Here are some details about the
program and how it can help you send
to college without breaking the bank.
First of all there are lots of contributing companies. From diapers to
peaches to shoes, you can make almost all of your regular purchases
contribute to your child's
How it works. You register,
then put in your grocery cards and all credit cards
you use. I have done this for over a year at this writing and have had no
There are so many companies contributing from the grocery store that it
would be silly to
list them here. The big ones for our family are cereal, paper
shampoos, cookies, crackers, and ice cream. We don't purchase
soda but Coke is a sponsor.
McDonald's gives 5% back.
As a group, grocery items are out biggest contributor. Also companies like
Payless Shoe source and Bed Bath and Beyond give contributions for
shopping at their
The thing that is best to remember is that this is "free" money to start with.
Rebates are not taxable at this time, so in order to have earned enough money
to put the like
amount away, you would have to make approximately 30% more.
So this money is unearned
So it is a great deal to start with.
After you have gone through the registration process, it is a good idea to
invite family members and friends to sign up to contribute, again it costs
nothing. I tell
them just to forget about it, and still we get contributions
from family members often. It is a free way
for them to help a favorite
child go to college.
One of our other favorite savings from
is the restaurant "rebates"
A good selection of restaurants
in our area participate and give back 10% of the total bill-including tip-when
you use a registered credit card. For mystery shoppers this is an
benefit. Personally I shop several of the listed companies, so
say if I get a $50 reimbursement for a meal from a shop,
then another $5 is
contributed to my children's Upromise account. McDonald's gives back
5% from rebates from codes on gift certificates. I don't shop them, but I know
many people do, I am
not aware if you are allowed to use a certificate or not.
If you want more restaurant
participation, just leave a
comment card or write
to the owners asking them to contribute. Business is
so everyone wants to have a little edge.
For couponers, and I am an avid
couponer, Upromise offers another nice benefit.
The contributions to the college accounts come before the coupon is taken off.
So if you buy
a package of Cottonelle Bathroom tissue on sale for 2 for $10.00
and have a $1.00 off coupon,
they still give their contribution as a percentage of
$10.00 instead of $9.00 which raises the
effective percentage of the money sent to
the account. I keep a printed copy of the brands that
contribute and save
all the coupons they print and watch for sales on Upromise brands.
shampoo is one of my favorites, but a little pricey. So when it goes
on sale, I stock up,
and use the coupons I have been saving for the sale.
With the Upromise contribution along with a
sale and a coupon, it's no
After you have your account set up
and friends and relatives invited, it is time to look for a
529 account to transfer your Upromise money into. 529 accounts are very
flexible and here
are the highlights for most accounts, things vary a little.