WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Thursday thoughts: Tracking your grocery spending and savings in 2011

Posted January 5, 2011 11:59 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2011 12:11 a.m. EST

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!