Convert receipts into cash back by taking advantage of surveys, rebates

HOUSTON

"It's been very beneficial to keep receipts," consumer Deborah Walker said.

She uses it to put cash in her pocket, by taking this survey at the bottom of a receipt, she earned $25 towards a future car rental. And receipt coupons for pet products help her save cash she uses towards food for her pooches, nights on the town, or new clothes.

"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," said financial guru Denise Winston.

Winston says coupons and discounts are just the beginning. Some receipts even offer "free stuff" for giving a business feedback. But statistics show as many of 60 percent of people don't participate. And only about 1 percent of the coupons on the back of receipts are redeemed later.

"They're really cash, not trash," Winston said.

When this watch she bought went kaput during the warranty period, having the receipt was critical to getting the repair work done. The manufacturer fixed it, saving her three hundred dollars she would have spent to replace it! And this wireless router went on sale soon after Winston purchased it. Her receipt helped her make money with a price-match guarantee.

So how do you avoid becoming a receipt hoarder? Winston says save them in a simple envelope or file folder. Toss coupons and surveys that have expired but save receipts for expensive purchases.

Also, if you buy an item that offers a rebate: Receipts are critical to cashing in.

Another reason to check them out? Some stores are using receipts to give you important information about recalled products you may have purchased.

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