July 31, 2012

Grocery Shopping Price Comparison Binder

For the past several years now we’ve really been trying to eat healthier – buy organic, avoid msg, avoid high fructose, avoid GMO’s, etc.  Since we’ve been doing more shopping at Dierbergs and Whole Foods I have to really work hard to save a penny.  Every time I went to a store I found myself trying to remember what prices were at other stores for particular items.  I hate to over pay!  I decided I needed to make a list of items I purchase often and the list the prices at each particular store so I can compare them and know where to shop for the best deals.  I can also use it when planning my shopping list and compare it to prices in sales flyers.   I had this small binder that I found at a garage sale that would be easier to carry since it’s only 6x8 inches.  It will be easy to add to as I think of items I’ve missed since it’s a 3-ring binder. 
grocery shopping price comparison binder cover {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}
I created a table for each category (baking, snacks, dairy, fruits & veggies, treats, breakfast, drinks).  Along the top I listed the stores I shop at (Dierbergs, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Costco, Shop N Save, Target) and along the left side I listed the items.  For example I listed butter, chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, vanilla, baking powder, coconut oil, and olive oil under baking.
grocery shopping price comparison binder {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}      grocery shopping price comparison binder contents {A Sprinkle of This . . . . A Dash of That}     
If you’re looking for resources for healthy eating be sure to check out The Environmental Working Groups Dirty Dozen List.  This is a great resource to know what organic produce you should purchase to avoid the most heavily contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals.  To avoid genetically modified food use this Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Now I just need to remember to bring it with me so I can start filling it out!

How do you save money on groceries?


  1. Saw this on Bowl Full of Lemons link up. I'm trying to make a price book, too. But it's just dizzying to me. Not only do you have to track the prices at each store....but also the prices per size. I mean, I want to know which stores have the cheapest stuff...but sometimes the price per ounce/pound/liter or whatever varies too depending on the size you buy.

    It's just maddening trying to come up with a good system. But I love your design. It's so cute and I think I'd have fun filling in a pretty template like that!

  2. @Jill of all Trades

    My book is still a work in progress. I just try to compare the main things I buy frequently. For ex: I only buy Ghiardelli Chocolate Chips (since they're non-GMO) so I compare those. For other things I do price it per doz, or lb, or oz to make it easy to read at a glance. It is time consuming but it's so nice once it's finished1

  3. We have always shopped mostly at Giant Food Store but Harris Teeter has come to our community and we love their store. It is always immaculately, they bend over backwards to provide the best Customer Service, something that is lacking in many stores today. I use the pint size of Hellman's light mayo where my husband uses the regular Hellman's mayo. I have to use light because of a health issue. I paid $4.25 the other day and the next time I was in Giant, I priced the same size and it was only $3.79..I asked a young cashier if HT would match another stores prices and he told me no but I want to go to the manager the next time and ask same question. HT has recently merged with Kroger Foods but Kroger assures them nothing will change. I'm not counting on that statement. Kroger liked the way HT runs their stores and wanted them in the Ohio market to improve their image.

    I don't have the patience and energy to drive from store to store to save a few penies or dollars. With gas being almost $4 a gal here, you spend it running from store to store trying to save those few pennies/dollars. Doesn't make sense to me. I don't like to shop anyhow. If I could go by myself, it would be easier but my DH insists on going because he knows I won't buy him a bunch of sweets like he does when he goes alone or with me. He is diabetic and doesn't take his diebetes seriously and I am beyond frustrated with him about it. He's going to do what he wants regardless of the outcome. His thinking is "What's another pill?"

    How much time do you spend comparing prices from store to store and exactly how do you do it? I can see you made up a list of items you normally use, and you've made a spreadsheet of various grocery stores in your area. Do you get your information from the store's website, Sunday newspapers, or where? Do you use coupons? We used to use coupons but that became a hassle to cut out and remember to use them. I think we're going to have to start it again. We seem to go shopping several times a week because it is so close to our house(1 Mile). We used to shop for two weeks at a time when our children were little. We are empty nesters now, both retired. We tend to eat out more than we should but that is a treat for us but it sure can pack the weight on you because the portions are so large in restaurants anymore. My husband would be embarrassed to bring part of the meal home. If it were me alone, I'd surely do it. I see a lot of Senior citizens doing it.

    1. I don't spend too much time comparing prices weekly. I just wanted a binder at home for reference that I could use when planning what I need for the week. I'm lucky that my husband works downtown and can do much of the shopping on his way home if I just give him a list. I just try to keep a master list at home so I know which store has what price and can compare that to weekly ads as some regular prices are lower than sale prices depending on the store. We also stock up when something is on sale. I have shelves in my basement that I use as an overflow pantry. I did have to make a trip to each store that I keep the list for but once that was filled out I just update it here and there as I add items. I do occasionally check for price changes and update it that way as well. Overall, it was some work initially but isn't too bad now and is a great reference to have. When buying non-GMO and Organic it helps us to save wherever we can (and these items generally don't have coupons - I rarely use them)! :)

      When we eat out we ALWAYS bring the extra home. My kids will eat it the next day or my husband will take it to work.