These days, you can save a great deal of money from that little bit of paper that you used to just chuck into the trash when you got home (or sometimes before you got home). There are many programs and apps that will pay you to upload a picture of you receipt. I've earned over $200 in about a year and half from one program alone. The others, well, not so great amounts such as this but still worthwhile.
I'll share with you some of the programs I have used a little later, but regardless of which program or programs you use, you've got to keep your receipts in check or you could be losing out on some dough (the green kind). So I thought I'd share with you my developing system of keeping track of my receipts. It's simple and obvious but there have been times that I just chucked my receipts in my purse and forgot about them and missed out on possible earnings.
Storing Your Receipts Until You Process Them
From the Store to Home
In the past, when I've gotten my receipt from the store, I've stored it in my wallet or just threw it in my purse. I never had one designated, easy to get to space. So I would have to dig around my purse for my receipts. I finally got smart and designated a pocket on the outside of my purse that was easy to get to so I could just toss my receipt in quickly on my way out the store.
At Home Storage
Most of the time, my receipt would just stay in my purse until I remembered to process them. And often, the period to submit my receipts often came and went and I missed out on potential earnings. So, I decided to find a spot to put them in to get them out of my purse. I made up some simple paper pouches (I make pouches regularly at my house for one thing or the other as I don't usually have a nifty organizer or whatnot to put stuff like this in).
I have three pouches:
- New receipts
- Partially processed receipts
- Processed receipts
New Receipts Pouch
Obviously new receipts go in the new receipts pouch.
Partially Processed Receipts
Partially processed receipts go in the next pouch. Since I participate in multiple programs, I may not get the chance to process them all in one sitting (the baby demands that I "follow" her, another one needs help in the bathroom, food is about to boil over...etc etc etc) so having some place to hold the receipts to show that I've started them, but not have not yet completed them.....very handy!
Tip for Processing Receipts:
So when I sit down the next time to process, I know I only have Ibotta and Snap left to process for. This simple trick has been so very helpful!
Another thing that I've done for this in process pouch is write my "codes" for the different programs on the back. I don't do so many programs that I think I will forget what my codes are, but this helps me remember to submit the receipt to all my programs that it qualifies for (sometimes I do forget to do them all).
The processed pouch could be a trash can, but sometimes, just sometimes, for one reason or another, a receipt didn't get properly processed from a program (maybe I cut off the date in my picture or it was too blurry). So, if I have a processed pouch and the program gives me the chance to resubmit, well I've still got the receipts handy and didn't potentially throw away money because I had thrown the receipt away right away after submitting it.
So that's it. That's the gist of my system. My pouches aren't the sturdiest so I think the next go around I may try them with cardstock and possibly laminate/contact paper them.
But, another thing that I have told myself I want to work on:
Setting A Regular Time/Day to Process Receipts
I've unfortunately thrown away a lot of receipts whose submission deadline (usually 7 days) had passed. Bummer. So, I decided that it would be a good idea to set a regular day and possibly time to process my receipts so that I wouldn't forget. Ideally this would be maybe 2 times a week or so.
I haven't figured out the most opportune time to do it yet, but I am thinking that I may set up phone reminders (maybe through my calendar---I love those) to remind me. My best times are in the morning and I think Friday (Jumuah) and maybe one other day spaced out might work well. Because usually, I either process the receipts right when I get home (or at least I did in my early days of receipt programs) but as of late it has become--I'm fishing around in my purse and oh darn, I hope I didn't miss the deadline for this receipt so I'll drop everything and do it now even though it's not the most convenient time.........
Receipt Programs I Currently Use
Below are the programs I currently use. If I have a link for a given program, that links takes you to a post (or set of posts) I've written about it.
- Walmart Savings Catcher
- Receipt Hog
(All the programs above--as well as those below--can be found in the Google Play Store. They may be available as well in the Apple App store but I don't know. Walmart Savings Catcher has an online web app so you can use it even if you don't' have a smartphone).
I used to use:
- Jingit ( I don't really use this one anymore because it's slightly inconvenient. You have to select the items to get money back on BEFORE you head to the store and you have only 24 hours to submit your receipt so it's kind of inconvenient. But, I have cashed out on this so I know it is legit.
- Checkout 51 (for a long time, I was having issues charging my phone so I stopped my receipt programs except Walmart Savings Catcher, which you can do online. When I started using my phone again, I forgot about this one (probably because there is a $20 minimum cash out and it takes a while for me to accumulate on it)
Something to remember about Receipt Programs
Some programs have a minimum amount that you have to earn to be able to cash out. If you find that it takes you way too long to cash out, it may not be efficient (but if you do use it from time to time it may eventually add up so you can cash it out).