A look inside my price notebook. Always keep one on-hand, and it will save you hundreds!!

Well, I’m back from my fun trip back home to Oregon. 
I drove…AGAIN. Alone. With two babies…
AND my 100lb dog this time, making it a 13.5 hour drive this time.
NOT. EASY.
I used my same methods as my first trip and it went pretty smoothly, click HERE for how I did it this time. Luckily on the way back I had my husband with me so we were able to drive through the night and make it much easier. Regardless, I’m glad the driving is done :) But MAN, did I have fun! I love the Oregon Coast.
ANYWAY, I’m back in the swing of things and thought I’d share a video tip with you today. Hope it helps! Enjoy :)
The Value of a Price Notebook
I have mentioned many times  a price notebook that I keep on-hand at all times. (see HEREHERE, and HERE for examples).
Let me tell you, this is an absolute life saver! It’s a simple concept, check out this video explaining how – and why – I use mine.
Click HERE to watch it online, or simply watch the video below:
See? Isn’t that easy? Here are some pictures to help illustrate my video better.
Here’s my handy dandy notebook. Small, sturdy, cheap, flexible, cute – a must ;)

Here is an example of a page of mine. (Sorry about the poor pics, they were taken with my phone.)
Notice that I am specific to label every unit price. If it’s per pound, write it. If it’s per each, write it. If it’s a specific type of apple or pear, write it.

If you write down a price but come across a better price in the future, replace it with the better price. You can see below that I did that with yellow onions and whole carrots. 
Prices are always changing based on what’s in season, how the crops did, where you live and shop, etc. So always be aware of and notice prices, even if it’s an item that you buy regularly and have the price memorized. 

Be very specific about the size of things. Notice my Downy Softener below. I specified that it’s liquid, AND how many loads it can wash. It takes hardly any time to do this, but will make all the difference in the world!
The categories I have in my notebook are:
Canned foods
Condiments
Drinks/snacks
Baking items
Grains
Dairy
Household
Meat – chicken
Meat – pork
Meat – beef
Meat – seafood
Produce – veggies
Produce – fruits
Hope that helps! I promise you, if you keep a price notebook on-hand you will – quite literally – save your family thousands of dollars over time. Knowledge is power, so KNOW YOUR PRICES!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Email me at funcheaporfree@gmail.com and you might just get featured :) Have a good day!…oh, and you’re welcome :)

Comments

  1. Teri hogan says

    Your notebook idea is great idea! i have helped lots of friends with this concept for years now, the only difference for me is i use coupons too. I no longer need a notebook, cause of the amount of years i have done this, but i have always told my friends to write everything done and dont be ashamed to pull out your calculator. I just wanted to pass to you a couple of hints to go with your notebook. 1. if you are a shopper that shops at different stores, it is good to write the price and what store the sale price was. Alot of times the particular store has that sale on a regular basis, so if you are at another store and you are pricing something, when you check your book you will know that it goes on for a better price all the time at a certain store. 2. alot of cell phones now have conversion calculators, which come in real handy, when trying to figure out the difference from grams to kilograms or pounds to oz. for pricing.
    Love your blog!! thanks for the tips!

  2. Beth says

    Well, I don't really keep a notebook myself, but I tend to keep a mental note of prices whenever I can. Like your notes, it works wonders. I can't even begin to imagine how much more I would've spent on baby shower gifts without it.

  3. L Hernandez says

    I have lots of prices memorized as I have been doing this for years but I use an electronic price book too. Many Smartphones have Apps. that you can use to price book & inventory your food. I keep prices by ounce & by store.
    Grocery Tracker & ToMarket are a couple of the ones I recommend. Thanks for all your tips

  4. Kate says

    I do all of my shopping at Walmart using price matching (although I'm going to start adding in trips to Costco!). Do you write down Walmarts price, or the best sale price you've found for a particular item? Really I guess I'm just asking how you compiled the information in your notebook :)

  5. Mary says

    So, I have looked at all your posts. I am a military wife who knows we send more then necessary! Your tips are interesting I may take on some and branch from them. I live in Guam and unfortunetly price mark ups for produce, meats and dairy are crazy! So this may be tuff for me! I wanted to ask you, if the item is not the best deal in your notebook do you buy it anyway? I also do my best to be organic which is difficult here and pricer and there are just item we always use I dont know that I would stop buying them just becasue they arent the best deal. What do you do?

  6. funcheaporfree says

    Yes, I often times buy items even when they aren't the EXACT price in my notebook. However, you don't want to make that regular. Your price-notebook is a guide to help you notice when there is a great deal, so you can stock up like crazy on it. If the price of the item is MUCH higher than your notebook price, pass on it, and wait for it to go on sale…because it's bound to. You just have to get in the habit of only buying what's on sale. It's so much easier than you think!!! Good luck!

  7. Gina says

    So, I was wondering how you know what a 'good' price is for an item (the price that you want to stock up at)?? Are the prices in your pics from your actual book…I am basically asking if I can copy the prices in your pics, to give me somewhere to start, if they are up to date, lol?? Thank you!!

  8. amy says

    I am wondering how you remember where you found the best prices? Do you only shop at one particular place? I would have to make a side note of which store the price was at.

  9. funcheaporfree says

    You could certainly make a side-note, but it's not entirely necessary. I basically shop at Walmart and Costco 100% of the time so that makes it easier for me, but generally, if you find prices are better at one store over another much of the time…choose the cheaper store!! No reason to pay more for the same item elsewhere.

  10. Lisa says

    Just discovered your blog and I am excited about using your budget system and notebook. I am confident this will help me get a handle on my spending. thanks

  11. Jennifer says

    Awesome idea for keeping track! We are a family of six (and keeping an extra person right now, so 7). It seems I'm having to spend a ton in groceries these days, especially since school has started again and I have to get things for packing lunches. I can't remember pricing very well, so I will definitely give this a try! I also liked your budgeting idea, which we also struggle with finding the best way to deal with. I'm so glad I found out about your site (while reading an email from Jillie). Groceries have gotten more expensive for me, especially since I'm having to go organic and gluten free right now. Talk about crazy prices on that type of food! I hate couponing because it's so time consuming, and most of the coupons are for name brands and I save more buying generic; not to mention the most recent coupons are all mostly deodorant, hair dyes, and shampoos. Sorry, but my family can't eat on those, lol. Give me good food coupons and I'll make the effort! For any of your readers who shop at Kroger stores…you can go online and select electronic coupons that are added onto your Kroger Plus shopper card so no clipping is required! Same for proctor and gamble and shortcuts.com. Just enter your particular store card info and it will load those eCoupons onto your card. The savings automatically come off at the register!

  12. funcheaporfree says

    Thanks for the comment! UGH frustrating how expensive organic and gluten-free foods are, huh? Such a bummer. Thanks for sharing!

  13. salina says

    First i’d like to say that I am so glad I found your blog :) So DH just put us on a budget and I’m in absolute freak mode…. honestly I think the moment those words came out of his mouth I immediately had that money blown in my head with things I desperately needed :) LOL, but I do have a question: about how many pages do you have designated for your lists. I’m trying to set mine up but am apprehensive about how many pages I should allow for each category. Also, just to make sure I understand, do you first go to dealstomeals and write down those prices and then adjust prices as you seem them?

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