Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Price Book

One of the first things you can do to start helping to reduce your expences is to look at your grocery budget.  It is the one area that most people can find the most “wiggle” room.

The USDA gives what it considers guidelines for monthly grocery expenses at varying levels of frugality (or the lack thereof).  The most recent month listed is for December 2010.

Now that there is only four of us at home, I will show you what the dot.gov lists are food costs for a family of my size.

Family size:  1 adult male 51-70 years, 1 adult female 19-50 years, 2 children in the 9-11 age group.

Thrifty Plan:  $591.10
Low-cost:       $771.60
Moderate:      $972.50
Liberal:        $1,174.40

All I can say is “WOW!”  Even at my most unfrugal, I have never spent the thrifty plan.  Now, before anyone starts saying that prices vary where you live, I live within an hour of Washington, D.C……so my costs are not exactly cheap!

This is where a price book comes into play!

It can be simple, it can be fancy.  Just make sure you use it!

Mine  is a simple 4 X 6 notebook, with pages that can be removed and added. The prices listed in mine are now mostly Aldi (a small grocery store) prices. If I can beat their price, I know it is a good deal. I do have some other stores listed, but not as much as there used to be in there.

This has helped me to find some really AWESOME deals.  Now, I can tell if a "manager's special" is really special.  It also helps to know if a "loss leader" is worth a special trip to a store.

It takes some time to set up a price book, but the savings in the future is really worth the investment of your time now.

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