Thursday thoughts: Tracking your grocery spending & savings in 2012
Posted January 5, 2012
Here we are at the beginning of a new year. Is one of your resolutions to get your finances under control? Are you wondering how much you really spend each month on groceries? Here's a tool to help keep your spending on track all year long!
Did you track your grocery and drug store spending for 2011? Feel free to share how much you spent and saved!
Click HERE to open the spreadsheet. You will want to enter the categories in an Excel spreadsheet for easy tracking.
This is the spreadsheet I have been using for years. In my spreadsheet, I entered the formula for percentage and the formula to add the Total Saved and Amount Paid columns to give you the Total Spent column. Most receipts tell you how much you saved so you don't have to figure it out.
Here is how you calculate the totals you will need to track your spending:
Subtotal before sales and coupons: Take the total saved and the total spent and add them together to get the subtotal before sales and coupons
Percentage saved: Take the amount you saved divided by the subtotal before sales and coupons to get the % saved.
For instance, if my subtotal was $100 before sales and coupons and I saved $70, the total amount paid is $30. To determine the percentage saved, the equation would look like this:
$70 divided by $100 = .70 (70% savings)
I do recommend you enter your receipts weekly. Just like clipping coupons, if you get too far behind, it can be time consuming to catch up.
Even if you find it to be too much work to enter all the columns, at least enter amount spent each week. This will let you know if you are staying in your budget and give you the heads up if you need to reign in your spending.
If you don't want to track the information via computer, then track it on paper. The key is to know how much you are spending every week and to stay within your budget.
Now it's time to start saving your receipts and entering them each week. If you go over budget a little one week, just make up for it the next week. My weekly budget was $70 per week in 2011 and remains at $70 per week for 2012. That includes food, paper products, cleaning products, dog food (we have 1 dog), and health and beauty items for 2 adults and 2 children ages 10 and 12. Here's my question: How much hair product does one middle school girl really need?! Thankfully, the drug stores have such great deals on bath and beauty items after coupons and rewards!
Next week on Thursday Thoughts, I'll be addressing how to create your weekly grocery budget.
As I always say: It's your money - spend it wisely (and tracking your weekly grocery spending is a great way to make sure you are spending wisely)!