For a few months now I've been keeping a spreadsheet of our expenditures - grocery and household mostly. This all started because I was tired of wondering how much we were spending, on what, where was the better deal and so on and so on. Here's what I've developed thus far although I feel some tweaks in the future.
*push glasses up bridge of nose*
In my spreadsheet, size is almost always in ounces except for with green onions, peppers, diapers, etc. For us I also put tortillas in eaches because we only buy the same kinds ever - one for G, spelt or rice for me. I also made a "calculator" I drag down the side with my work. Produce and deli are almost always measured in pounds and I just needed to make it easy for me. The other tool I use is a digital kitchen scale. Last weekend we bought onions at Grocery Outlet, 4 in an unmarked green mesh bag for a fixed price. However, since onions usually go by the pound I weighed them for a true comparison. (Only Super Nerds have digital kitchen scales.) One thing to keep in mind - the weight of some deli items are only marked on the sticker attached to the item itself, no other details on the receipt.
|Purchased Item||Size||Price||Store||Date||Cost per ounce|
|Almond breeze||64||$ 2.99||Albertson's||8/9/2009||$ 0.047|
Cost per Ounce is the only actual formula in the spreadsheet = Price/Size.
My handy calculator mentioned above is rudimentary: Pounds x 16 = Ounces Change the value in the pounds field and the equals field calculates the equivalent.
My handy spreadsheet helped verify that we're getting the best price on formula. Similac Iron Shield or something was on sale at Amazon, 19.79 for 24oz (forget the actual size). I plugged in the data and compared it to Costco - Similac was about twice as expensive. I know, Similac Iron Fist is primo baby formula but g isn't picky thankfully.
The other important organizational tip is to enter items as noun, adjective adjective. This way all the onions get sorted together when you go to compare data.
Spice, Onion dehyd
Soup, Cream of Chicken
Sausage, ground Johnsonvlle
Pineapple, cut fresh
tomatoes, diced Del Monte
Also, instead of getting up from my computer to go check weight on each item, I finally got even smarter (is that possible?) and started writing on the receipt then entering it all at once. After a while it's fun (for nerds) to go and sort the sheet by purchased item and compare where we get the best deals. It's just ridiculous to see something we bought at Costco or Grocery Outlet for HALF the price per ounce of Albertson's. For produce though, taste is a factor. G doesn't really care for the flavor often found lacking in Grocery Outlet/Dollar Store produce. I understand his position but ... I really like the deal. Now if I could just get G to go to Grocery Outlet *before* the regular grocery store we'd be saving even more.
g is almost 1! We're spending his birthday in Seattle with family. Prior to my mom's most recent round of chemo they had planned on coming down here to celebrate. With the latest diagnosis our plans changed. And quite honestly for the better. All the aunts and uncles are up there. G and I are our own family down here - we'll make the trip to see the clan. I'll have pics when we return!
(WIP made the photo - argyle baby blanket for g's cousin-to-be)