Thursday, January 10, 2013

Price Book Week One....Complete!

Ok, so I didn't get to the store yesterday, but I did get there this morning and finished my Week One prices....
That's just the first page(I've got 2 pages of items), and you can't read my chicken scratching so here is the list.  Oh, and I decided to always put Carone's prices first and Weis prices second each week, so I don't need to mark each price with a "C" or a "W" to tell which store it was from.

Ground Beef...2.28/3.69
Chuck Roast....3.99/3.99
Hot Dogs....4.99/5.99
Chicken Breast....2.99/3.09
Chicken Whole.... .78/1.69
Carrots.... .90/1.00
Onion..... .49/.75
Salad Greens....2.50/1.95
Pasta..... .88/1.00
Spaghetti Sauce.... .88/1.00
Coffee....5.65 lb/5.12 lb
Soup Tomato...1.05/.75
Soup Cream....1.00/.75
Brown Sugar...1.89/1.69
Honey.....4.00 lb/3.45 lb
Deli Ham...5.99/7.99
Deli Provolone...7.99/8.99
Frozen Pizza...4.49/4.99
Ice Cream...3.00/3.00
Frozen Broccoli...1.88/1.50

When I write prices down, I always write them as price per same unit of measure.  If I price the honey per lb. at one store, I break down the cost per lb. at the other store., If I price out the potatoes as price per 5lbs. at one store and all the bags at the other store are 10 lb. bags, I figure the cost of half that size bag so I am measuring like with like.

I know there are cheaper hot dogs at both stores, but I have to be honest and stick with tracking the higher priced dogs, since I don't buy the cheaper ones no matter the price.  Our budget allows me some luxuries and we don't like the taste of many of the brands(which happen to be cheaper),so we spend on the good dogs.  If we had more financial challenges, I'd price out and buy those less expensive dogs in a heartbeat.  But we have some flexibility with what we spend on so we prioritize.

On the other hand, there are private label or house brand items that I think are comparable quality with the name brands.....brown sugar for instance.  Everyday price the store brand is cheaper so I buy it and I detect no discernible difference.  About the only time the name brand is as cheap or cheaper is if it's on special AND there is a coupon for it.

The first rule in deal hunting and couponing is NO Brand Loyalty!  If you always want the best deal you have to be open to buying whichever brands are the lowest price when the sale(or sale and coupon combined)are involved.  But you have to do what works for you and your situation.  Kids and spouses can be picky so you need to remember to price book items that your tribe will eat.

Just looking at my Week One prices and knowing how prices run here, I'd say that this would be the week to buy ground beef, whole roasters, bacon, onions, pasta and spaghetti sauce at Store #1.  At Store #2 the soups and frozen broccoli are a good deal this week and if I needed Salad Greens this week, I'd get them at Store #2 if I couldn't wait until Sunday to buy those.

 Now tuck your information away until next week's shopping trip.  Be sure to use a different color ink for next week's prices.  I'll be going with blue next week.



  1. I noticed that on the hot dogs; some items you probably buy an specific kind/brand even when there are other alternatives. I'm not extremely discriminating on hot dogs (probably a bad thing!), so I go with whatever's cheapest. And wow, there's some big differences there! $8 vs $10 for salmon, $0.78 vs $1.69/lb for whole chickens... good stuff for sure. You'll be disappointed in me; I only took down prices for very few items and didn't go back for the rest. My book's not off to a good start.

    1. 1 store had sales on the roasters and salmon, the other didn't.
      You can always get more prices on items next week. Craft the book that works for you and your needs.

  2. I only write the lowest deal and what store I found it at and date. I just started mine though - never thought to do it the way you do

    1. Hey Cheapchick!
      Once we get into "maintenance mode" that's all you need to do basically. The 1st 6 weeks though, we are mining data to analyze....that's why I write EVERYTHING down during this time.

  3. I don't buy very cheap hot dogs either. We rarely buy them in the first place but when do, I'm just trying to stick to the certain brands. When hot dogs cost less than a $1, it makes me wonder what they are made of.

    1. Everyone has a different level of what foods are acceptable to them. While I buy only premium grade hot dogs, I also buy store brand potato chips. lol

  4. I must admit brand loyalty to Domino Sugar. However, I only buy sugar during holiday sales throughout the year, making it cheaper than store brands. With sugar I am careful to buy cane sugar since anything not marked is beet sugar.

    Not only does beet sugar taste differently, it is made from Roundup Ready beets. There is nothing like a little Roundup in your coffee in the morning.

    Some store brands are actually better than higher priced, branded items. When I was a child, we shopped at Kroger and mostly bought the store brand. The only reason we bought other brands was preference to the product quality and/or taste.

    If stores marked cans and boxes with a sticker, we would not need a price book. I remember in the 70s bringing home groceries. As i pulled forward a can to place the new one behind it, I could see the price of the older can. It was easy to keep all this running in my head without a price book. Yes, I was much But, the repetition of prices in your face as you opened cans, boxes, bags of food was so useful for keeping prices straight. I miss price stickers on food.

    1. That's a good point about the granulated sugar--to check your labels and make sure it's cane and not beet if clearly you don't want one or the other.

  5. If you were only able to shop every two weeks, would you still price check weekly?

    1. To get a full picture of the sales cycles it's best to check prices weekly. Especially the 1t 6 weeks when we are charting the data. Once we analyze the weekly data to discover how each items price cycles(which week it is highest, lowest, etc.)then you can still arrange your shopping to occur every other week, if that is how you shop.
      Shopping every other week, you may miss out on some of the lowest prices if they occur on the weeks you don't shop, but you can still save money by stocking up on the week it is next lowest if it coincides with the week you shop.
      I hope that made sense. ;-)


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