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.
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:
- Download a version of the FREE Savings Tracker.
- Set your monthly budget for the year in the summary tab. This will populate each of the monthly tabs.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!