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Start Your Own Grocery Price Book

If you’ve been studying grocery sales, you will start to notice that not all sales are really a good deal.

And sometimes buying an item in a bulk pack is not necessarily cheaper.

It gets confusing at first since every store has a different sale and you don’t know which one has the best deal.

Sometimes it gets overwhelming when I’m looking through sales flyers.

The key is to be know what the lowest price is. Our grocery bill is the next largest bill after rent. So it was definitely worth my time to figure out how to do this. And I want to stay a stay at home mom.

As I read a lot of  frugal living and stay at home mom blogs, I’m learning about the grocery price book. A grocery price book is a record of your past purchases on items you buy the most so you can determine which store had the lowest price on a particular item.

grocery price book

What’s in a grocery price book:

  • Store name
  • Item/brand
  • Unit price

You can even go a step further and have one page per category like for baby items, frozen foods, paper goods, etc. Do what works best for you.

There are 3 ways to track your grocery purchases:

  1. Past receipts
  2. Sales inserts
  3. In the store

Yesterday, as I was waiting for my tires to be changed at Costco, I had 2 hours to kill. I decided that it was the perfect time to go through the whole store and record all of the items I usually buy. Since my daughter wasn’t with me, it made it easier.

I walked down every aisle and recorded the item, size, and price into my phone. Anyone can do this but you just have to invest a little time. You can get a lot done in 10 minutes of tracking.


1. Track the prices of 5 – 10 items you buy most often.
This is so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up. You probably know some of the prices in your head but write it down.

2. Use a calculator to figure out the unit price (price divided by unit).
Example: $24.99 divided by 20 lbs = $1.25/lb.

3. Highlight which store has the lowest price.

Milk $2.49/gallon  $3.79/gallon
Basmati Rice  $1.25/lb  $1.15/lb
Organic Eggs (large)  $3.65/dozen  $4.99/dozen  $4.79/dozen
Gluten-Free Pasta $1.99/lb. $2.99/8oz.
Toilet Paper
(2 ply)
 Angel Soft
Organic Chicken Drumsticks $1.49/lb $1.99/lb

You can create your own grocery price book with a simple notebook, binder, or Excel spreadsheet. Anyone can do it.

From utilizing a grocery price book, I found that it’s more cost effective to make my own almond butter in a food processor. I noticed that the prices of almond butter has been rising, even at Trader Joe’s.

It used to be $5.99/lb, the same cost as the roasted almonds. But now it has jumped to $7.99/lb. for a jar of almond butter.

I can buy roasted almonds and grind them myself for $5.99/lb and save $4 a month.

Do you use a grocery price book? How do you find the best deals?

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Photo Credit: Polycart


15 Comments on Start Your Own Grocery Price Book

  1. Brooke
    October 30, 2011 at 10:41 am (4 years ago)

    This whole “creating a grocery price book” is kind of an overwhelming concept for me. I’m a college student on an incredibly tight budget, and I want to start good financial habits now. Could you give me any more detailed tips on how to start and maintain a price book?

    Thank you so much!


    • Fanny
      October 31, 2011 at 11:57 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Brooke,

      It’s just a record of your purchases so that you can use it as a comparison guide for the lowest price you can get for a particular item. You can use a notebook or an Excel sheet. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. But do whatever makes sense to you.

      Start small and focus on things you have to buy every week or every month. Then as you get the hang of it, add more items.

  2. Kimberly
    August 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Hello, I just want to make sure you know that now Walmart and Target price match. So maybe that can help your followers. It helped me by school supplies for my 4 school age kids and purchase a computer and printer. I saved enough for the big buy. So thanks keep up the helpful info.

  3. Alex Greve
    February 5, 2015 at 9:31 am (12 months ago)

    Hi Fanny, great ideas! Was wondering when making a price book, how often should one update the unit price as store prices change over time? Thanks!!

    Alex Greve

    • Fanny
      February 5, 2015 at 7:50 pm (12 months ago)

      Hi Alex,

      That’s a great question. Once a quarter is a good time or whenever you notice a price change.

  4. Olivia Johanson
    August 25, 2015 at 5:37 am (5 months ago)

    This is wow Fanny, talk about precise accounting. Will try this out just so I have an idea and maybe someday I’ll know subconsciously how to get the best deals! Thanks!!!

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