Even before Bee was born, I hated grocery shopping.
Making a list, going to the store after working 10+ hours a day, and spending so much money.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that the price of groceries is outrageous!
It wasn’t as big of a deal to me back then as it is now. Hubby & I both worked and spending more money than we had to on groceries wasn’t really the end of the world. Even though it was something that didn’t hurt us, I still didn’t enjoy it. With the swipe of my debit card, I was giving up more of our hard earned money than I had to on a weekly basis.
And I hated it.
I tried couponing, but it’s so time consuming that it’s something I wasn’t able to stick with. I tried shopping sales, but I didn’t like keeping up with all the circulars and I really, REALLY hated having to stop at 6 different stores after work on Friday.
I kept thinking there has to be a better way.
Well, guess what? There is!
One Saturday I sat down at the computer with a Wal-Mart receipt from the day before. I went to work creating a very basic, very plain spreadsheet using Excel. I listed all of the groceries on my receipt and put the price I spent in the cells next to the items.
I decided that next Friday I would go grocery shopping at Fred Meyers and compare the prices.
A week later, I did do my shopping at Freddies. And I did plug those numbers into my spreadsheet.
As the weeks passed, I continued shopping at different stores. Target, Albertsons, K-Mart, and even a store that’s only local to our area.
One thing this helped me figure out: unless there’s a really good sale somewhere, non-food is generally cheapest at Wal-Mart and food is normally less expensive at Winco (with the exception of a few less common items). I’m not saying this is the case everywhere, but it is in my town.
Another thing I learned: prices on all grocery items fluctuate rather often, but it most commonly occurs on items with a shorter shelf life. Think milk, eggs, and meat.
Over the next couple years I had compiled an amazing list that was filled with things I bought every week, items I purchased every few months, and even stuff I buy just once a year.
When I’d tell people about my spreadsheet, I always received one of two different responses. People either thought I was a crazy lady (haters gonna hate!) or they were seriously impressed (and probably a little jealous!).
I was super proud of my list and was especially happy to have it once Bee was born. I’d make my weekly shopping list, find the items on my spreadsheet, and plan a shopping trip according to where I could save the most money.
No, I didn’t go to 6 different stores to get the very best deals (remember that I hate doing that?). I would pick the 2 stores where I could get some of the best deals and did my shopping at only those two stores.
Some weeks I would, and still do, use coupons, too. But only if I have the coupons on hand or somehow find time to search the internet for coupons prior to the trip. And I always use Ibotta every chance I get.
I love this technique so much and just recently I realized that there are probably a lot of other penny pinching moms out there who would love it just as much as me!
That’s why I decided it was time to share this awesomeness with everyone I possibly could! But I couldn’t do it without sprucing my spreadsheet up and making it super cute first!
So that’s what I did. I spent about 10 hours throwing this printable together just for you, my lovely reader.
The printable comes complete with instructions and even an example page so you know exactly what you’re doing!
Yes, it took me forever to put together, but I wanted to make sure this would work for you. That you would benefit from it. That you would use it, love it, and save money just like I do. That meant I needed to make it as user friendly as I possibly could. So I did!
Along with the instructions & the example page, there are 12 different spreadsheets. Each has it’s own category, making it that much easier to plan your trip. If all you need are cleaning supplies and some frozen food, you simply find those pages. No searching through one giant page looking for Ajax & frozen pizza!
And don’t worry, I know you’re excited about this and I know you are soooo thankful that I threw this together for you! It’s okay, you don’t have to thank me. Simply reading this post and downloading my spreadsheet is thanks enough!
Good luck in your money saving adventures, ladies!