WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Thursday thoughts: Tracking your grocery spending and savings in 2011

Posted January 5, 2011
Updated January 6, 2011

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 an easy to use tool to help keep your spending on track all year long!

Click HERE to open the spreadsheet.

This is the spreadsheet I have been using for years. It already has the formulas entered to figure % Saved and 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.

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.

Here are my grocery and drug store totals for 2010.

Monthly budget: $300

Actual average spent per month: $300.26 (I was amazed that I came in so close to my set budget!)

Total amount of product purchased before sales and coupons: $13,979.04

Total amount saved with sales and coupons: $10,478.29

Average percent saved per month: 75%

Total spent in 2010 at grocery and drug stores: $3603.35

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 2010 and remains at $70 per week for 2011. 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 9 and 11. Since they are both girls, you know our bath and beauty costs are sky high! Thanks goodness for drug store freebies! How much hair product does one middle schooler really need?!

As I always say: It's your money - spend it wisely! Tracking your weekly grocery spending is a great way to make sure you are spending wisely!




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  • auntbepe Jan 14, 2011

    Hi Faye, Thanks so much for this spreadsheet and all of your helpful info! I just want to you use your subtotal amount or complete total after taxes are added? Thanks

  • yateslaura90 Jan 8, 2011

    Thanks so much Faye - I have wanted to do this for years and just downloaded it. You are such a gem!!!

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Jan 8, 2011

    iwannasave - that was really sweet. Thank you. Sounds to me like you are doing a great job!

    momotwins - I give my card at the beginning before the cashier rings anything. I don't separate out coupon savings vs sale savings so with the HT receipt I use the Coupons Tendered amount as my savings total.

    J - you are so right. It takes her forever to wash, condition and comb out her hair. Thankfully she can do it herself now so there is no fussing at me about getting out the knots.

  • iwannasave0703 Jan 7, 2011

    Faye, you are truly an inspiration to shoppers everywhere. I have not been able to save as much as you have, but I am not paying full price for hardly ANYTHING anymore, and I KNOW that it is because of learning the ways of a saver. Thanks for all your advice! You help so many!

  • kcampbell113 Jan 7, 2011

    Thanks for this! I had started a spreadsheet in July but it accidently got copied over in mid-Nov. I am starting fresh with the New Year.

  • KLW Jan 6, 2011 determine what you would have spent before coupons/sales, add the amount saved on the receipt to the amount you spent.

  • momotwins Jan 6, 2011

    so Faye, do you give your Vic or Kroger Card only at the end so it won't tally savings until then? Because I know Harris Teeter is hard to figure out what you spent before the Vic savings if you give your card at the beginning which I always seem to do. It also says coupons tendered which includes VIC specials. I know I saved more last year than 2009, but wasn't sure how much because of the way they do it on the receipt. Thanks

  • Nancy Jan 6, 2011

    trip, each receipt tallies differently and some make it easy, some hard, unfortunately.

    Rite Aid receipts are very easy as they break out your Wellness savings as one total, your coupons as another and of course you know what you paid out.

    CVS is not as easy. CVS gives you a total of savings, but that includes your coupons and sale prices. In the 'coupons' area, they count your ECBs as coupons so you could do the same. But with CVS, just add up your coupons and deduct that from the total saved they provide and the balance will be sale price savings.

    Walgreens is very neatly done, they show you your MQ total and your WAG advertised savings so that makes it easy to enter the data. Just add the total saved to the total spent and you have your total 'value' of purchases.

  • maweavil Jan 6, 2011

    Thanks Faye for all the great tips!

  • Harleygirlie Jan 6, 2011

    I'm SO doing this!
    Thanks Faye!!!