For the ultimate in pricing transparency when shopping for groceries, use a price book. Frugal bloggers everywhere write about it like it’s the GTD of grocery shopping, and our own reader marsneedsrabbits suggested it in a thread earlier this week:
The solution to all this is a price book. It costs whatever a cheap notebook costs you, and saves a surprising amount of money and starts saving you money immediately.
If you’re detail oriented and ready to start cutting costs at the supermarket, here’s more info along with links to downloadable forms, spreadsheets (for those spreadsheet junkies), and advice.
Faye Prosser at FamilyCorner writes, “A price book is simply a list of the items you use regularly and the best prices they sell for in the stores where you are willing to shop.” That’s it. While it’s got a sort of “duh” obviousness about it, the power of such a list grows the more data you put into it, especially when you’re finally able to easily compare unit prices for groceries from different stores and at different times of the year:
After a while you’ll have an excellent price record of the things you like to buy. If you add dates to the entries you will begin to see the sale pattern for that item. You don’t need to include everything you ever use in the course of a year, just those items you buy regularly. You can price items for as many stores as you want or just the main store at which you shop.
J.D. at Get Rich Slowly has a great introduction to the concept and several good links to get you started, and below are few more useful ones we found:
Printable price book forms:
More advice on how to set one up:
“Use a Grocery Price Book to Slash Your Food Spending” [Get Rich Slowly]
“Developing a Price Book” [Family Corner]
(Photo: Simon Shek)