Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 3 Price Book Numbers & Noticing Some Trends

Here are my Price Book numbers with the Week 3 data included.

Ground Beef...2.28/3.69  3.79/3.99   2.79/2.99
Chuck Roast....3.99/3.99  2.99/3.99     3.79/3.79
Hot Dogs....4.99/5.99  4.99/5.99    4.99/3.00
Pork....3.99/3.00  3.99/2.99   3.49/2.99
Bacon....2.98/3.50  3.99/3.50   3.99/3.00
Chicken Breast....2.99/3.09  2.99/3.49    2.99/3.99
Chicken Whole.... .78/1.69  1.39/1.89    1.59/1.49
Salmon....10.00/7.99  0.00/7.99   9.99/7.99
Cheese....1.77/2.99  2.00/2.00    1.75/2.00
Butter.....3.00/3.50  3.49/3.98    2.50/2.50
Eggs....1.93/1.50  1.79/1.89     1.83/1.53
Carrots.... .90/1.00  .75/1.29    .90/1.69
Potatoes....1.48/2.50  2.99/2.99  1.50/2.00
Celery.....1.69/2.59  1.99/1.89    2.99/1.50
Onion..... .49/.75  1.69/1.00  .59/1.69
Salad Greens....2.50/1.95  2.50/1.85   2.50/1.85
Pasta..... .88/1.00  1.00/1.00   1.00/1.00
Spaghetti Sauce.... .88/1.00  1.33/1.25    1.50/2.00
Coffee....5.65 lb/5.12 lb  5.65 lb/4.16 lb   (4.00)5.65/4.85*
Soup Tomato...1.05/.75  1.05/1.00   .50/.69
Soup Cream....1.00/.75  1.29/1.39    .99/.75
Flour.....2.19/2.19  2.19/2.19   2.00/2.19
Sugar.....2.69/2.69   2.69/2.69   2.50/2.69
Brown Sugar...1.89/1.69  1.89/1.69    1.89/1.69
Honey.....4.00 lb/3.45 lb  4.00 lb/3.45 lb    4.00 lb/3.32 lb
Deli Ham...5.99/7.99  4.99/5.99   4.99/7.99
Deli Provolone...7.99/8.99  4.99/8.99   5.99/8.99
Frozen Pizza...4.49/4.99  5.00/3.33   5.00/3.33
Ice Cream...3.00/3.00  2.50/3.00   3.50/3.00
Frozen Broccoli...1.88/1.50  2.19/2.00    2.09/1.25
Soda....4.99/4.00  4.00/4.00   3.66/3.25
Chips....3.00/3.00  3.00/2.50   2.15/2.15

*I have to make a special note on the coffee prices at Store #1 this week.  The best price was still $5.65, however, they had some bags of coffee in the clearance bin @ $3 for a 12oz. bag, which came out to $4 lb.(and I bought some).  As this was a clearance special/a small quantity and not a regular sale item available at all their stores, I still used the $5.65 lb. price for my data.  Using this unique special price/opportunity only would skew the cycle prices for this item in this store's week and not have given me the real picture on the pricing trend.

Having half our data in the book now, let's take a look at our numbers.

Looking at the items you put in your book, can you see that some of them are quite volatile in terms of prices and how much they vary from week to week?  

Take the Deli Dept. cheese on my list--in 3 weeks time it's been a low of $4.99 to a high of 8.99.  That's a $4 difference for the same item!
If you are buying items when they are higher/highest in the sales cycle, you are spending money you really shouldn't have to if you just pay attention and time your purchases right.

Can you also see that some of the items' prices seem not to change(go on sale)at all or only infrequently?
My baking supplies--flour, sugars, honey prices haven't varied at all.  The flour and reg. sugar at Store #1 went on sale for .19¢ less last week and the honey at Store #2 had a .13¢ price reduction the same week.  I'll hazard a guess that these items maintain their regular prices for the next 3 weeks.

You may also notice that some of the same items at your 2 different stores go on sale during the same week.  Stores tend to keep an eye on what the other one is up to and will put the same types of foods on sale as their competition.

Another trend is the same name brands will go on sale simultaneously at both of your different stores.  This is due to special pricing and deals the manufacturers run to their clients, the grocery stores.  This trend will be very noticeable starting this week, Week #4 of our price cycle.  Party, Snacking and Finger Foods are being pushed in the Week leading up to Super Bowl.  You will notice the same items featured in the different grocery store chains at identical(or almost identical)special pricing.

Another trend you can start to notice with this many weeks charted is how one of your stores will usually be lower on the regular prices on items than the other store.  Neither of my stores have put the brown sugar on sale in the last 3 weeks, and Store #2 always has a lower regular price than Store #1.  If this trend holds true for the next 3 weeks, I can then make a note that if I need brown sugar and no stores have it on sale, I should always buy it at Store #2, because this automatically saves me .20¢ per bag.

 Now let's make a hypothetical shopping list up.....

2 x 5lb. chickens
3 x 2lb. ground beef
1 x 1lb. salmon
1 x dzn eggs
2 x bags of cheese
1 x 1lb. butter
1 x celery
1 x 2lb. onions
2 x salad greens
1 x 1lb coffee
2 x frozen broccoli
1 x potato chips

If we had bought these items at the store in the week when the prices were highest, we would have paid $77.10 for all.
If we had bought these items at the store in the week when the prices were lowest, we would have paid $41.96 for all.
That's a difference of $35.14 for one shopping list of items!

If we were to extrapolate this out and say we purchased this shopping list of items every 2 weeks for a year, if we always bought at the highest priced week for each item, we would overspend in a year to the tune of......$913.64.

This should make it crystal clear to anyone how the timing of your food purchases can either save you or cost you money.

Onward to Week #4.......



  1. Very good post and info, especially for those who have never thought about prices before.

    1. Yes, nothing new really for us frugalites.....

  2. I always buy Kraft Cheese, not deli, and try to only buy it when it is bogo. Store #1 regularly carries it for $2.78 for the 8 oz package. Store #2 carries it for $3.58. Yet, when store #2 puts it on bogo, they raise the price to $3.99. That makes the sale price $2.

    Of course, I buy lots of bogo from #2. Needless to say, if I must buy between sales, I switch to #1. If I have a coupon or coupons, I buy much more of the bogo from #2.

    Every week I entertain exbf with my deals I get. Then, I extrapolate the savings or costs for a year. Thankfully, he appreciates these sessions and keeps me in inserts. He brought me inserts from 10 papers one time. That pleased me more than a box of chocolates.

    1. I've noticed a few times where they've raised the price during BOGO sales too. While it's a bit shady of them, the savings are still there.

  3. What a huge difference! In my area, I wait until items are BOGO (usually every 6 - 8wks) and buy enough to last for 2 months. It's even better if I stack a manufacturer coupons that doubles and a store coupon but that is happening a lot less. I have found that ALDI has the best prices for baking supplies, spices and fresh fruits and vegetables.

    1. If you have Aldi's or Sav-A-Lot(Acme's discount venue) or one of the Grocery Outlets nearby, those are all good places to find savings everyday. If you don't have time or transportation to hunt the deals out, this is a great alternative. I'd probably use those more if they were closer. With me it's more about balancing time/distance/cost with the grocery resources I have that are closest.

  4. I love it! Most of the time I price-match everything at Walmart (just because it's 2 minutes from our house) but it amazes me how many people spend hundreds of dollars on things that they can buy WAY cheaper if they just knew their prices.

    1. Lena, I see it as a choice between paying attention and not letting extra cash leave your pocket, or going for the convenience of buying what you want, when you want no matter the price or instant gratification with food buying. We don't spend a lot but we still eat quite healthily. It can be done on a lower budget but one has to be making that a priority in their life.

  5. Wow! I really need to pay attention and be more proactive rather reactive...

  6. Excellent post, as always, Sluggy. It amazes me to see and hear of people that shop without paying attention to prices.


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