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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Those annoying grocery store receipts

As I travel around the country visiting supermarkets, there is one big thing that annoys me: those unnecessarily long cash register receipts!

You know what I’m talking about. You only buy one or two items, yet your receipt is so long that it has to be folded several times to fit into your wallet.

I have often thought that supermarkets waste so much money on that coated paper. How many trees or how much petroleum is used to print those receipts? Can’t they make them shorter?

And then, last week, my dream came true.

I was in San Luis Obispo, California, attending a board meeting at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. I decided to stop at a local store to purchase some vegan food.

I picked out a few things and took them to the cashier. When I looked at the receipt, I thought it was odd that there was no total.

Then I realized it was a two-sided receipt!
The technology is out there to make this possible! I was elated. Why aren’t more supermarkets doing this? What a great way to show your shoppers that you really do care about the environment.

If you agree that this is a good idea – please tell your local market.

But then again, I wonder how long it will be before supermarkets start doing what Nordstrom has been doing for more than a year: They ask you for your email address and they just email you your receipt.  No paper needed.

I call that a fantastic 21st Century practice. Instead of trying to improve a practice, just leapfrog to a whole new process.



  1. Sprouts does that too. I noticed you had a bag fee...hmmmm, maybe you should have brought your own bag if you're worried about paper and trees?? It's something I've done for years. I have my own bag in my purse. It's one of those small crumple bags that scrunches into a little ball and takes up barely any room at all. I highly recommend it.

  2. Yes, electronic receipts are the way to go! I know it will catch on once stores realize the advertising potential. Forget coupons printed on the back of the register receipt, how about active links?
    Frieda's could take the lead to help one of their stores begin offering this as an option in exchange for exclusive placement in the receipt??


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