One very important part of couponing is tracking how much you are spending and saving. Hopefully you have a general idea of how much you spent on groceries pre-couponing, but even if you don’t, tracking your spending can be extremely beneficial. Right now is always the best time to start keeping track!
I have been tracking my grocery spending and savings since I very first started couponing. I found a simple spreadsheet online that did most of the work for me, so that made it really easy. Not to mention, I kind of have a *thing* for spreadsheets. I have taken my original spreadsheet and modified it to make it even easier to use. Now, I am going to share my spreadsheet with all of you!
How to use the Grocery Savings Spreadsheet:
First of all, in order to be able to use the spreadsheet, you need to download it to your computer or save to your Google Docs account.
Save to your computer:
2. Click on File
3. Go to Download As
4. Choose the program you would like to download it to.
Save to your google docs account: (I personally like Google Docs because I don’t have to worry about losing my data if my computer crashes.)
1. Sign in to Google Docs (it is very easy to register)
3. Click on File
4. Click on Make a Copy
5. Name and Save it
Now that you have your copy of the spreadsheet, here is how you use it.
You need to save your receipts every time you buy groceries. Either input them in the spreadsheet as soon as you get home, or put them somewhere you will remember and input them at the end of the week.
The only fields you need to fill out are the light green shaded boxes. That’s it!! Every thing else is automatically calculated for you. At the top in the yellow fields you can see your average weekly spending as well as your year to date (YTD) totals. This spreadsheet is made for 2010, but it is easy to update it for next year. Just create a new copy and update the week ending dates. I also hope to have a 2011 version prepared for next year.
Week Ending – Each row should include the totals for all purchases prior to and including the date entered. So, for the week ending 1/16, include all totals from 1/10 through 1/16.
Spending – Input the total spent on groceries. You need to define this for yourself. For me, that includes all food, toiletries, paper goods, pet food, diapers, etc.
Savings – Input how much you saved. You need to define this for yourself as well. Will it include all savings or just coupon savings? I include all savings: coupons, sales, and clearance. Most stores calculate your savings for you and include it at the bottom of the receipt.
Stores – Input the stores you visited. This field is not necessary to fill out, but it can be helpful. I like to include this to see which stores I tend to spend more at or get the most savings from.
This spreadsheet is very simple. You really only have to fill in the spending and savings fields and every thing else is done for you! Now you can have visual evidence of how much you are truly spending and saving (great to show the unconvinced husbands, right?).
I truly hope some of you will be able to benefit from this spreadsheet! I know spreadsheets can seem daunting to some, but don’t be afraid! Inputing your totals will become habit after a while. I’ve been using this spreadsheet for years and I love looking back and seeing all my savings.
Do you track your grocery spending and savings?
***UPDATE*** – There was a minor error in the original spreadsheet. If you have downloaded the spreadsheet prior to 2/18/2010, then please follow these instructions to fix it.
1. Go to your spreadsheet and click on H9
2. Press Ctrl + C to copy it
3. Select H10 – H58 by clicking H10 and dragging your mouse down to H58
4. Press Ctrl + V to paste
Now it’s fixed! Sorry about that!!