While I have established my credentials in other areas of frugal athleticism such as checkbook balancing, debt reduction, and both freestyle and synchronized penny pinching, I am still a relative newcomer to the sport of grocery price book making. (Which is not to be confused with bookmaking, which is of course illegal in the Frugal Olympics).
When faced with any new challenge, I prepare for the onslaught in a time-honored tradition honed by hours of practice: by losing myself on Pinterest.
(And it was on Pinterest that I was delighted to find that The Dollar Stretcher has already created a free Grocery Price Book Printable. While TDS's printable is great, I was afraid it would make the notebook I'll put it into a little too bulky, so I've decided to go with a different one I found here).
If you are like me and have never before created a price book, your needs are fairly simple:
1. A place to record prices of the items you buy the most often.
2. Shopping receipts and/or grocery circulars and/or the time to wander around your local groceries recording prices.
3. A calculator for determining unit prices OR the Excel Spreadsheet wizardry that does calculations for you.
(By the way, my lovely meal planning sheet was created by I Heart Organizing and can be found here)
Each time that I shop, I'll record the prices that I find for our favorite products, and if I stick the landing (that is, stick with it!), over time I'll start to know whether sale prices are really worth it, what the sales cycles are for my local stores, and whether bulk purchases are money-sinks in frugal clothing.
As you can see from my receipts, I generally do my shopping at Target. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. It's near LO's school. 2. I can get non-food items there.
But, for the next few months, I'm going to expand my horizons and start finding out just where I should be shopping for what. All thanks to my trusty grocery price book.
Readers, it's your turn to compete! Tell me in the comments about your price book successes--or why you've never gotten around to a price book either. One lucky Olympian who comments on any of the four frugal Olympics posts will be entered to win a signed and personalized copy of my new book, The Five Years Before You Retire.
You may enter up to four times (once per event), and I
will pick a winner randomly on
February 28 March 7. (Changed to reflect the fact that I am totally behind!)