discounts. Purchasing TaxCut Deluxe gave me a 100% rebate on TaxCut State, and up to $40 off the newest version of Money. Staples only charged me $39.98 for Money Deluxe, making that essentially free. In other words, although $80 went on my card today, I eventually expect to pay $20 for the whole experience (plus the cost of a pack of highlighters).

That is, if I spend 40 minutes, three stamps, and three envelopes to fill in all the rebates. There's something mildly insane about this system...

UPDATE: You must be kidding... there's another rebate in one of the boxes. Unfortunately, each of these require parts of box-tops, box innards, or photocopies of receipts, to the extent that I may need three boxes of one piece of software to claim all of them. So who knows what all of this will actually end up costing...

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Comments

You have no idea how many rebate offers have languished in a drawer... for years... waiting in vain... I stumbled across the "Letters to Wormwood," maybe through Letters of Marque. Anyway, did I really see that you're from Big Rapids? I never knew anybody actually *lived* there, I only know it as a stop on the way to the even more remote part of Michigan we go to to see family.

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