I saved grocery receipts for 1 month, then created a spread sheet with the prices of the items I buy frequently. I continue to add to it each time I shop. Now, when I see "a sale", I check to see if it really a good price or not.
Make a price book. It will really help you establish if those "sale" prices one store offers are really the cheapest. Sometimes, it's surprising to find that foods you thought were cheap aren't necessarily the best buys. It really opened my eyes.
If there is a limited number of items you buy regularly--milk, eggs, pork roast--it is not too difficult to establish a target price for those items.
There is a price for everything below which the market will not go. That is the price you should seek to find.
If you see your items at your target price, buy as much as you can afford for which you have appropriate storage.
Sometimes you can establish a target price by perusing grocery store advertising circulars.
Once you have your target prices, make a permanent list if that is easier than keeping prices in your mind.
Also remember to keep track of the price 'per' ounce, pound, # of, etc. Many manufacturers are making the pkgs smaller (dry cat food, coffee, canned veggies to name a few) in today's market. So if u know how much is a good price per pound, in the case of dry cat food, yoiu won't be fooled. =^.^=
I use a website that automates the grocery list and price book process. It helps me track grocery unit prices paid by item and also shows which items have increased in unit price and units purchased.
The grocery list shows the lowest unit price I paid to facilitate comparison between the current store unit price and previous unit prices paid. Very helpful at the store! I can edit the grocery list as needed and create different lists for different stores.
The site also provides me instant analysis on spending trends to provide a list of grocery items where unit prices have increased and total units purchased have increased, among other areas. That's very helpful at home for figuring out where to cut costs and why the bill is increasing.
The site is groceryhop.com.
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