Our Monthly Grocery Budget

by Melody on January 2, 2010

WHAT OUR MONTHLY BUDGET INCLUDES:

- All food items
- Paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels)
- Toiletry items(toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo,etc)
- All cleaning supplies
- Stamps for rebates
- Newspaper subscription for coupons

I use a Google Docs spreadsheet created by The Coupon Project to track my shopping trips including shelf cost, coupon amount, total savings and variance to my monthly budget.  This has been such a huge help to me!  The spreadsheet is so easy and keeps everything in one place for me.

Here’s a breakdown of what needs to be entered on the spreadsheet: 

  • SHELF COST: I enter in the amount I would have paid at the store that day, without coupon or rebate.
  • COUPONS: Manufacturer coupons and catalina coupons
  • DISCOUNTS: I include store coupons here, to keep them separate from manufacturer coupons.
  • REBATES: This is for any type of rebate I am submitting, mail-in or through Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebates program.

Everything else is calculated for you!  You may interpret each of the above entries a little different than I do, but the key is to keep it consistent.  If you don’t do the same thing every time you make an entry, your results won’t be accurate.

I love that it tracks my spending before and after rebates.  This will help keep me in line and not spend too much out of pocket each month.  Even if I am coming in under budget, if I spent all of our monthly cash on rebate items, it would go pretty quick.

Share your budgeting tips and tricks in the comments.  Let us know if you use any type of tracking system and how it works for you!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

EdsonBunch April 7, 2010 at 4:28 am

how do you keep track of the shelf price and then what you paid…this seems crazy time consuming!! WE are a family of six and just about in the hole every month…some drastic changes need to be made and frankly this coupon things sounds hard :(!

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Melody April 7, 2010 at 4:35 am

I know it can seem overwhelming, but if you can make just a few small changes each month, you will definitely notice a difference! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help or any questions I can answer.

The shelf price is listed on the receipt. I add up the total for all my items and then add up the total coupons I used (which are also listed individually). I just keep the receipts I haven't entered in a small envelope and try to get to them when I can.

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Jess November 2, 2010 at 6:51 am

This is so exciting to me! We are a family of 6 too. I am wondering HOW in the world we can feed, vitamin, wipe and diaper everyone for $165 per month- but I am going to keep trying. I have a LONG way to go.. I am trying to reign it in!!

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