All About Budgets

How We Designed Our Budget Step 8- Knowing Our Coupon Savings!

CANADIAN BUDGET BINDER 10 STEP BUDGETING SERIES- Tracking Our Coupon Savings

KNOWING YOUR SAVINGS IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR DEBT NUMBER

Knowing how much money we saved each month is just as important as knowing what we spent because it’s motivating.

If we don’t see numbers as motivators just debt than it’s not that exciting especially if you have lots to get rid of.

Another reason that we want to see our savings figures each month is because it helps us to look back at how far we have come. For example if in two years time you want to know how much money you saved in a particular month or year you will have those figures to fall back on.

Not everyone is coupon savvy or out to save a buck in their budget but for those of us who do I thought it would be a great idea to track our spending habits whilst using coupons and coupon apps.

Coupon apps have surpassed the paper coupon over the past few years which means there are less going around because manufacturers save more by allowing customers to utilize computer apps.

 

Tracking Coupon Savings 

When we started budgeting we began with something pretty basic where we downloaded a home budget spreadsheet free from the internet. We soon discovered that to satisfy our craving for knowing our personal budget savings we needed a coupon savings tracker of sorts.

There are coupon trackers and goal meters on the internet but we wanted something that was built right into our budget. We thought this would be easy on the eyes for us and less hassle with a separate tool.

The good part is that coupon savings are alive and well and many Canadians are still taking advantage of the savings whenever they can. Just because I wanted to make tracking savings easy for everyone we have this handy free tracking sheet that you can print and store in your budget binder.

See all Free Printable Budget Binder sheets on the Free Money Saving Downloads page.

Whether you get direct mail coupons, internet coupons which are coupons for printing (sometimes called e-coupons you get via email) or use coupon apps you should use a spreadsheet for tracking expenses or any money-saving that you might do in a given month.

If you get product rebates that’s another thing you will want to track because you got the item for free so that’s money savings in your pocket.

Canadian Coupon Sites to Order and Print Coupons online

You can also keep an eye out for inserts in your local paper by Smart Source and other random manufacturer coupons that come out monthly.  You can also order PandG Everyday Coupons online and they change them often so visit as much as you can.

If you are a coupon saving mom or dad, single or even married you can easily track expenses along with coupon usage with the Canadian Budget Binder monthly expense sheet template that we designed to manage our family finances.

If you are a student there is no reason you couldn’t use this as a college budget spreadsheet to track your expenses while in school. Attending University and College is a costly venture in life, one that can keep you in debt for a long time after graduation.

Take the time as a student to investigate the city you will live in and the best ways to save money. I’m not shocked in this day and age when I see students using coupons and coupon apps because money is tight.

The Best Coupon Savings Apps in Canada

Sources For Finding  The Best Canadian Coupons

How will I know how much I’ve saved using coupons?

With our Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet we wanted to have a running total of coupons that we had redeemed through the month.

Each month now we know exactly how much we have saved every step along the way. If you are someone who has set a monetary savings goal using coupons this might be handy for you.

For example: If you need or want to save $20 a month using coupons using a tracking spreadsheet will help you reach your target and goals because it’s a visual motivator.

My friend who blogs at Frugal Sally asked her readers about saving money and how they do it. One reader posted this great tip!

Whenever I intentionally save money, I move it out of my checking acct. Ex: if I save $15 using coupons, I then transfer $15 into my savings account. -Talara

We also recognized that we purchase quite a few gift cards or receive them as gifts for birthdays and holidays. We have incorporated this into our excel spreadsheet as well so that way you can track gift card expenses throughout the year.

If you don’t use coupons that’s fine, you can still use the Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet for all your budgeting needs. I’ve made sure it’s user-friendly and offer 3 different versions, paper and printable, with projected-expenses and with-out projected expenses.

Heidi Kennedy, coupon queen and grocery coupon...Reasons why we wanted to know our Coupon Savings

  • Did we reach our monthly, yearly target?
  • To set a new goal for the following year or month
  • To monitor trends in coupon use
  • To monitor what stores we use the most coupons at
  • To understand our spending habits
Discussion:  Do you track your coupon savings each month? Leave me a comment below and I’ll respond.
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Photos Courtesy of:123RF

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37 Comments

  1. I had never considered tracking my savings before but now I do! Since we are operating on one income, I can’t transfer my savings off to savings. Our budgeted grocery allowance just doesn’t have the wiggle room, besides, I have paid ourselves first and done as much as we can to the land of savings before I go near the groceries. The coupons give me room to afford some amazing treats…i.e. when I do buy one get one free on shrimp or scallops. πŸ™‚

  2. As it is time to revamp the budget (our first 3 month trial period is coming to a close) I’d like our new budget sheet to track savings now too. Nice thought to put the savings gained by coupons directly into savings. I tend to use the savings to buy more! Thanks for the post πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for your post. We don’t actually put coupon savings into a savings account ourselves but it might be a way for someone to start saving money if they find this will help them. Cheers Mr.CBB

  3. When I go to the store, I always bring my coupon binder with me and save lots, however I have never used a coupon savings tracker! This will be my next step for sure πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Good to hear you save money in the budget using coupons. I think once you start tracking your usage you will be amazed at how much you are paying yourself by using them.. mone you get to keep! Cheers Mr.CBB

  4. Great ideas as always! We did something different today….We didn’t exactly save money…its more like we shared our savings! We ended up saving/using about $55 with coupons. After putting our purchases in the car, we then went back into the store grabbing a few items off the shelf that we did not need, but others would…they were holding a food drive. We bought everything in pairs as to help out 2 families, and in the end our 2nd purchases came to about $55. They were surprised and overjoyed to receive a shopping cart full of groceries to help the food bank!

    1. Hi Sue, What a nice thing for you to do today. I wish others would be able to give like this.There are so many people in need and sometimes our coupons come in handy to get some great deals to donate. I know we’ve done it on numerous occasions. Cheers Sue, Keep up the good work. Mr.CBB

  5. Theirs some really good tips here. Unfortunately you weren’t here when I started to figure this all out on my own. Last year, 2011, I saved almost a thousand dollars with coupons. I also saved a fortune on bulk buying on the extream sales, 30 pounds chicken breasts, 20 pounds ribs, 40 pounds hamburger, when its on for $1.88 a pound. So what if the chicken has bones, the meat falls off when you cook them, πŸ™‚ . I have been trying to teach my teen some of this too. I actually think he is realising what can be saved here.

    Our house earns about $22,000.00 a year, we still eat t-bones at least once a month. It goes on for $5.00 a pound once in a while. With what I save on my other meat, I can afford it once in a while.

    1. Hi Jeff, Your post just popped in.. so it wasn’t lost. I’m glad to see you took the initiative to track your coupon usage. It sounds like you have had some big savings in your budget and are proud of it, and you should be. Kudos to you mate and keep up the good work. Mr>CBB

  6. i’m just starting out on my couponing adventures. already made the rookie mistake of leaving my coupons in the cart and kicking myself daily for it! lol this article is very helpful thank you very much πŸ™‚

    1. Oh Elaine, My heart goes out to you. The Mrs guards her coupon binder like it’s her purse and essentially it is full of money, money that will be saved in our pockets… cheers and I hope you continue to save…. and keep an eye on those coupons. Mr.CBB

  7. thanks for the tips! I have just recently started tracking coupon savings! Saved $83.09 this month

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Isn’t a good feeling to see that number. You look at the money you saved and see how much you just paid yourself for doing that couponing work… it’s true. it’s like paying yourself!! Cheers Mr.CBB

    1. Hi Amie,
      Thanks for reading the next post in the series. Tracking your coupon savings will give you a better idea of how much you saved and how much you potentially will need in your budget if the coupons stop. Thanks for your post Amie. Cheers Mr.CBB

  8. As always, a great post. Do you adjust your grocery budget now knowing that you will expect to get a projected savings by using coupons? How detailed exactly do you get in tracking coupons? You mention that you look for trends in coupon use which signals you must get pretty detailed. I perhaps should have put my name in to test out the CBB budget spreadsheet, sounds even more intriguing after reading this post, I just didn’t think I was quite prepared enough yet to use it and give helpful feedback. I’m still fairly new to the couponing thing although I visit all the sites you mentioned in this blog regularly. Just wondering how people get so many multiples of the mail-out coupons since the sites only allow one per address. I’ll keep working at it. Thanks again for the great info.

    1. Hi Joanna,
      Thanks for your comments. We only track what we used for example if we went to No Frills and spent $24.00 out of Pocket (OOP) and used $4.00 in coupons we input $4.00. We don’t get into reg price vs sale price as that is simply too time consuming. If you have the patience to mark down reg prices before a mark down,clearance price etc then you could easily do that. We don’t we just want to know coupon usage.
      If you don’t feel prepared then work on getting yourself prepared, there’s no rush. I only order one set of coupons so I don’t know about your last question. I would like to say I’m as ‘addicted’ to ordering every coupon on the planet like we used to be , but we are not. The passion has slowed the more we move towards “back to basics’. We are well supplied with helath, beauty and laundry and hardly stock food as we like to use fresh ingredients and lots of spices. We have some boxed foods we got with coupons and FPC’s that we are using up but in the summer we have uni students and purchase cookies, bars etc for lunches. So families with children may benefit from those types of coupons.

      Cheers,
      Mr.CBB

  9. great blog post Mr. CBB. I am fairly new to couponing..and I am not tracking what coupons I use. This is something that I should probably do, even tought it seems like loads of work! I would love to know just how much I am saving by using coupons, in a month, or a year!!!

    1. Thanks for your comment Wendy. Tracking coupon usage is so easy.. all you need to do is keep your receipts and input the data into a binder, spreadsheet, budget, or in our case the Canadian Budget Binder Spreadsheet. Our budget also gives a percentage savings for the entire month. You will be shocked at the end of year of the total last year ours was over 5k in coupons. Cheers Mr.CBB

  10. Great article Mr CBB! I never thought about tracking my coupon use until about a month ago. I am just trying to keep a running total of how much, nothing specific. I haven’t saved all my receipts this year, but I do have most and my total so far is $186.49. My total saved so far with my m-i-l
    ‘s discount is $160.03. Is your tracking detailed? Like how much the coupon was and what it was for? That just seems like a lot of work…

    1. Well my darling if you plan to use the CBBS you will need EVERY receipt.. Receipts are so so important to keep. IF you have to work out a system so you put them away when you get home, or where you put them in your wallet right away as soon as you get them, do that. If you have a spouse.. work with him/her so you both on the same page… it will make everything so much easier. Cheers Jen and thanks for your comment. Mr.CBB

    2. Hi Jen,
      Once you put a strict practice in order where you are committed to saving all your receipts than you can budget and then you can do so much with your finances. You need numbers, for everything… you can do this.. I’m here to cheer you on! Mr.CBB

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