Thursday, February 18, 2010

Money Minute - Price List Challenge

Many people ask how I save money on groceries.  I'll be honest.  It has taken a lot of time to get where I am. I figure that even saving a dollar is great - it's one more dollar in my bank account! 

The biggest part of saving money has been knowing what a good price is for the items I buy most often and which stores have those prices.

I'll be honest once again.  I haven't actually physically taken a notebook with me although I know it would help.  I have a hard enough time keeping my toddler from eating my coupons and chewing on the shopping cart - a notebook would be just one more temptation.

Try this out and see if it helps.  Get a small notebook that you can easily take with you.  Make a list of 5-10 items that you buy on a regular basis.  Make note of the size since different stores often carry different sizes.  For the next 5 shopping trips, jot down the price of that item and what store you were shopping.  You should start to see a pattern of what stores carry those items at the best prices. 

If you really want to expand on this idea, make a slightly longer list.  Shop at least weekly at several stores.  Write in the per-unit cost with the date of each trip.  Do this for several months.  You will start to see a pattern of how many weeks in a sale cycle for these items so you can better plan how much stockpile you will need to last to the next sale cycle.

What have I found?  Here are just a few:  (please note - prices vary by region)

bananas - cheapest at Aldi's at $.39/lb
milk - cheapest at Aldi's at $1.79/gallon
Splenda (granulated) - cheapest at Walmart  at less than $6 (and I have a lot of $1 coupons)
Yoplait Parfait Delights - cheapest at Kroger after coupons

What have you found? 


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