Save Your Receipts

Nov 24, 2009

I've decided that I need to write a blog post about the importance of saving your receipts. It may seem like a simple concept, but I'm surprised to find out how many people don't do this - and are, thus, wasting a ton of money!

Let me begin by explaining to you the system I have.

In my purse, I have a long plastic “envelope” of sorts. I got it when we booked a trip to Disney World through AAA and our tickets came in it. It’s getting rather ‘ratty’ now, though, and I’m tempted to stop by AAA and see if I can talk them out of another one!

Anyway, I digress . . . in that plastic envelope I keep 2 regular white envelopes. One is marked with the month and year and just says “Receipts.” At the moment, the other one says, “November 23 – December 22, 2009 grocery receipts.” The reason for those dates is that is the date our credit card changes over and I can keep track of how much I spent at the grocery store on each credit card statement.

Whenever I buy anything, I stick the receipt in either the grocery envelope or the other one. At the end of each month (or credit card cycle), I put the envelope in a decorative shoe box I keep in my room and I make two new envelopes.

Now, why is this important? First of all, how many times have you purchased an item (generally an expensive one), only to have it break on you? If you don’t have your receipt, you are just out of luck. (Unless, you bought the item at Target with your credit card – in which case, they can look it up for your if you just hand them that same card.) I know that, personally, I have purchased a great number of things that I desperately “need” – can we say, “new shoes?” – only to find, a few months later, that I never even wore them all season long. Just last week, I returned two pairs of sandals to Kohls that I bought last February. I never once put them on all summer long and thus, decided I wasn’t going to ever wear them. I searched through that box in my room, found the receipt and off to Kohl’s I went. When I got that credit back on my Kohl’s card, it almost felt like I’d found 35 extra dollars in my pocket!

My husband never, ever saves his receipts. I am always finding and collecting them in the car, or in the laundry, or on his nightstand table. If they are just for beer or energy drinks, I chuck them. But, I sure am glad that I didn’t throw away the receipt I found last summer for the new printer/scanner/fax he bought me for my birthday, because, wouldn’t you know, it stopped working about 6 weeks later. Rob had no idea where the receipt was – but I did! (Lucky him!)

I have even been known to go through my kitchen pantry – on a cleaning spree – and take out all the canned and boxed food I bought and haven’t used in the last few months. If they have not expired, I dig out my receipts and return them – and then, usually ask for a store gift card which I can then use on my grocery trip that day. Once again, it almost feels like free money. After all, I may have bought those pinto beans with the best intentions, but if I haven’t eaten them in 4 months, I probably am not going to . . .

The Christmas shopping season is upon us and we will all be buying numerous items – to give as gifts, to decorate our house, to feed our guests. SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS! You never know if that electronics item you give your child will stop working in a few weeks – or if your mom will hate the sweater you bought her – or if you bought just too many cans of corn for Christmas dinner.

You’ll save yourself a ton of stress (and money) if you have a system to your receipt madness and you can lay your hand on that little piece of paper in a matter of minutes!


Ida Red (aka Richele) said...

I could not agree more with saving reciepts! It is so important that we do this during this time of year. All year it is important...but this time of year we need to really be sure we are organized. I once lost a receipt, and ended up loosing money because the item went on sale. UGH.

Kelly Seiler said...

Yes! You can lose a TON of money! It's important to hang onto them! I'm glad someone agrees with me! :-)

leila said...

Also...I've discovered the "price adjustment," which makes having a receipt with me quite handy. Even if my little guy has already worn his Gap Kids sweater, I can still get 50% of the cost back if I happen to be at the mall in the next week and see that it has been marked down. Yay!!

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Oh...I'm so bad at this. I throw them away constantly. I need to get a better organization system! Good info...

Anne - Mommy Has to Work said...

great post!! I save mine too, I've returned items to the grocery store before, but I like the idea of going through the pantry. Thanks!

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