Do you have a monthly grocery budget? Do you stick to it?
My monthly coupon reports are a way I keep myself in check with how much money I’m spending at the grocery store (well let’s be honest, grocery stores plural) each month and in turn how many coupons I’m using. Coupons are a hobby of mine.
I like to cut, clip and organize for fun but have never really sat down and tracked how much I’m spending at the store each month and how many coupons I’m using. And of the coupons I’ve used, which source did they come from (Sunday paper, digital, etc.)?
I used to track my spending religiously a few years ago based on a friend’s recommendation. After tracking for over a year I thought I had a good handle on where my money went each month so I stopped. Recently I’ve become curious again as I have a 2-year-old and money seems to fly out of my wallet faster than I realize. So I’ve started tracking expenses once again and have been surprised by the results.
I’m a wife, mom, marketing manager by day, and couponing/personal finance blogger by night. I’m a frugalista who has had a cheap gene her entire life. If there is a deal I will find it. If there is a way to save money on something I will not stop until I figure out how. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than mutually sharing deals and details of awesome cheap hauls with fellow couponers… who are as equally passionate about saving as I am.
July 2018 Grocery Report
Total grocery store spend: $645.88 (down from $732.99 last month)
How did I spend our July grocery money?
New this month rather than just keeping track of a complete total, I wanted to break down the total into some basic categories. If I truly want to be more diligent about saving I thought the better handle I had on specifically how I spend the grocery money by category, it would be helpful. Eye-opening at least!
Grocery Categories I track:
- Groceries – edible: $273.44 (42.3%)
- Groceries – non-edible (paper towel, toilet paper, etc.): $43.71 (6.7%)
- Child (ex. Diapers, wipes, etc.): $117.72 (18.2%)
- Alcohol (self-explanatory): $211.01 (32.8%)
Factors affecting the July Grocery Budget:
I felt like we ate out a lot this month. While I don’t have a figure for how much was spent it may have been one reason why we were light on groceries relative to last month.
- Lunch on the 4th of July
- Went out for pizza on a beautiful Thursday evening
- My in-laws celebrated their anniversary which took care of lunch and dinner for a Saturday. Additionally, I did purchase a lot of food and beverages for the party that was not counted as part of our normal grocery budget. Things like bottled water, beer, and a veggie tray that I purchased to take to the party. Subsequently, there were a lot of leftovers. So they weren’t counted toward the monthly spend but we will be consuming them at some point.
- My sister visited and we went out for beers & burgers
- We attended a concert in the park and ate out at the food truck vendors.
- There was a local “Fiesta Days” event that we went to on a Saturday where we ate out a few snacks/appetizers.
- My husband’s birthday is July 30th so we went out for a celebratory dinner
Shipt Grocery Delivery:
I started using a grocery delivery service called Shipt.
Eeeeek! Don’t worry; I haven’t abandoned my couponing roots! But as the mom of a 2-year-old with a full-time job who is trying to blog on the side, my days are busy (do you know a mom who isn’t?)!
So I decided to give Shipt Grocery delivery a try. At a bare minimum, I have decided to trade money for time and thought if I invest in Shipt and could recoup a few in a month that I would have otherwise gone to the store that it would be worth it.
You can read my full Shipt review here.
Saving with Google Express:
I tried using Google Express for the first time. At the time I had a $10.00 off $15.00 purchase with free shipping. Click here to see the details and try it for yourself (not sure if the code is still valid, but try it!)
I’ve always wondered if the amount of money I spend on the Sunday papers are actually offset by coupon usage. Never mind my time (although I recognize time is money), but could I look myself in the face and say the money I spend on the physical newspapers are offset by the value of coupons I use in a month.
Plus I’ve been really off printing coupons at home lately. I’m not sure if it’s my internet connection or if the printer is out of ink but I haven’t been able to get coupons.com coupons to print at home for a few months so they have been left out of the savings equation for awhile.
- Newspaper – $0.00 – wow; I track pretty well and couldn’t track any coupon usage back to a newspaper coupon.
- Printed (at home) – $3.00 (I used to print-at-home religiously but a few months ago I started having issues with my printer at home; I have been meaning to fix it or have my husband look at it but simply have not.
- Digital/Store Provided – $14.25
- “Extra Bucks” type or other – $3
- App: Ibotta/Checkout51/Fetch – $0
Total Coupon Savings for July 2018: $20.25 (kind of embarrassing…I’d like to see this much higher while my grocery bill going down)
Goals for next month
I really liked the increased visibility in using categories to track the grocery spend. In past months it has just been one lump sum and hard to distinguish what was really driving the overall amount spent. So I’ll continue to do that.
I’d also like to track our eating out/drinking out for next month as well to understand the grand total. I was totally fine with the grocery total for this month but questioning all of the eating out we were probably worse off than in months past I just can prove it with dollars.
Finally, I’m going to challenge myself to get back to the couponing basics. Making sure I’m diligently cutting Sunday coupons, printing at-home coupons and looking for the best deals. Nothing makes me more proud than a good cheap haul, and I feel I fell short this month.
What are you doing to reduce your monthly grocery bill?
Take one small step today – to help your finances tomorrow,