Coupons, Surveys Could Yield Big Savings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you’re looking to save money, look no farther than your shopping receipts.

As CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, receipts are not just a record of what you bought; they often contain valuable coupons and offers.

Deborah Walker uses her stash of receipts to routinely put cash back into her pocket. For example, by simply taking a survey at the bottom of a receipt, she earned $25 toward a future car rental. And receipt coupons for pet products help her save cash she uses toward food for her dogs, nights on the town or new clothes.

“It’s been very beneficial to keep receipts,” Walker said.

Financial expert Denise Winston has her own receipt collection and says combing through them on a regular basis adds up to big savings.

“Consumers can easily save about a hundred dollars a month just by looking at the receipts in a new way, and looking for hidden cash on them,” she said.

Studies, however, show that 60 percent of shoppers don’t take the surveys on receipts that can earn them free merchandise, and only 1 percent of receipt coupons are redeemed.

Winston said consumers are throwing money away.

“They’re really cash, not trash,” she said.

Receipts can pay off in other ways, too. When a wireless router went on sale after she bought it, Winston only had to show her receipt to receive a refund that matched the sale price.

“All I had to do was take my receipt in, and they gave me the 40 bucks back,” Winston said.

Receipts are also how some stores provide information about recalled products.

But how do shoppers avoid being swamped by old receipts? Winston recommends using simple envelopes or files to keep track.

“It can be as basic or as complex as you want, but the key is start to do it right now,” she said.

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