Saturday, February 02, 2008

Walmart receipts

I would really like a way to get digital access to receipts of my purchases from Walmart. Each month, when we trek to town for our monthly grocery trip, we come
back with a really long receipt from Walmart. I want to take that receipt, visit, type in the barcode numbers and have it bring up a detailed,
downloadable inventory of things I bought in that particular purchase. It would
be great if I could get a CSV file something like this:

"Great Value Whole Milk",12345,Dairy,4,2.30,9.20
"Oreo Double Stuff Cookies",87443,Dessert,1,3.25,3.25

Here are some reasons I want that feature:

  • Improved grocery budgeting. How much money do we spend on dairy foods?

  • Tracking price changes. Is the $30 cleaning supplies budget still reasonable or has Comet been increasing in price lately?

  • For business expenditures, I could write a program to automatically create ledger entries in QuickBooks categorized into the appropriate accounts.

  • Things I haven't thought of yet

A CSV file couldn't quite capture all the data that's present in a typical receipt, so maybe some other format would be better suited to the task. The format isn't as
important as that I can have access to the data.