Don't just throw your receipts away. We can actually save money with receipts in multiple ways, YES, you can actually save money from it! Treat it with the respect it deserves and it will repay you. Here are 7 tips why we should save receipts. #CentSai #frugalliving #savingtips #tips

Don't just throw your receipts away. We can actually save money with receipts in multiple ways, YES, you can actually save money from it! Treat it with the respect it deserves and it will repay you. Here are 7 tips why we should save receipts. #CentSai #frugalliving #savingtips #tips
Don't just throw your receipts away. We can actually save money with receipts in multiple ways, YES, you can actually save money from it! Treat it with the respect it deserves and it will repay you. Here are 7 tips why we should save receipts. #CentSai #frugalliving #savingtips #tips

Many of us are quick to get rid of our receipts, viewing them as small scraps of trash to be thrown in the bin as soon as possible. What we often fail to consider is how receipts can be versatile tools that give us access to a number of money-saving opportunities — even more than your average coupon.

Don’t let your next receipt get lost or become a crumpled mess. Treat it with the respect it deserves and it will repay you. Here are ten ways to keep more money in your pocket by saving your receipts: 

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missed discounts and sales

1. Missed Discounts and Sales

If you're like me, you likely do a quick Google search before you buy an item to make sure that you're getting the best price. But you shouldn't stop there — you may be leaving money on the table that you can earn back with your receipt

I recently purchased some home supplies from a local Bed Bath & Beyond store, but forgot to bring the 20 percent off coupon. I knew that this particular company accepts expired coupons so I figured that maybe they would honor the discount coupon if I showed proof of my purchase.

Treat it with the respect it deserves and it will repay you. Here are seven ways to keep more money in your pocket by saving your receipts.

So I brought my receipt into the store with the 20 percent off coupon and received store credit for the difference. Who knew? An extra trip to the store was well worth it in this case, as we all know purchasing from Bed Bath & Beyond isn’t cheap.

Likewise, a friend of mine bought a fan for his new house from Home Depot for $269.99, only to find a couple of weeks later that the same fan purchased just a couple of weeks earlier was now marked down to $219.99. While his initial reaction was that he had just lost $50, he followed up on the Home Depot website, spoke quickly with a company representative, and was quickly refunded the difference between the price he paid for the item and the current sales price. 

To take advantage of the best price when making a larger purchase, bookmark the item's sales page online and check once a week during the price match period to see if the price drops. It doesn’t hurt to ask, as many large retailers have generous return policies (though they obviously vary from store to store) — don’t be afraid to show your receipt in order to get credit for a missed discount.

customer surveys2. Customer Surveys

Don’t let your mind wander when an employee is spelling out the details of a survey or giveaway on a receipt. Pay close attention, as you could receive additional savings on future purchases. Many retailers offer links or QR codes to surveys if you share your experience as a customer. In return, you’ll often receive discounts and freebies. And don’t forget to enter any giveaways or raffles as these could result in cash prizes, gift cards, and other goodies.

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Save money on taxes by using receipts3. Tax Season Preparedness

As a freelancer, I know the value of receipts as they relate to business expenses and costs for supplies or equipment. 

Many of the  receipts I save for business-related expenses can turn into  dollars I don’t have to pay on taxes as a self-employed individual. Even my client dinners can be deducted, at least in part. 

“Meals are 50 percent deductible if they are used in a profit motive and not in your everyday life,” says certified public accountant Greg O’Brien. “Eating your home, however, is never deductible.”

Store all of your receipts in a safe place at the end of each month, and then record any tax-related expenses so you’re not scrambling a few days before the tax deadline.

Receipts can also help if you find yourself in hot water with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and need a paper trail.

“Save your receipts to help yourself prepare for your upcoming taxes. If any of your numbers are ever off, having all your papers in order will go along way in saving you time and stress,” says CEO David DiNardo, who heads financial advising company Envolta. 

 Consult this list from the IRS to view all the eligible tax deductions; additionally, it may help to employ a professional come tax season to ensure you don’t write off an illegal expense.

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local coupons4. Local Coupons

You know the extra images and text on the back of receipts? Don’t overlook them, as many of them contain coupons and special offers for local stores. 

Take a few seconds to review them for potential discounts and savings. Be sure to grab the coupon off your last pizza box — I usually find $2- to $4-off coupons for my next order. 

saving money on receipts: getting rebates5. Rebates

When my husband was looking to purchase and build a brand new computer from scratch, he researched a ton of prices and stores, both online and off. Once he found all the equipment he wanted, some of them came with different rebates and offers.

But in order for us to get a refund of over $200, we had to keep the receipts to prove the final price and purchase date.

Even if you make a purchase online, keep the email confirmation or purchase order as those could earn you some good cash in rebate offers.

Pricing Errors6. Pricing Errors

Pricing errors happen all the time. In fact, I spot overcharges while shopping a couple times a month, so I always double check the price of the item with the receipt before leaving the store. It’s usually easier to get the discount you should have received while you’re still at the place of business, rather than if you bring back the mispriced item later. 

“Double-checking if you were charged for anything you didn't want a buy is a habit everyone should have,” says DiNardo. “You would be surprised by the number of times cashiers or clerks make this mistake.”

Take the extra 30 seconds to look over the receipt to make sure you weren’t double-charged for any items, and that you received the correct sales price recorded on any coupons you used. Doing so can build good financial habits that can save you stacks in the long run. 

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easy returns7. Easy Returns

Keeping your receipts allows you to feel less guilty about buyer’s remorse and guarantees a full refund or in-store credit if you change your mind — provided of course the business you purchased from has a sensible return policy.  

After seeing all the ways receipts can save you money, those white pieces of paper don’t seem so pesky now, do they?

Where to Keep All This Paper?

Now that you see the different ways that receipts can save you money, how can you keep track of them without losing them? Here are three easy ways to store your receipts for future use.

Tax Filing

Throughout the week, as my husband and I make purchases, we set the receipts aside in a designated tax folder. Then, every Monday, I go through them, scan in the ones we need to keep, and then shred the others. We use a home office scanner to save copies of our receipts to a digital tax file on my laptop. This system helps us manage our documents so we can save money on receipts effectively. 

“Keeping your receipts in a file by category and then transferring the data to your budget spreadsheet or app. It makes things easier for your financial planner, which can save you on his or her fees,” says retired financial planner Dan Gallagher.

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Bookkeeping Software

Most digital bookkeeping programs come with mobile apps that allow you to snap an image of your receipt while on the go. In the past, I’ve used bookkeeping software like QuickBooks to keep copies of receipts tagged with the corresponding expense transaction. Alternatively you could use Wave or FreshBooks if you want a cloud-based solution. 

Mobile Apps

Another great option for easy storage of your receipts are various free mobile apps like Expensify, Shoeboxed, and Ibotta. You can save both physical receipts and digital ones from online purchases that are sent to your inbox.

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Additional reporting by Connor Beckett McInerney.