Grocery Price Book Spreadsheet

Click here to download the 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:

1. Record
2. Compare
3. Update

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.

Get your free copy of the Grocery Pricebook Spreadsheet.

Jessica May 16, 2007 at 9:33 am

I just wanted to thank you for creating this spreadsheet. It is very helpful and I like the setup. I actually have two price-books that I use. One that I made to track lowest sale prices in conjunction with coupons. Then I use this one to track everyday prices for need items that either don’t go on sale or I don’t have stockpiled. I did however have one suggestion for improvement on the spreadsheet- is it possible to add a column after the product name for Brands? That is the only thing I wished this spreadsheet had. Thanks for creating such a helpful tool!

helena August 9, 2008 at 9:14 am

I would love to be able to use your Excel SS but even after sorting on the drop down page the SS does not access the drop down data

Becky August 15, 2008 at 9:02 pm

I’ve just started using the Grocery Price Book Spreadsheet. It is awesome and thank you. However, I am having trouble with sort feature. As I understand it, I should be able allowed “to select any product so you display only the price information for that product. For instance, I don’t want to skim 287 price entries to try compare the best prices for boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Instead, I simply click the arrow next to “Product Name” and select “Chicken-Boneless Skinless Breasts” from the menu. The spreadsheet then shows only the five entries for boneless skinless chicken breasts, and I can easily see that this week’s price.” I came across this information on Moneydummy blog, however, I am unable to reduce my list down to the five entries for example.
Any suggestions?
Thank you, Becky

Sean August 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Hi Becky,

I’ve gotten several commments about this aspect of the grocery pricebook spreadsheet. I apologize for the bugs, and invite you to look forward to a new program I’ll be coming out with very soon, which will make keeping a pricebook much easier. Sorry there are so few details at this point, but I want it to be a surprise when it comes out.

april brumm August 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm

oh! i’m so happy you posted 8/24 you’re coming out with something updated. i wanted to start a yahoo group for my area only for me and my friends to help each other with our price books! please let me know when you’ve updated! thanks! is it soon?

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