How I saved an extra $1,000 with this simple receipt trick

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How I saved an extra $1,000 with this simple receipt trick
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How would you like an extra $1,000 in your bank account? Over the past seven months, I’ve saved more than $1,000 by using a simple strategy involving retail receipts.

When I got started down this path last November, I named it the “Save Your Savings Challenge.”

RELATED: Clark Howard’s 6-step guide to lowering your monthly bills

How collecting retail receipts helps me save more money 

Here’s the idea: When retailers offer special sales and discounts, they’re quick to tell you how much money you’re “saving,” but you’re really just spending less than the regular price.

Most stores will even highlight the fake savings by listing a “You Saved” amount on your receipt:

You Saved amount from Kroger receipt
“You Saved” amount from Kroger receipt

Taking a look at the receipt in the picture, you can see that I “saved” $6.94 on groceries at Kroger when I tested out its new ClickList pickup service.

But are you really saving anything if you just go spend that money at another store?

No way…

That’s what inspired me to start the challenge. Every month, I add up the “You Saved” amounts from retail receipts and transfer the total to an online savings account.

After seven months, I have 184 receipts and $1,048 in the bank. Now that’s real savings!

Save Your Savings Challenge results
I’ve saved more than $1,000 so far

There’s another benefit to collecting all of those receipts. When I go through them every month to calculate the “You Saved” amounts, I get one more chance to analyze my purchases.

For example, I noticed early on that I was making too many trips to the store and cut back right away.

Receipts stored in a plastic container
Receipts stored in a plastic container

I began the challenge to keep myself from overspending during the Black Friday shopping frenzy last year, but this has quickly become my favorite way to save money.

My plan is to keep it up and transfer the total savings account balance to a Roth IRA at the end of the year.

Have you tried the “Save Your Savings Challenge” or another strategy to save more money in 2018? Let us know what’s working for you in the comments below!

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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