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I'm spinning around about the topic of making some usage of receipts from shops to improve some aspect of my health and shopping habits. For example - from the perspective of the month or the year I would like to know how many sodas and candy bars I bought... It's hard for me to resist a small dose of sugar - and I won't see these details it in a statement of account. There are only info about amount of money and location of the store.

There are some tools which helps to import receipts and in some cases even digitalize it.. but there are a few flaws of that process. First. Remember to take a receipt with you. Second. Collect receipts and keep it properly. I mean do not squeeze them, don't leave them in the car in the sunny day, etc. Most of the people I know do something opposite. Third. Make the effort, scan/ocr, import to excel then data clearing is time consuming.

Believe me, at this moment it looks like a date processing center and no-one want to do that by yourself just to find out that you but whole bunch of unhealthy stuff... ;)

Do you have similar problem? How do you deal with it?

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    If you want to track food intake and don't actually need to track the amount of money you spend on it, there are some great apps that will do this. I use the Lose It app, and it allows me to scan the barcode of everything I eat before I eat it, tracking calories and whatever other nutrients you want to track. Easy. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Feb 17 '16 at 14:18
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As Ben Miller notes in comments, one thing you can do is track the food in an app on your phone that tracks what you eat. There are several. That's best if you're looking to pay attention to calories.

Another thing you can do is buy a receipt scanner app. You don't need to save the receipt and take it home; just take a pic right there and upload that to your receipt scanning app; again, there are several.

Third, if you use a software to track your expenses in general, you can make entries with notations in most of them; use that to note the candy/etc alongside the purchase entry from your card/bank account. Again - do it on your phone, right when it happens.

The core of all of this advice: do the tracking right away. Don't set up a system that requires waiting until you get home or waiting for, well, anything. Do it right when you buy the candy/food; this is much easier to train yourself to do, in particular if you decide that you need to track it before actually eating it (so you get a reward for tracking!).

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I would suggest having a separate credit card for the items in question. Credit cards are not difficult to get or hard to carry around. Buy all your other items on your regular card and your junk food on a special card you use only for junk food. You will always know how much you spent.

I use Mint.com to analyze my spending by category and over time. However, it only looks at the place and amount of the spending. You can look by account, though, so if you use a special card for junk food, you can monitor it over time very easily. It even sets up budgets and can send you emails as you approach them.

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