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Files to Help Track Your Savings

Check out the new Savings Tracking Tool here [1] exclusively on Savings Lifestyle! MUCH easier to use than any excel spreadsheet and still completely FREE!

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Finally! I now have the savings files I refer to all the time in a format you can access!!

There are two documents I use each week to work on scenarios and track my savings. If you had requested these in the past, these are the same documents just put into separate files. The files are:

Savings Lifestyle Grocery Savings Chart [3]
Savings Lifestyle Grocery Savings Weekly Scenarios [4]

Instructions on downloading these to your personal system are below. Here is an explanation on each file:

Savings Lifestyle Grocery Savings Chart

This is the actual file I use to enter my weekly store totals and savings. There are several columns in this file. The entry columns on here include:

Month (no personal entry required, formula driven field)

The month the purchase was made will auto-populate. This will help to divide by the total number of months as the year progresses.

Date

Enter the date as dd/mm/yy (i.e, 1/22/10).

Store Name

Enter the Store Name. This is good in case you want to do individual store analysis.

Out of Pocket

Enter the total out of pocket amount spent at the store.

Savings – Overall

Enter the total savings you achieved at the store.

Savings – Coupons

If your store splits out the total savings into store savings, coupon savings, or anything else, list the Coupon Savings here. Many of the stores I shop do this. It's interesting to see how much of the savings come from the sale versus the coupon. If your store doesn't split out the savings reasons, just enter a zero.

Notes

Just a place to enter any notes on the transaction. This is a good way to start to remember sales cycles and store promotions as well.

Savings – Sale/Store (no personal entry required, formula driven field)

This is formula driven, so I would just leave them as is. This  are all formula driven so I would highly recommend just leaving them as is. This field will auto-populate to give you the result of the coupon savings minus the overall savings. As a default, that will typically always be the sale/store promotion value.

Total Value Products (no personal entry required, formula driven field)

This is formula driven, so I would just leave as is. This will calculate your total value of products by adding the out of pocket with the overall savings numbers.

Savings Lifestyle Grocery Savings Weekly Scenarios

This is the file I use to create my shopping list and scenarios. There are currently 4 tabs in this spreadsheet: Meijer, Misc Stores, Drugstore, Weekly Total Spend.

The following tabs are simply duplicates but are included since I shop them and always want different pages for each: Meijer, Misc Stores, Drugstore. The entries you make to these documents can be deleted each week since.

The “Weekly Total Spend” tab is nice because it will give you your scenario totals for all stores on one page. So, you can work each scenario and go to that tab and know exactly how much your totals are going to be. If you change the titles of each store (i.e., change Meijer to Hyvee), this tab will automatically change the title on this page too. It is all formula driven so no manual entries need to be made to it.

I use this a lot to try to stick to our budget. So, if I see that my scenarios have me going over for the week, I can go back and cut something out (possibly a stockpile item). In a way, it takes your grocery “wants” to “needs” in order to achieve your budget.

On the different store tabs, it is self explanatory but I'll try to add my own color commentary. You will see the item and item price on the left (reflected as the Spend Total in the yellow box) then the coupon and coupon value on the right (reflected as the Coupon Total in the yellow box). So, the spreadsheet is calculating your totals as follows:

Spend Total Coupon Total = Grand Total (before tax).

On the Coupon Total, I put the total the coupon will actually be redeemed at. So, since my grocery stores double, I don't enter the $.50 coupon but rather a $1 coupon since that's the redemption total. And, if there are e-coupons, you can simply enter them on a separate line. Honestly, I never include them in my coupon total.

On the “Grocery” tab, I also have a column to the right of Kroger since they often times have several promotions of buy X items get $X off. I use that to count my total items so I can maximize my savings and do multiple transactions if necessary. For the Buy $X and get $X off, you can simply do a sum of the items to ensure you have met your required total. Did I mention I love excel :-)

Savings Tools Downloads

You can download the document in Excel so you can save to your personal computer for editing. Download Savings Tracking Tool here [2]. The only thing the Excel file comes with is a pie-chart to compare your overall savings, out of pocket and product grand total.  See the example below.

I personally maintain everything in Google Documents since I can access them online at anytime. If you haven't used Google Docs, it is FREE and a great way to avoid buying Microsoft Office applications!!

To access these documents, please save them to your computer or personal Google Docs page by following these steps:

  1. Click on above links to open each in a new window
  2. File => Export => .XLS
  3. Save in your personal folder on your computer
  4. It will now be accessible in Excel on your system.

If you do not have excel (like me) and want to use Google Docs, still save as above and then:

  1. Open Google Documents (it's easy to register as a new user – I love it!)
  2. Upload (in blue menu bar)
  3. Browse for the file you saved
  4. Name it and Upload

Your personal files will now be available to utilize in Google Docs too!

And, for the sake of sharing, to print in Google Docs is easy too! Here's how I do it:

  1. File => Export => HTML Sheet
  2. In the HTML Sheet, go to File => Print Preview to see what the page will look like printed out.
  3. Print the pages you want, I always print just the first page.

I hope these files help you save in the year ahead! Please feel free to drop me comments if you have questions on the files.

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** NEW ** Watch an online tutorial below on how to use the
Grocery Savings Tracking Tool!