Welcome to part 6 of my year-long series on how to reduce your grocery bill. If you missed the earlier parts you can find them here:
This month I want to focus on keeping a price log. There are many ways and styles to do this but the reason behind them is always the same. By tracking the price of items you are able to recognize when you come across a low price and can then plan to stock up. It also allows you to keep up with food prices as they change. I am a big believer in the saying that the more you know the better decisions you can make; knowledge is power. If you want to keep your food costs as low as possible then a price log will help you to know when to buy certain items and what the maximum price you should be paying for an item is.
It can be time-consuming when you first set up a price log. There is a lot of information to add initially and it takes some time to keep up with it and update. However, over time you will start to memorize the prices of common items and it will make the process much faster. Plus, sometimes it takes time in order to save money. You ultimately have to make the decision of what your priorities and abilities are at your current point in life and what is best for you and your family.
So on to the ways in which you can set up price logs. One way that I have kept a price log is by writing down the best deals each week in a notebook. I divide the entries by date and by store. This allows me to easily look back at what prices have been. I like writing things by hand as I find it helps me to remember them.
Another method is to use a spreadsheet on the computer to keep track. This allows you to use the search feature or to organize items in an alphabetical manner. You can also adjust the headings to fit your personal needs. This method also makes it easy to keep track of the unit price which is great for comparing.
You can also print out the spreadsheet template and fill it in by pen if that works better. Other methods I have seen have pictures of the items. If you are more of a visual person that may work best for you.
Regardless of which method you use keeping a price log is a guaranteed way to help you reduce your grocery bill over time.
Do you keep a price log? Which method do you use?