Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making a Price Notebook

article 3 in Stretching Your Dollar series

Several years ago, we relocated from Anderson {IN} to Indianapolis.
Among the many changes that came along with moving to a bigger city was
having to choose a new place to buy groceries.
With the cost of living a bit higher than the area we were moving from, I knew doing
my homework would be in order.

I decided to take a spiral notebook & begin charting the regular, non-sale prices
of items that I regularly purchased.
I did this at several of the area grocery stores to see who offered the best overall prices.

I divided my notebook by stores, & made columns for the product/brand name,
size, & regular price.
One store at a time, I begin filling in my notebook with the pricing info.
{If there were sales, I'd notate that too, but I mostly gained the 'sale' information by watching all of the grocery ads}.

My price notebook helped me to determine where I'd eventually do the bulk
of my grocery shopping.
I no longer keep a current price notebook, partially because I, for some unexplainable reason, keep this information in my head.
I may not be able to call my sons by their correct names, but I can sure tell ya where you'll find the best price on toilet paper ;)

In addition to making a price notebook, here's another bit of useful info:

Know the best sale price on items you use.
Let that be your guide for when or when not to buy.
{Knowing a good price can save a lot of money compared to buying something because you are guessing it is a good price.}

Say you need a bag of shredded cheese & it's not at it's lowest sale price.
Go ahead & pick up 1 bag, but do some stocking up the next time it's at the
rock bottom price.
Once you have charted the regular & sale prices, you will begin to take notice of the sale cycle, which are usually on a 6-10 week rotation.

The idea is to buy when things are on sale, using coupons when available, to bring the price down even further.
If you stock your pantry & freezer well, it can last you until the next sale.


  1. This is a great idea! I'm going to start doing this.
    The hubby was grilling the other day, so I took him the BBQ sauce. One bottle was almost empty, so I took the full one, too. Both bottles were the same brand, flavor & size and the one from our regular grocery store was over $1 more than from Wal-mart!
    Crazy !!!!

  2. Lisa,
    Thanks for your comment!
    It helps in getting to know the prices from store to store, huh?! Every penny counts =)