My husband came home from Walmart with a whopping bill of $172 for very few groceries! It wasn’t until the obsessive compulsive side of me scrutinized his receipt and noticed he was overcharged by $35 for 14 pineapples he didn’t buy. After seeing mistakes like this, trip after trip, I decided to conduct a little "shopping experiment." I wanted to see how many times I would be overcharged in one week, and how much money I could save by checking my receipts. The results shocked me.

My first trip was to Kroger. Kroger will double and triple up to three like coupons per transaction. The majority of my purchases were bought under the assumption that my coupons would be doubled or tripled. Guess what?!? None of my coupons doubled or tripled! Luckily, I noticed the mistake before I reached my car and was able to go and get my money back from customer service. Store #1: Overcharged by $7.30!

The next day I went to Albertsons. Everything went smoothly until I bought apples. Apples were $1.29 a pound. I bought 0.82 pounds. They charged me $5.77 for 5 apples! I should have paid $1.06, but the computer strangely calculated it to be $5.77! Store #2: Overcharged by $4.71!

My next big trip was back to Kroger for a new set of sales. I had a coupon for a FREE bag of Dole Salad. The coupon's only specification was that it needed to be between 5-14 oz. Naturally, I bought the most expensive salad Dole makes at $3.99. When I went to check out, the FREE coupon only took off $1.38. The cashier was incredibly nice and could not understand why it took off such a random amount. She circled the items and sent me to customer service to get back $2.61. Store #3: Overcharged by $2.61!

Nothing eventful happened when I went to Tom Thumb for cereal and fruit roll-ups. However, when I came home and started unpacking my groceries, I noticed that 5 of my Life cereals had expired almost a year ago, and 8 of my Fruit Roll-Ups had expired 2 weeks ago. Although the Fruit Roll-Ups are probably still good, I do not want expired items for my stockpile. I will be calling both companies on Monday. Store #4: Sold expired goods.

My final trip was to Walmart for some produce. On the very same bin of mangos there were TWO different prices! I was curious to see which price would ring up so I grabbed four. The higher price rang up and I immediately explained to the cashier that they were also marked for $0.40 and she corrected it. Store #5: Overcharged by $0.16!

In one week's time I was overcharged by a grand total of: $14.78!!! This was only 5 shopping trips, and the only store that didn't overcharge me sold expired goods. The results from checking your receipts can really add up. Even if it just seems like a few pennies, in one month's time this could save you around $60.00 a month! Or, in the case of the illusive 14 pineapples, $35.00 in one day!

This has been a guest post by Mary from Hickory Creek, TX
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My Shopping Experiment: How Much I Saved By Checking My Receipts