About a month ago (ok – it was more than a month – I am a couple of weeks late on this!) I decided to track 10 items to see if my memory was as good as I thought, and if I might benefit from keeping a Price Book. Here are the items, and what I thought the best price I remembered for each, and beside it, what the lowest price I was able to find for each over the course of 5 weeks :
Cheese (450g bar – not brand specific) – $3.99 (best price $3.88)
Lactose-free Milk – $4.99 (best price $4.27)
Chicken (boneless, skinless, antibiotic free) – $5.99/lb (best price $5.99/lb)
Organic apples (2 lb bag) – $6.99 (best price $4.99)
Organic Romaine lettuce (3 in a bag) – $4.99 (best price $4.99)
Organic yogurt (750g tub) – $4.49 (best price $3.50)
10% cream (1 litre) – $2.00 (best price $2.00)
Ground Beef (lean or extra lean) – $3.99/lb (best price $3.99)
Organic Celery (one bunch) – $3.99 (best price $3.79)
Rye Bread (one loaf) – $3.79 (best price $3.49)
After looking at the differences (there is about $4 difference), I wondered what the savings would be on items that I didnt buy most weeks, and therefore wouldn’t remember as readily. This seems to be a benefit to the price book, especially for things that you only buy once and a while.
The question is now – how to keep track? There are lots of templates out there, or you can just use a small notebook to keep track. Back when the Tightwad Gazette was written, there were no apps, or smartphones, and the Dacyczyn’s just used a paper system. To be honest, that is probably still the best way to do it.
If you have a system you use to keep track of best prices, please share in the comments section. Happy Price Booking!