Saving with Coupons for 2011

30 Dec


Like I had said in a previous post, I started couponing in April 2010.  At the beginning of 2011, I decided that I would start tracking my spending and savings on grocery and health/beauty (including diapers).  One of the savings blogs I follow, The Cents’Able Shoppin, had posted a savings spreadsheet she created.  I started using that one, then started making modifications to it because I wanted to see the savings by store, and also to get a full breakdown of manufacturer coupon savings, bonus/store coupon savings, and store sale savings.  I also included rewards I’d earned on the Rebate tracking page.  These rewards included things like the gas rewards earned while shopping at Fry’s and rewards earned on my credit card from using it for purchases.  I also wanted to add in the amount I spent on getting produce through Bountiful Baskets.  I did start pricing out my produce received at the grocery store to get a comparison, but it was too time-consuming.  I did find it was about a 50% cost savings, but for calculations, I decided it would be better to estimate it to be about 40% savings overall for the year. I unfortunately did not track how much I spent on getting coupons, and since I changed the number of newspapers I would get from 4 to 3 to 2, and I don’t know at what point I did that, it’s hard to even get a good estimate.  For what I did keep track of, it breaks down like this:

Manufacturer Coupon Savings: $2,052.80
Bonus Coupon Savings: $258.18
Total Coupon Savings: $2,310.98
Total Store Savings: $4,694.07
Total Savings: $7,005.05
Total Out of Pocket (OOP): $7,412.69
Avg. Monthly OOP: $615
Percent Saved: 48.59%
Rebates & Rewards Total: $766.75

So, the amount I received back on Rebates & Rewards of $766.75, I would say that is probably about the amount I spent on getting coupons, so what I spent on coupons, I got back in Rebates & Rewards, leaving my coupon savings at $2,310.98.  I was a little surprised that amount was so high, considering I wasn’t using as many coupons for the last half of the year.   My monthly spending is still higher than I would like it to be, but is lower than it was for 2010. Additionally, by buying health and beauty items at the grocery stores and drug stores during good sales, I didn’t fall victim to what I refer to as “The Wal-Mart or Target Trap”.  No matter how hard I try to make a list and stick to it at those 2 stores, I almost always end up with more than I want or need, so I am glad to have eliminated that spending.

For 2012, I am hoping to get the spending amount even lower, although it gets tougher with the ever rising food prices.  I am also hoping that my younger daughter will be potty trained soon, so that I can eliminate a majority of the diaper expense each month.  I also have added a new tab on my spreadsheet to better track what I spend on getting coupons from the newspaper.  The spreadsheet I will be using for 2012 can be found here:

2012 Savings Spreadsheet

You should be able to download the original and modify for your own use, if needed.  For the spreadsheet, you will only enter in data in the blue shaded areas, unless you need to make modifications to store names.   If you need help making modifications or would like to see something added, please contact me.

I hope that for 2012 I can continue the savings with coupons and will be able to share some good results next year as well!

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