When I started out couponing, I certainly felt some of the stress and anxiety that Tammy recently wrote about here at KCL (Minimize Coupon-Related Stress and Anxiety). However, I learned that by using spreadsheets (which, in addition to couponing, has been one of my obsessions) I could minimize this stress, be far more organized prior to going to the store, save more money, and enjoy keeping track of my savings.

While you can definitely use tools such as Microsoft Excel, the best way for me to use spreadsheets has been through Google Sheets. It’s easy to access them through email and smartphone, which is handy when you need to update or access one of them and you’re not on your home computer. In addition, you can share them with whomever you’d like (spouse, kids, etc.) and they can view and edit them in real time.

These spreadsheets can include as much or as little information as you’d like. Here are some spreadsheet ideas:

Grocery list

Keep a grocery list along with columns for quantity needed and quantity at home. Or keep it simple with a spreadsheet that includes the current week’s grocery list. Tip: Google Sheets is an ideal way to share the spreadsheet with anyone who might need to add to that week’s grocery list.

Coupons

Organize coupons you are gathering by creating columns for different categories, prices, expiration dates and more. This type of spreadsheet is helpful for many reasons. Personally, I prefer sorting through a spreadsheet rather than digging through all of my coupons! Tip: Sort by expiration date to ensure coupons are used before they expire.

Savings vs. spending

While it’s definitely satisfying to keep a spreadsheet of how much you’ve saved through couponing (which I originally did), it’s also important to track spending. This is a good way to see what percentage you are saving through couponing. It’s also helpful for those weeks when you don’t save as much, because you can see how it evens out over time. Tip: Total up the amount you’ve saved and use it as a fund for a trip or a special occasion!

Inventory

If you often plan your shopping trips during lunch at work (as I do), and wonder to yourself “Do I already have this at home?” just imagine how convenient it would be to have access to a spreadsheet that contains an up-to-date inventory. While this would be a difficult spreadsheet to start (and even I have not tried this one yet), after it is created it could be a huge time and money saver. Tip: Inventory personal care items, toiletries, groceries and other items you want to keep in stock at home.

Although this tool might not be for everyone, it has been extremely useful for me! I really can’t imagine couponing without it.

This is a guest post by Christine from Piscataway, NJ
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17 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing Tip: Use Spreadsheets to Organize and Track Savings”

  1. tiffiny says:

    I have an app on my phone (Samsung galaxy/android) called Quick office. you can make spreadsheets with it. I find it easier to do this since I always have my phone with me and handy

  2. Erica Williams says:

    Do you have a google spreadsheet you would be so kind to share?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi I am all about organization at the moment as I am trying to plan a wedding, plus still live my daily life of trying to save money by couponing. Anyway you would be willing to send or share your template on inventory, savings vs spending, and coupons? I would greatly appreciate it. Also thanks for talking about Google Sheets, I never knew they had this. lol

    Terra

  4. Jeffy Walker says:

    I stared using Excel the other day and like it!!! If anyone would like an example. I will send one.

  5. Anne Klein says:

    Can you copy and paste into the spreadsheets? I normally have my coupon deals in Excel. I copy and paste the deal from the blogger I am reading along with the link for the coupon.

  6. Alaine says:

    Does anyone have a spredsheet format you could share? I’m not sure how I need to set one up.

  7. jessicagr01 says:

    I would LOVE to see a more detailed post about this. Maybe an article about exactly how to do this tracking?

  8. Shefalar says:

    Ths has bn my answr. Thks for ths tip; Hwevr i nd hlp. Cn u pls start frm the bgn of how to get a sheet and frm whr? Im tryng but i cn do it if gvn instructions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    For keeping an inventory I’d suggest looking for a smartphone app designed to allow you to scan bar codes to track your inventory. It’d be much more efficient than using a spreadsheet.

    • Amanda says:

      Would you know of any to suggest? I have an android and would love to have something like this to keep track of spending and savings.

  10. Sandbear says:

    I know that this is totally out of the question, but I don’t think there’s another way to ask this, so I was just wondering what a “Featured Bragger” is? If your wondering where i’m getting this from, well at the bottom of the screen when you scroll all the way down, you’ll see it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right above the “Featured Bragger” is “From the Brag Lounge” Click on the Blue “Brag Lounge” and it takes you to a feature where people post about great deals they get. You can pick different stores and I think pick different braggers to follow. It’s a great way to find super deals and combination of deals, rebates, coupons, and sales.

  11. Marissa says:

    I used to make my couponing shopping list on an excel document on my laptop every week until I realized that it was SO much easier keeping it in google docs. If I made an impromptu trip to the store, all of the info was right there on the app on my phone! I also use it to keep track of my stockpile so that information is always with me too. I LOVE google docs! Whatever method you are using to coupon now, I can promise you this will be better!

  12. kumahiroko says:

    Which template do you use to keep track spending and saving??

  13. Dawn Harris says:

    The app for it is called Google Drive. It’s much easier to access everything through there. I use this all the time to make my grocery lists as well as to keep track of prices and my savings. I love using it!

  14. Sussixer says:

    LOVE this idea! I already keep my coupons in a Microsoft Access database so switching over to a google sheet would be a breeze! It would be good to have access to it while out an about!