I have to admit I haven’t been doing a good job on our grocery budget for the past year. I could say I have a general idea of what we spend, though I’m not sure it’s accurate. I keep a separate envelope for our monthly Costco trips, and while I’m there, I use my calculator to ensure I don’t go over the total cash in hand. But…I couldn’t give you numbers. Maybe a ball park.
I decided that being the fabulously frugalista that I am, or at least I’m trying to be, it was time to own up to not owning my grocery budget, and time to update my price book. I spent last weekend updating the price book and making it accessible for you, my favorite readers. The price book is linked in my Local Foods Price Book page and at the bottom of this post.
Why update my price book? It’s one of the most important tools in a home manager’s toolbox if they want to use their limited resources wisely. A price book is a record of the best price you paid for something. Not only can a price book help you save money at the grocery store, you can use it to figure out which recipes are frugal for your family, and whether you can reduce the cost of the recipe with substitutions.
I used to keep my price book in a one subject notebook organized alphabetically. Before that it was a small notebook, also organized alphabetically. At one point, I had my price book on my PDA until that died. I could carry the small versions in my purse, just not the big notebook. Now I have mine in a spreadsheet in Google Drive, accessible on my iPhone, laptop, and iPad.
I organize my price book based on the stores I go to which happen to be 7 in total. I’m recording the item, date for price, size of item, unit price, and notes. While I can access the list on my iPhone, I may print it out and keep it in my purse until I’m comfortable with the prices again. Having the list in my purse gives me a place to write down deals I run across, too.
Main Price Book on Google Drive
Next Step: Create a monthly shopping plan for March