Have you ever seen an unadvertised deal while out grocery shopping and been tempted to buy it but just weren’t quite sure if it really was a good price? Or maybe you bought an item on sale and later stopped by another store to get something else and notice that they have the same item for $0.50 less than what you paid? I used to find myself running into situations like that regularly and it was so frustrating! I’d try hard to remember what a good price was for the items that I typically purchase, but way too often my memory would let me down. And so I came up with this old school price list idea and it has literally simplified my life!
I’ve already shared how having a grocery stockpile is one of the main ways that we are able to have a $200 grocery budget and I’ve shown you how to get started building your own stockpile. But in order to make the stockpile concept work, you first need to know what constitutes a good price. Just because something is on sale doesn’t always mean it is worth buying or that it is a good price. Which is why you need a price list!
What is a Price List?
A price list is a place where you track the lowest regular prices of items that you frequently purchase. You can use a plain sheet of paper, a tablet or create a spreadsheet- it really doesn’t matter. The important part is that you find something that works well for you and then use it.
There are various ways you can do the actual list, but here’s what works best for me:
To keep things organized, I split my price list into different sections: Food, Kitchen Supplies, Household Items, Personal Care. Under each section is a row of columns. The first column is obviously the name of the item. After that, I list the price of the item, including the size if necessary, as well as the store where I got the price. The blank columns are for me to write in updated price information as needed.
Keep Your List Up To Date
Obviously, a price list is helpful only if it is kept up to date. To do this, I simply keep my grocery price list with me in my bag along with my wallet and coupon carrier. When I’m out shopping at my usual stores, I occasionally double check prices to see if they have changed. It doesn’t take long and I typically don’t go out of my way to do so- I just grab my price list and a pen and slowly scan prices as I walk by. If a price changes, I simply update my price list with the new info.
Since I do a lot of shopping at Aldi and they often have the lowest regular price on things, this definitely simplifies the whole process of updating my list! But even if you don’t have an Aldi and just make it a point to update your list once a month, you should be fine.
How a Price List Saves Money
I know when to stock up because I know what price is okay, what price is good and what price is awesome thanks to my price list!
I know when a sale price is truly a price worth paying because I can look to see what I would regularly pay for that item.
When I need to buy something at full price, I know where to get it for the best price!
When I do online grocery shopping at places like Amazon or Vitacost, I can determine when an item is actually worth purchasing online.
Do you use a Price List? How do you make it work for you?
MISSED THE OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES? HERE THEY ARE!
* Our $200 Grocery Budget: Why We Do It
* Our $200 Grocery Budget: The Importance of Stockpiling
* Our $200 Grocery Budget: How to Start Building a Grocery Stockpile
* Our $200 Grocery Budget: How I Plan My Deal Shopping Trips