Coupon Savings Tracker 2013: Free Download and Getting Started

I’m pleased to release the 2013 version of the free Savings Tracker! I know that this has been a popular tool – in fact, one of the most referenced posts on this site. I would like to offer a huge thank you to everyone who uses and shares this download!

For 2013, I didn’t really change anything other than update a new sheet for 2013, added a few new fonts and colors and made sure all the formulas were looking hunky-dory. (My thinking after tinkering for a few years? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!) To grab yours, head to the Savings Tracker page under the Downloads section of my toolbar.

Getting Started

If you have no clue what this download is, it’s a free spreadsheet I created that serves the following purpose:

  • Allows you to track your grocery spending against a budget.
  • Allows you to see your grocery saving as a % and in terms of $.
  • Allows you to see how much money coupons are saving you (as well as store sales).

I’ve heard from many people that this tool helped them see exactly what their couponing was helping them achieve. It can do the same for you, too.

If you’re new, here’s what you need to get started: 

  1. Download a version of the FREE Savings Tracker.
  2. Set your monthly budget for the year in the summary tab. This will populate each of the monthly tabs.
  3. As you go to the store, you’ll enter in a few pieces of data from your receipt(s) such as what you spent, what you saved, etc.
  4. The spreadsheet has built-in formulas that will calculate your savings rate, your month-to-date spending as compared to your budget, as well as year-to-date figures.

I also need to state that I get many emails about the tracker and I’m unavailable to provide personal Excel training. This sheet is geared for folks that have a basic understanding of how to input numbers on an Excel sheet. That being said, I’ve taken the time to record a webcast and assemble a handy reference manual – both of these tools can be found on the Savings Tracker page and I highly recommend them if you are finding that you have some questions.

FAQ

There are a few questions I’m asked regularly and want to address.

Q: Help! Something’s wrong! I’m seeing a bunch of # signs. 

A. Nothing’s wrong. You just need to widen the column. The easiest way is to hover your mouse right on that border and then double-click it. Or you can right-click on the column and choose “column width” option to manually make it bigger. That’ll solve the problem.

Double click…

Problem solved! (Although if your shelf cost is $150 million in a month, you might have a different kind of problem…)

Q. Help! My Fred Meyer/WinCo/other grocery store receipt does NOT tell me how much I’ve saved! How do I enter shelf cost?

A. Every store is going to list your savings and spending information differently. And some stores are less helpful in getting the information you need than others! Fred Meyer is one particularly sticky wicket as they will only show what you pay, and the coupon total at the bottom isn’t always accurate. (Incidentally, I’ve repeatedly suggested to corporate that more detailed receipts would be uber helpful, so I am trying!).

You have three of options in this scenario: 1) do a best guess (you could tally up rough prices of what you’d think you’d pay elsewhere, for instance), 2) input it as face value (but this will result in a very low savings rate) or 3) tell yourself that whenever you enter this store, you’re just going to add a base level % savings. For instance, WinCo is roughly 10-15% cheaper than a lot of stores I go to. Their receipts may not reflect it, but I know I’m getting a savings. If I pay $50 out of pocket, I may decide to say that the shelf cost would’ve been 15% elsewhere, so 15% off $50 = $7.50. Then add $7.50 + $50 = $57.50 shelf cost. Really, it’s up to you. Whatever makes sense to your brain. Just be consistent with whatever method you choose to give you the best overall picture.

Q. Can I share the Savings Tracker at my coupon class/on my blog/with my friends?

A. I’m always delighted when I hear folks want to share this tool! I welcome you to share it, with one exception – I want the download to remain at my site. So if you blog about it, you are welcome to take screenshots or share how you’re using it – just direct people back to my site to download their version. If you teach a coupon class, you are most certainly welcome to share how it works and where folks can get it. And of course you can share this post and the Savings Tracker page directly on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other site you want. If you have some variation of that you’re unsure of, please do email me at angela @ thecouponproject dot com. The Savings Tracker is copyrighted material intended for personal use only.

If you have a great Savings Tracker story, please leave a comment. I’d love to know how this tool has helped you, or how you’ve shared it with others!


Comments

  1. Leona says

    Thank you so much for this.. love the rebate tracker too. We are on a tight budget to begin with, but your sheet helped me budget our groceries. As a result we ate more healthy meals than not. Tracked the savings this year with your sheet and saved our family over $8000. Thank you for all of your hard work.

  2. Mandi says

    Thanks for this! It has been my favorite budgeting tool for over 2 years. I always look forward to downloading the new one. :)

  3. Sara says

    I am definitely trying this one. Thank you so much for putting so much time and energy into all of this, it is much appreciated!!

  4. Jill says

    Thank you so much Angela. I’ve used the savings tracker for 2 years now and it is such a help. I always get excited at the end of Dec. to look at the summary page and see how much I’ve saved just with coupons (not including store sales)! It’s incredible how much you can save in a year. Helps keep me excited about couponing!

  5. Avery says

    Thank you so much for the time and energy you’ve put into this. I can’t wait to use it for the first time in 2013! I’d love to see my savings on a hard copy. Thanks again for all you do!

  6. christine says

    Your blog is always the first e-mail I look for in the morning -you put such a lot of thought and effort into it and I appreciate the time spent -its a great blog and I love that it it local to Puget Sound. Happy new year.

  7. dropofrain says

    Angela, your blog is one of those few I check several times a day :-) I tried using savings tracker for a couple of years. It is a very neat tool but I don’t enter all the receipts in time. Don’t know how other people do it because with the couponing I go to the stores more often than in the past. Once I processed THREE months worth of receipts!!! I know this is my own fault, but with so many things going on I find it difficult to stay on the top of things. My New Year’s resolution would be processing my receipts daily (crossing my fingers!)

  8. Heather Ratliff says

    I’ve been using this for the last 3 years and it’s great. I modified it to split food and non-food. It’s interesting to me to see how we split our money that way. While it doesn’t help me save more money, it reminds me that what little work I do with coupons DOES save money! Thanks for the skeleton of this spreadsheet!

  9. Veronica says

    I have a question, in regards to ECB, UP rewards and Register Rewards how so you track them? As rebates or do you just put it in coupons when you actually use them? BTW I am so excited to use this for the first time in 2013!!! Thank you for all you do.

  10. Julie says

    I fell off the tracker wagon last year while trying to figure out how to manage everything with a new baby but am jumping back in with 2013. I have one question though, have you ever considered making the input values the ones you can easily find on the receipt? So, instead of having us type in our own calculated “shelf value”, make that column the “amount paid” and then have one of the calculated columns be “shelf value.” I love this tool but put some of my own touches on it in the past when I did use it and this was one change I made. I end up having to move formulas around but starting with your version is definitely a fantastic place to start. Anyway, thanks again for all your hard work on this, just wanted to share how I’ve adapted it.

    • Angela Russell says

      I could definitely do that, but my only hesitation is that stores vary GREATLY on how you might calculate that out. Stores like WinCo and Fred Meyer, for instance, which don’t indicate what shelf value is you’ll either have to manually calculate or guestimate. I’m glad you found a way to adapt it to your tastes, but hesitate making that change across the board. However, I will definitely consider what you’ve shared here for future versions! :)

  11. Shelice says

    I just wanted to add my Thank you! I’ve used it for a couple of years and love it! I give all my “savings” friends a link to your blog.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>