One of the best ways you can save on your weekly grocery bill is to use a pricebook. A pricebook is essentially a listing of historical prices for the items you buy at the grocery store. Using this listing you can compare the current price to what you have paid in the past.
The idea is that you will know what the lowest price you paid for any particular item is. If you then shop with the mindset that you will not pay any more than the lowest price you have paid in the past, you will save.
I find this particularly useful in timing sales on meats, I know that the lowest price I have paid for Pork Loin is $1.99/lb and regularly goes on sale at that price. I don’t buy it unless it is that price and when I buy it I purchase enough to last until the next sale.
You will want to make sure you determine the price per unit and bring a calculator to the market as you will want to compare the unit price, not the overall price.
A typical price book looks like the following:
|Date||Product||Store||Price||Size||Price per unit|
|02/27/2009||Apple Juice||Wal-Mart||$2.40||48oz||.05 per oz|
|03/01/2009||Apple Juice||Kroger||$2.90||48oz||.06 per oz|
You could use an excel spreadsheet to track this information, or you could just use an old fashioned notepad. There are several resources where you can print pricebook pages, just do a google search for printable pages.
I have taken this one step further and created a shopping database for tracking all shopping costs as well as coupons. I have provided my database, while it is not feature complete it works. You can enter you prices as well as prices from local ads. You can also input your coupons and shopping list to generate a shopping list which shows the lowest price for each item, the store, and any available coupons. I have not been able to complete it maybe if I get enough interest I will do a little more work on it to make it complete.
You will have to enable macro’s to get it to work, so you are going to have to trust me. Let me know what you think or any improvements you would like to see and I will work on making the updates.
Please feel free to adapt this and use it but you may not sell it or use it for profit. Also be a chum and give me some credit.