Grocery Price Book Spreadsheet
The easiest and biggest grocery savings begin with a grocery pricebook.
What’s a pricebook? In its simplest form, a pricebook is a record of the best prices you’ve paid for grocery items. With this record in hand, you can tell instantly whether you’re buying grocery items at the lowest prices, and not just what the grocery store wants you to think are the best prices.
Have you ever wondered if grocery stores inflate prices on groceries so they can later mark them down just a little and pass them off as being “ON SALE”? It’s true…they do this on a regular basis. They’re still selling these items at inflated prices, but if they tell you that they normally sell for even more, you’re more likely to buy them anyway. For example, if bananas are on sale for $0.89/pound, and you see that they’re marked down from $1.09/pound, is that a good deal? Maybe, but compared to what? The inflated price of $1.09/pound?
How can you tell what’s a good price, and what isn’t? Is the price low enough to stock up? How can you tell, unless you know the lowest the price has been in the past? That’s where the pricebook will help you.
By comparing the current sale price to your pricebook, you would be able to tell that $0.89/pound is still about 25 cents higher than the best price of $0.64/pound, and that bananas usually go on sale in the summer. You would have been ripped off, while thinking you were getting a bargain, if you didn’t have your pricebook!
I didn’t originate the idea of the pricebook – it’s been around for years, and it’s been saving people money during that entire time. If you haven’t used a pricebook before, it’s a little overwhelming.
A pricebook is not at all hard to create, and it requires even less effort as time goes on. The method for using a pricebook consists of three simple steps:
A pricebook can be as simple as a three-ring binder with lined paper, or as fancy as a spreadsheet that calculates everything for you. If you’re just starting out, I recommend the spreadsheet – it can simplify things greatly. For at least one month, you’ll Record the name, price, and size of everything you buy at the grocery store. You’ll want to continue Recording for as long as it takes to get a baseline price for everything you buy on a regular basis.
Once you’ve Recorded a price for an item, you’ll just Compare the current price of that item to your pricebook’s listed price, any time you shop for that item. If the current price is higher, pass on that item for now. If the current price is lower, it’s a good time to stock up on that item! Make sure to get plenty to tide you over until the next time it goes on sale.
The final step is to Update your grocery pricebook anytime you find items for less than the price you recorded in the pricebook. This becomes your new baseline price for future shopping.
One thing that will make this process even easier is a good spreadsheet that takes care of the calculations for you.