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Food Shopping - Save Money with a Price Book

I came across a concept for a "price book" in a book called Early Retirement Extreme (which I highly recommend for extreme frugalists). A price book is a list you create yourself that simply lists the lowest prices of any food you see on sale. And being the frugal shopper you are, you try to only buy that food item when you see it listed at that price.

Preferably, when you see your item at your lowest listed price, you buy enough of it to last you a long, long time.

All kinds of food bargains are out there, if you are an eagle-eyed shopper. There are two for one specials, markdowns, loss leader markdowns and specials mentioned in circulars or from a business' website.

My husband had been doing this in a small way for years. He eats a lot of chocolate chip cookies, from a certain brand. He only buys the cookies when they are on sale for a certain price, and then he buys pretty much all the items on the shelf. That lasts him for months. Since he eats these regularly, and they don't go bad within that time period, he saves a lot of money.

I recently started keeping my own price book. It's a small $1 notebook that fits in my purse (picked up at the dollar store). I just write down the best prices I see on the food items I use the most. Using pencil is helpful; you can scratch out an old price whenever you find a better one. I also add where I found that lowest price, just for my own records (ie - Safeway, Trader Joes, Costco, Whole Foods, Publix). I also write down the size of the item, since that does make a difference in savings.

Examples of recent price book savings -
Some tips for shopping with price books -

Helpful Amazon Resources -
  • Early Retirement Extreme: A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence
  • The Coupon Mom's Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half: The Strategic Shopping Method Proven to Slash Food and Drugstore Costs

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