Grocery price comparison and general grocery pricing can be difficult to understand, but knowing those prices can save you thousands each either. This grocery price book and supermarket price spreadsheet will make it simple for busy families.
Grocery Price Comparisons with a Grocery Price Book
What is a grocery price book?
It sounds complicated, but it’s not. For me, it was just writing down the items in the grocery flyers that we used frequently.
It really is just that simple.
Yes, you may have outliers, but for the most part, there are probably 40 (or so) items that your family uses REALLY frequently.
I would start small, and then expand your list as you get better at it.
It’s just keeping track of pricing on those items so you can REALLY know what’s a good deal (vs not a good deal).
Where are the Cheapest Groceries?
That’s the big question right — which grocery store saves you most? The reality is that some companies run BIG sales, but regular pricing is higher.
Some grocery stores have better every-day pricing but then run fewer sales. As you compare sales you’ll start to see it more and more. Trends will become more clear. It’s awesome!
How to make a grocery store price comparison chart:
Making a grocery price list can be done a few ways.
Grocery Store Price Comparison Chart
For me (back, before smartphones), I just did it in a tiny notebook. I’d write the name of the store, and then the items we buy frequently, and the price (and often the # of ounces).
The benefit to this one is that it’s VERY “there” — easy to look at flip through to see what prices were when.
The con is it’s not always available. If I left that at home on my way home from work I couldn’t just look at my phone.
Grocery Price Comparison Spreadsheet
Welcoming in the new age of smart phones makes this a lot easier.
In fact, I created one for you, and you can download it to see how it works.
But again, you’re mostly just writing down the items you use most frequently and then noting when they are on sale.
What do I do now?
Ok, once you have the prices, study that book in your spare time.
- Memorize what a good price is on those items — or maybe make an extra column for when you find a “new low” on it
- You won’t ALWAYS find that super low price, but start to gauge a target price at which you’ll buy, and a target price at which you’ll stock up
- Notice the cycles. Stuff seems to go on sale every 6 to 8 weeks. Somehow that always helps me when we’re running low and I’m not seeing a favorite item on sale.
A word of caution:
Be thoughtful of what you have on hand (which is why I have a pantry inventory excel file) that will help you neither run-out or buy too many of an item.
Compare Grocery Store Prices in your Area / Zip Code
The easiest way to create a grocery price book
Some of you might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now — and are asking….
Is there an easier way?
Yes, there is.
When we moved to Arizona I KNEW that the prices were WAY different than they were in California.
I also had just moved (and needed a lot of food for my family of 5), I was starting a new job, my husband was also starting a new job & graduate school.
I just was overwhelmed — so I used Deals to Meals. I paid for it. I loved it. I didn’t use it for a super long time, as I was already in a zone where I could memorize prices pretty easily (one of my gifts).
It showed me a few things:
- What were good prices on things (they use a star rating for how good the deal is)
- I could easily create a grocery list and print it out for easy shopping
- I could start to get a feel for the new grocery stores in the area (because it’s also important to know which ones just have good everyday pricing).
I am a BIG fan of Deals to Meals — and I have used it on and off since it started. If you’re overwhelmed at making your own price book I would certainly consider taking a peek at it.
Grocery Price Comparison FAQ’s
I would ask around — but honestly, I think nothing substitutes to being able to glance at a flyer and know what’s a good price, and what isn’t. Yes, I often use something like Deals to Meals to get comfortable with good prices in our area when we move.
But, once I get good — I go it alone. It just saves time.
Honestly, I do think staples have GREAT every-day pricing at Walmart. BUT, other grocery stores ales will beat Walmart. SO, if something’s on sale buy it at the grocery store, but if you need a staple or something you rarely find on sale, Walmart is a good option — I think!
I think that 100% varies depending on where you live. And, honestly, what you’re looking for.
Either way, creating a price book is one of the smartest and most cost-efficient things I ever did. Knowing good pricing on items you buy over and over, week after week is just HUGE financial sense.
Don’t forget to grab the spreadsheet
Check out one of my favorite ways to save at the grocery store, and then check out my other family finance posts below that: