Use a grocery price book for grocery shopping comparison. This self-created book will make meal planning on a budget a snap! Snag your free grocery comparison shopping price book template here, and learn how to save even more money to help you stay a stay at home mom.
So what is a price book? A grocery price book is your own personal list of items you purchase on a regular basis.
You record the price of your items each time you go shopping, at each store you shop in, so that you can see, over time, what the best sales price of a specific item is.
This allows you to do grocery comparison shopping.
For example, let’s say that you go through 3 lbs of ground beef a week. You might be in the habit of buying that ground beef at whatever price you find it, as you need it, doing no grocery shopping comparison.
But let’s see what happens if you were to keep a simple grocery price book on just this one item you use consistently, ground beef.
You start to record the price you pay for ground beef from each store you shop in. You might regularly shop at three different grocery stores. Let’s see how it would work out:
|Ground Beef||Store #1||Store #2||Store #3|
|Week 1||$3.69 lb||$2.99 lb||$2.89 lb|
|Week 2||$3.49 lb||$2.29 lb||$3.29 lb|
|Week 3||$1.99 lb||$2.99 lb||$3.29 lb|
|Week 4||$3.49 lb||$2.99 lb||$3.29 lb|
You can see in this example, the price of ground beef ranges from $1.99 per pound to $3.69 per pound over the course of four weeks. (Ideally, you’d want to keep grocery comparison shopping notes for at least eight weeks to determine a trend.)
By using this grocery shopping comparison, you can determine that ground beef is at its lowest price, in your area, when it is $1.99 a pound. And you can say that it goes on sale for that price approximately once per month.
So, you would want to stock up on four weeks worth of ground beef every time it goes on sale for $1.99. How much money does this really save?
If averaged, the above ground beef prices come out to be approximately $3.06 lb. So a $1.07 savings per pound, times 3 lbs per week, times 52 weeks per year, gives you an annual savings of $166.92. And that’s just ONE item!
To put this into perspective, let’s say it took you three hours total to get your price book set up and write out the prices for ground beef.
You just earned $55.64 per hour!
That’s how you stay a stay at home mom! Think about all the products you buy on a regular basis. Start a grocery price book and track the prices for each of these items. Using a price book will make meal planning on a budget much easier.
Create Your Own Price Book
Here’s what you’ll need to get started: A three ring notebook and several copies of this template:
FREE Grocery Price Book Template
You’ll use one template page per item that you want to track. Each template includes a spot for you to record the date, the store name, the brand of the item, the size of the package, the price, and the unit price.
Start with just 2-3 items you regularly use, and record the weekly prices of these items. You can use previous receipts, sales fliers, or you can go to the store and write the price from the product while it is in front of you. Once you have gotten into the habit of recording grocery shopping comparison prices, add a few more items to your price book.
This might seem like too much work, but it will pay off. Don’t try and go to all of your regular stores in the same week. Just write the prices down as you naturally go to the stores. Using this method, you will gain control over your food budget, and meal planning on a budget will become second nature to you.
Money Saving Resources
Use the following resources to help you on your path towards frugal food.
1. More pages on Stay-a-Stay-at-Home-Mom.com:
Cheap Grocery Resources
Freezer Cooking Tips
Menus for Kids
Start a Food Exchange
Raise Meat Rabbits
Raise Chickens in Your Backyard
Order Groceries Online
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips
Start a Grocery Price Book