Today's reader spotlight comes to us from Michelle over at Hallo-the-House. She shares how easy it is to create your own price list. I am a big advocate of making your own price list. As I have mentioned before...price lists are very personal as we all have different needs. A must have for me may be a luxury for someone else and thus the price points will vary dramatically.
Take it away, Michelle
I believe that one of the most important ways to save money on groceries is to use a price list, and I find that using Microsoft Excel makes it easy. Over the years, I’ve made adjustments on how and what I track, but I now have it down to an easy to use system that works well for me.
The best way to start is by entering in all the items on your receipt after each shopping trip. After just a few months you will build your list to include most of the items your family regularly buys. And once you have those items entered, it takes very little time to update the list after each trip to the store.
My spreadsheet includes the following items:
Size (number of units - 29)
Regular Price ($2.19)
Regular Price per Unit (Excel formula - $0.076)
Sale Type (BOGO)
Sale Price ($1.10)
Sale Price per Unit (Excel formula - $0.038)
Manufacturer Coupon ($0.50/4)
Manufacturer Coupon Amount per Item ($0.125)
Store Coupon ($1/4)
Store Coupon Amount per Item ($0.250)
Price after Coupons (Excel formula - $0.73)
Price per Unit after Coupons (Excel formula - $0.025)
Date Purchased (2/19/15)
Quantity Purchased (4)
Notes: Last BOGO (1/15/15)
This may seem intimidating, but it really takes me just a few minutes to enter the receipt information after each trip, and where I’ve noted the Excel formula does the math for me.
Having a price list of all of the items that we buy helps me to know the best price for each item. I can easily compare unit prices to see if a different size or brand is a good bargain. I can also keep track of the frequency of BOGO sales for items that we frequently use. For example, my husband likes the Publix brand Seltzer Water. Because of my price list tracking, I know that it goes BOGO about every 8 weeks and how many I should stock up on. This means that I always pay half price for seltzer … and many other items.
The second way that I use my price list is to create a shopping list based on the current sales and what we need for each week. Using the I Heart Publix weekly coupon match-up list, I highlight the items on my price list that I want to buy. To the left of each item, I enter in the Sale, Quantity and Cost for the items I plan to purchase that week. An Excel formula at the bottom of the sheet shows me the total for the items to be purchased which helps me budget, and is especially helpful on the Gas Card deal weeks when I want to spend $100 in order to purchase two gas cards.
Once I’ve highlighted the items I want to buy, I copy and past those rows into my weekly shopping list (on a separate Excel sheet) and also list the coupons that I have for that shopping trip. I leave a space to write in the actual price on the printed list as I shop since this may vary slightly from what I planned. Since my price and shopping lists are set up in the same order as the aisles in my favorite Publix it makes it super easy to quickly do my shopping and stick to only what’s on the list. I can also easily compare my receipt against the shopping list (which I do before I leave the Publix parking lot) to make sure that everything rang up correctly.
Knowing the best price for the things you buy and having a shopping plan for each week can greatly reduce your grocery costs. Just a little effort up front to set up a list and about a half hour of planning and tracking each week can really pay off in both money and time!
I NEED YOUR STORIES!! If you have a story to share PLEASE SEND IT IN –pretty please with a cherry on top??
Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @ gmail.com.This is one of my favorite features on the site! Be sure and check out all the past Reader Spotlights HERE.