1. Immediately scan receipts into apps
Scan each receipt into any apps you may use like Receipt Hog, Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Shopmium. Not only will this help you get cash back for your purchases, but you’ll know exactly where to find a receipt should a transaction go wrong. For instance, I recently realized that I never received credit from Savings Star for a purchase. To show Savings Star their error, I simply pulled the receipt up on Receipt Hog and forwarded it to them. It took about two minutes and the completed deal gave me $5. Scanning receipts immediately gets you the credit you’ve earned before the receipt is lost, misplaced, or the dog eats it!
2. Organize by date or store
I personally organize by date and the week. When the week ends, the receipts are all filed together. I typically save most receipts for three months, then shred them. To organize by store, file by the drugstores and the grocery stores you frequent. Some receipts—like those from Target—list the last date of eligible returns on the front. This makes it so easy to file and stay organized because you know exactly when to toss the receipt. Another system I use is to slip a store receipt into the same envelope where I keep my store rewards. At the end of the week, I just file or discard them!
3. Are there any items you plan to return?
If you plan to do a return, place the items in a bag along with the receipt and put the bag in your car right away. This method prevents you from losing your receipt and reminds you to do the return the next time you’re at that particular store. There’s nothing worse than looking for a receipt that you’ve misplaced and thinking of the money you lost by not completing the exchange or return. I use one particular credit card for all of my household and grocery purchases and like to do any returns within the same billing period so the credit shows on my statement—just to double check.
4. Don’t forget about rebates
Rebates are a way of saving even more money and definitely require a receipt. If a certain product is able to receive a rebate, I’ll first scan the receipt into any apps that qualify, then place the receipt with the item that has the savings. I typically wait about a week before submitting the rebate in case I have a return on the same receipt. Most rebates require the original receipt, so I make a copy for my own records.
5. Balance checking account or credit card statements
Despite my best efforts, I do still lose or misplace receipts. I shop for my mother and she keeps all of her receipts to double check her credit card statements. If I lose one of her receipts, I get a call when she can’t account for it on the statement—that’s always fun. Simply clip all receipts together if you’re balancing checking accounts or credit card statements and when resolved, either shred or file them appropriately. If you need the receipt for tax purposes, file it in your tax folder for the year—it’s an easy way to find it at tax time!