The point of a custom or personalized grocery price book is to have the knowledge of what the product prices and cycles are for YOUR area. It is also useful in comparing the different stores as the prices on items can vary widely even within a close proximity.
There are several ways you can track prices. There are phone apps, spreadsheets and the good old pen and paper method. I have all three at my disposal and tend to use the paper form the most often. I keep the pages in the back of my couponing binder so I have them to refer to when I’m out shopping. It helps to match coupons to unexpected sales to save even more money!
This is my basic worksheet form that I use to record prices into the grocery price book. It’s simple and user-friendly while giving you a lot of information. Please feel free to download a free copy for yourself.
I use these forms in a couple of different ways. The nice thing is that these are extremely customizable to however you choose to use them. There is no right or wrong way – whichever method makes it easier for you to save more money is the way to go.
Similar Products/Different Stores
On one page I do a running comparison of a single product at various stores. This gives me an idea of who offers the best price on a regular basis. It is also an easy way to see the sales cycles and determine when the product is at its rock-bottom price and where. This usually takes a 4-12 week comparison. We don’t buy an extremely wide variety of items so this is the method I use most often.
Same Product / Same Store
For certain products that I use a lot of and tend to buy at the same store, I may track just that item/store on its own worksheet. This is extremely helpful when I’m stockpiling particular items that we use A LOT of.
Single Receipt / One Store
Another method is to record your entire receipt on pages for that store only. It gives you the same information as the first scenario, but you do have to pick through a bit more data to get to a single product.
Recording Your Data
I just save my receipts up for the week in the back of the binder. Then I record them into the appropriate worksheets as well as entering the info into the rebate apps that we discussed earlier in the week. It’s very timesaving and easy to do it all at once before I file the receipts away.
Here are a few other basic tips that may help:
- Go ahead and record prices from your store flyers. If you aren’t planning on shopping at that store in a particular week, it can save you a trip.
- You can use old receipts to get started on your price book. It gives you a starting point to begin tracking the pricing trends and sales cycles.
- Print out extra blank worksheets and keep them handy. It’s nice when you want to start a page for a new product or store.
This may seem a bit overwhelming and tedious at first, but you’ll soon see just how much this information will benefit you and your pocketbook. I’d love to hear if you have any tips or comments. Please share!