June 20, 2010


I bought a carton of eggs this morning.

Photo: A seventeen-inch-long receipt for one grocery item

The checkout register printed a seventeen-inch-long receipt.

Photo: Grocery receipt with printed information numbered for reference

  1. Five-eighths of an inch of empty space
  2. Store and pharmacy logos
  3. Store ID and director info
  4. “Valued Customer” number, timestamp, and what I assume is an ID for the self-checkout station I used
  5. “DAIRY” section title
  6. Item name and price
  7. Subtotal (for one item), tax (zero), and total (same as subtotal)
  8. Credit card info and amount charged to card
  9. Change (zero)
  10. “Total Number of Items Purchased = 1″
  11. Stylish double-row of asterisks (repeated later)
  12. Customer survey offer: Visit website, take survey, enter drawing to win a $100 gift card
  13. Same offer in Spanish
  14. Supermarket chain web address and toll-free customer service number
  15. “* PAID *”
  16. Second customer survey offer: Call toll-free number, take survey, enter code from receipt, copy down “Validation Code,” and get $2.00 off next shopping trip
  17. Unexplained barcode, presumably used for $2.00 coupon offer
  18. Second offer in Spanish
  19. One-and-a-third inches of empty space

In the words of my friend Ken: “You’re lucky you didn’t get another eleven receipts.”

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