Frugal Friday: Get What You Pay For

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There are probably a bazillion ways that we can save money. I don’t think we’ve even begun to mine the depths of frugal ideas. But, here at Frugal Friday we’ll try….

One simple way to save money is to make sure you get what you pay for.

This past week as we were leaving Costco, the line was disrupted as the customers ahead of us were escorted to a cash register to the side of the exit. My husband had heard the exchange between the customer and the receipt checker. The employee asked, one basic question: Did you buy two basketballs?

No, in fact, the customers ahead of us had only purchased one, but they had been charged for two. The Costco employee promptly refunded their money! Needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed.

Quite honestly, I had never realized that those “door guards” were there for my benefit as well as Costco’s. They’ve got good business sense, that Costco – on our behalf as well as their own.

And it was a great reminder to me : Read the receipt.

Preferably before you leave the premises. Even before you leave the checkstand. And better, yet, as the items are being rung.

It’s happened to us multiple times that we’ve been overcharged for something. And we try to graciously point that out. And, yes, if I’ve been undercharged, I try to point that out as well.

Tell your money where to go and make sure it goes where you tell it.

What do YOU do to save money?

Feel free to share your experiences with receipt reading, but you are not required to comment or post about that. Simply share whatever YOU do to save money.

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  1. I need to do this too! I always check my receipt but sometimes I wait until I get home and then it isn’t always worthwhile to go back to the store. If you just read my receipt right after check out I would be more likely to find an error.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I try to either take a calculator with me or have a rough figure in my head of what the bill should be. I also try to check the receipt, but often I’m in such a hurry I don’t.
    Thanks for reminding me that I need to do this 🙂

  3. It’s not unusual to find an error on our supermarket receipts, either. I’ve also found that, occasionally, a cashier will miss scanning one item in a “must buy 3” type of promotion. So even though the bill includes fewer items, the total is higher because the discount doesn’t activate.

    Also, our supermarket often limits sale items by variety. So, for example, I can get 4 boxes of regular cream cheese and 4 of reduced-fat cream cheese at the sale price. Since the boxes are so similar, the cashier will sometimes punch in “8 @” and scan one box. Then only the first 4 are charged at the sale price.

    All of this to say that I agree about checking the receipt carefully!

  4. There have been many times that I have caught a mistake either during check-out or after I get to the car (or worst-case-scenario: after I get home!). My husband was dying the other day when I stopped the checkout to go back to the produce department and pull the produce guy up to the checkout with me because I was charged an extra dollar per pepper than what I was told. 🙂 Overboard? Maybe, but a dollar is a dollar!

  5. I used to check receipts regularly, but I found that the overcharges balanced the undercharges, on average, so I quit checking. I also found it very stressful to be bagging my groceries, keeping track of my kids, and checking a receipt, all at the same time.

  6. This is so true! I began really studying my grocery receipts about a year ago and it’s AMAZING what you’ll find. I think all the customer service people hate me, because I’m constantly bringing my receipts to them to correct.

    The biggest mistake I’ve noticed is when stores advertise things on sale and then they don’t ring up at the sale price, so always make sure you give your receipt a quick scan before leaving!

  7. Great point about reading the receipt. My husband recently said to me, “I am amazed at all the of money you save just be finding mistakes on the receipts!”. I find the worst offenders of mistakes are at the grocery stores.

  8. I hate trying to read receipts, though. I need to do better. If I don’t catch it at the register I usually don’t catch it at all.

  9. My mom always checked receipts and i do out of habit, you sometimes feel silly going back or mentioning stuff, but it adds up! That is neat that Costco is not only there for them, but for us too! I love costco!