Money Mondays: Should You Keep Receipts?

Spread the love

This post is by Bernie Carr,

One of the challenges of staying organized in a small space is dealing with receipts.  Receipts from purchases, bank transactions seem to keep multiplying and cluttering up pockets, wallets and purses.  It is tempting to just get rid of them.  However, I have found you need to keep receipts for a certain period of time before discarding them.

Dealing with receipts:

Cash machine transactions:  When I use the ATM I keep them for a month or until I receive my monthly statement

Large purchases:  I keep receipts for large ticket items such as appliances, electronics and computers indefinitely or at least for as long as you own the item.  You never know when you may have to prove ownership of something, of possibly file a claim for loss of such item.

Charitable donations and other tax deductible items:  I keep mine for seven years.  You may find other advice elsewhere but I can only share what I do myself.

Everyday purchases:  I keep about a month’s worth of receipts and I found this practice has helped me save some money.

Here’s how keeping receipts saves you money:

Grocery returns

Most grocery stores have a product guarantee.  If you buy and item that is unsatisfactory, return the item and get a refund or replacement.  I have returned many items in the past such as house brands that did not measure up, dairy products that spoiled before the expiration date, or off-tasting deli meats.   Stores such as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods recognize their own products and offer a refund without a receipt, however I have learned that many others require the original receipt to obtain a refund.

Claim missing items from orders

Sometimes, fast food restaurants neglect to add your fries or other items you ordered “to go.” The only proof you have when you call or report it is your receipt.  Circle the item you were charged for, but did not receive, and present it within a few days to get a refund or replacement.

Get free food from surveys

Many fast food restaurant receipts have a customer survey phone number or website and if you call within a day or two, you receive a code for free food.


My son had a tablet computer that recently had some issues.  We found out that some of the models had flaws that needed repair or replacement.  The store we bought it from indicated they were not responsible.  We contacted the manufacturer and they issued a replacement upon return of the defective tablet.

Participate in class action lawsuits

A few years ago, I found out the pet food I was buying had unsavory ingredients and a class action lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer for deceptive practices.  I had several receipts for the purchases and upon sending them as proof of purchase, I received a check for the money spent. You never know if an item you bought may get recalled at some point, or a class action lawsuit could ensue from product claims.  A receipt is not always required but having one serves as proof you bought the products or quantities when you file a claim.



© Apartment Prepper 2016

Spread the love

One comment

  1. (Get free food from surveys

    Many fast food restaurant receipts have a customer survey phone number or website and if you call within a day or two, you receive a code for free food.)

    And be put on a marketing list to receive a bunch of unwanted junk mail or junk e-mail. NO THANKS, I’ll pass on that…

    Another thing people think is free, is free phone apps, if you are not paying for the product (the app), YOU are the product being sold. In the case of the free app it’s personal info on your phone that is mined and sold to anyone with money and an interest in you. Mostly marketing people, but who says it can’t be others looking for info.

    I only save receipts for more expensive items, for small stuff I don’t even take the receipt out of the store these days.

    I had an issue with a set of Milwaukee cordless tools, the charger went bad and would not charge. This is a $289.00 drill set so I had the receipt in the safe. It went bad 1.5-years into a 3-year guarantee. Took it back to Home Depot and the manager said to go pick a new set of drills off the shelf. He then refunded all my money and rang it up as a new purchase so my guarantee started over. It’s rare for high quality tools to have problems, but it is nice to know they stand behind their product.

    That is the only time I had to use a receipt to exchange something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *