From the Magazine

4 Savvy Ways to Earn Cash and Rewards By Saving Your Receipts

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The secret money-saver you may be tossing? Your receipts! From giveaways to class-action payouts, here’s how to get paid for that paper.

Enjoy instant discounts.

Before throwing your receipt in the trash, look at the bottom: More and more major brands — including CVS, Joann Fabrics, Famous Footwear, Rite Aid, Safeway and Walgreens — offer exclusive coupons and cash back on your next purchase at that store. 

Many also promote links or phone numbers where you can take a survey. Participate and you can score everything from free food (like a donut from Dunkin’) to major cash prizes (up to $5,000 at The Home Depot and Lowes and $3,000 at Walgreens). Bonus: You’ll likely also be signed up to receive additional coupons via email or postcard.

Get cash for taking pics.

Surprise! Earning extra pocket money is as easy as taking photos of your receipts and uploading them to smartphone apps like Checkout 51, Shopkick, and Ibotta. While they keep your personal information private, they do share your spending habits with retailers who want to use it to improve their services, so they’re willing to pay you for the data. 

The way to really rack up the profits? Download more than one — you can scan the same receipt into each app and earn money from them all at the same time!

Put price comparisons on autopilot.

Ever buy something only to find it on sale a week later? If you saved your receipt, you can often get a credit for the price difference. Trouble is, watching for discounts and getting to the store for a refund can be time-consuming. 

To the rescue: a smartphone app like ShopSavvy. Upload photos of your receipts, and it automatically searches for price drops on the items you purchased. If it finds a drop within a given time frame, the app sends you the cash for the difference — no trip to the store required!

Score even bigger class-action paybacks.

At any given time, dozens of class-action lawsuits are taking place, and for many, saving receipts can earn you extra cash if you qualify. 

For example, there was recently a large lawsuit over a Burger King coupon for breakfast sandwiches. If you joined the action without a receipt as proof, you were granted a $2 gift card. However, you were eligible for $5 for each receipt you had showing you purchased a sandwich between October 1, 2015 and May 19, 2017. So if you bought one 10 times in that period, you just earned $50! 

Find a list of current class-action lawsuits at ClassAction.org or Top Class Actions.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.  

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