For those shoppers that have multiple stores/chains or various locations of the same store in a very close proximity in their area they can choose from each week, knowing the cheapest pre-coupon price for items your family regularly purchases can be extremely helpful. This allows you to be more aware of what is or isn’t an amazing deal. In many financial planning circles, this collected information is known as a “Grocery Price Book.”
Examples from my local area:
- Aldi’s has a bag of baby spinach everyday for $1.69 – When there are no sales, this is the lowest price I have spotted. Local competitor has Dole spinach on sale for 99 cents and this store takes coupons.
- Target has Breyer’s ice cream everyday for $2.25. -When there are no sales, this is the lowest price I have spotted. Target takes coupons. I also get an addition 5% for being a Red Card user. Local competitor has weekly sale – 2/$5, making it slightly more expensive at $2/5.
Different locations of the same chain, even with miles of one another, can at times have vastly different prices depending on the distance to or from competing stores. When deals for money off a quantity sales come up through the local circular, knowing which location to shop as well as what chain can make a big difference to savings.
Technology Tools for Your Grocery Price Book
Having computer software that allows you to record prices for comparison later by using receipts or information you have written down while walking the store can help not only with the examples above, but keeping track if stores lower or raise their prices, or if a new comparable brand is available.
Many free programs, wizards, or websites to assist with the creation of your Grocery Price Book can be found on the internet, one that I personally use and find easy to interface with is:
You will need Microsoft Office Excel or OpenOffice Calc to view and edit the software.
Another option is:
If you would like to print sheets to fill out information to type in later as you comparison shop, or you would prefer to collect your information with pen and pencil, you can use the following PDF:
Alternatively, if you’d enjoy a very technical analysis of your spending, you can use a free website to record your price book that will calculate this information for you:
Using your Grocery price book should help you have a better understanding of deals available at your local stores, and how to split your grocery store spending between them.