What To Do with Receipts

If you needed to find a receipt what is the likelihood you could find it in three minutes or less?

If your receipts are all in order you can skip reading this.

But if you:

  • “file” your receipts by stuffing them in a drawer
  • let them live at the bottom of your handbag along with a lonely piece of chewing gum
  • can’t close your wallet because it is stuffed with receipts
  • have washed one or two in the pocket of your jeans

There might be a better way…

Let me show you how I organize my receipts:









This pretty photograph box sits on the top of the bookcase near the front door. It doesn’t hold one single photo. Instead I use it as a receipt box!

When I walk in the door I toss the receipts in the box.

*Note: notice the lid is not on the box, the lid is just one more barrier to getting organized.









If I need a receipt, I know where it is; plus, they are mostly organized by date.

This photograph box is about the size of a shoe-box which means it can hold LOTS of receipts.

Depending on how many receipts you have you might fit a few months’ worth or even a full year inside.

If you need to pare down, you can purge from the bottom where the oldest sit.

Note: this is also where I toss the UPC tags from new clothing. If I need to return something having that UPC tag can be very helpful.

Not that long ago I washed a pair of jeans and all the embellishments fell off. It was a breeze to make the return since I had the receipt and UPC tag in the box.

Are you wondering which receipts to keep?

I just toss all mine in the box. Sure you could recycle the ones from the grocery store or the gas station but…

A few months ago a reputable gas station accidentally filled my car’s gas tank with airplane fuel. No, my car did not drive any faster. And luckily there was no damage, but I was able to produce the receipt which got me a replacement tank of fuel.

And just last week the milk I bought at the grocery store was bad and needed to be returned to the store for a refund.

I used to sort the receipts, deciding the fate of each one. I’ve decided life is too short to sort receipts. So now I simply toss them in the box.

Note: if you have to keep business receipts for an expense report or your own business be sure to use a second box.

So that’s it, the solution is a simple box. A box you probably already own so you can start today without having to buy anything new.

This is great news! You’ll get space back in your drawers and no more receipt lint on your clothes when you accidentally let one go through the laundry.

2 Replies to “What To Do with Receipts”

  1. Jamie,
    So how long do you keep said receipts? Do you keep this box until full and then stash it, using a new one for new receipts? And what of multiple people in the household that have separate or even the same account?
    This is an issue I have battled a long time. I am trying to use a system observed being used by my MIL: Every month she checked the receipts against charge card statements, stapling that month’s receipts to it. Statements are then kept for however long IRS hovers. Those UPC tags I staple to the receipt since I have on occasion needed to return items.
    Thank you for your guidance. I am a work in progress! 🙂

  2. Hi Frankie, I just sent you an email reply. Let me know if you have any questions. We will get those receipts filed 🙂