The Ultimate PriceBook Database


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.

Photo: (ralphbijker)


1 The Weakonomist March 3, 2009 at 7:26 am

I’ve never heard of a pricebook before. My method was to simply take pictures of products with my iPhone to compare prices. I’m not disciplined enough to keep a pad and paper with me when I go grocery shopping,but as soon as I figure out how to edit spreadsheets on my phone I’ll start doing this. Thanks for the tip!

2 Sarah Eliza @ Devastate Boredom March 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

Hey cool! I tried to do this for a while and then ran out of energy for it…. I’ll have to take this as inspiration to start again. Thanks for the resource!

3 Santos March 13, 2009 at 11:48 am

I’m sending this post to my wife to see if she’s up to it since she does most of our grocery shopping 😉

4 Jessica W September 24, 2009 at 11:23 am

Thanks! This is great. I’m not super savvy with Databases, but I’ll give it a try–if it works on my smartphone that would be PERFECT.

Thanks again,

5 stephanie November 17, 2009 at 12:09 am

couldn’t figure out how to look at your data :{

6 Pokeberry Mary February 4, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Very very cool! I lost my hard-drive recently and my old pricebook. Since I got Microsoft Access recently I thought I’d try setting up a new one there, and since I’ve never used it– I just thought.. I bet some saavy frugal-ite out there in Cyber space has one all made up.. And voila! There you were. 🙂

Wonderful! Thanks a ba-jillion for sharing your work!

7 Colleen April 25, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Hey, this is awesome! I was searching for how to create a price book database, and came across yours! Thank you for doing this–totally awesome. I just wonder, how do I delete all your info so it doesn’t skew my info? Also, does it track the dates of the prices so you can generate a report of price fluctuations over time (general &/or yearly trends)? I’m not that savvy with Access, so I apologize if these things are really really obvious, or actually impossible!! Thanks again 🙂

8 Colleen April 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm

I took a few hours to poke around and enter items from a recent receipt, and figured out how to delete your items, add my own and so on. This is proving not just a useful tracking resource, but also an excellent intro to Access for me!

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