Keeping track of our grocery spending and savings

22 01 2009

Thanks to a coupon-cutting mother, it didn’t take me long as an adult to pick up my scissors and start clipping.

But in the last couple years I have evolved from casual couponing to what I jokingly call robo couponing. I  buy extra Sunday newspapers for the coupons, print computer coupons and even swap coupons with friends and neighbors. I carry a two-inch thick three-ring binder filled with coupons, which are filed and categorized.

Call me obsessed, but this year I want to document exactly how much money we save by clipping coupons. I know it’s a lot because our weekly spending on groceries, health and beauty items and cleaning supplies rarely, if ever, tops $50. 

But for 2009, I am tracking our spending and savings at the grocery and drug stores on a computer spreadsheet. Last night, I entered the totals of all my January receipts to see how the first month of 2009 is shaping up.

Here are the results:

In 12 trips to the grocery and three trips to CVS, I have purchased $552.50 worth of food, dog food, health and beauty products, cleaning supplies and extra Sunday newspapers. That’s full price.

I paid $105 out of pocket for a savings of 81 percent. I saved $177 by shopping store sales and I saved an additional $237 by using coupons. Another $33.50 in savings came from using gift cards that I earned through various promotions. That’s a total savings of $447.50 so far this year.

My coupon savings so far are pretty high, thanks to a triple coupon promotion at Harris Teeter the first few days of the new year. And we are lucky to live in an area where three of the four major grocery chains double coupons every day. Two of those stores, Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Foods, double coupons valued up to 99 cents every day of the week. Kroger doubles coupons up to 50 cents.

Stay tuned: I plan on posting an update at the end of each month this year to see the savings mount.

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