This Simple Grocery Price Comparison Spreadsheet Will Help You Save on Food — Every Time

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With food costs rising, groceries can quickly eat away at your monthly budget. But we all need to eat at the end. So what can we do?

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There are a few ways to save money on groceries, but you need to take some time to plan your shopping trip. Coupons can help, but they are no substitute for shopping at the right stores.

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We’ll show you how you can save money every month on grocery shopping, as long as you don’t mind wearing your spy hat.

Save Money on Groceries — Every Time

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Since prices can vary wildly between retailers, you can save a lot by switching to the store that charges the least for your staples.

Everyone’s grocery list is different, so we’ve created a supermarket comparison template for you to print out and complete yourself. That way, you’ll automatically get the most for your grocery budget—no matter what’s on your list.

Click for a larger version that you can print out. How to Use the Grocery Comparison Worksheet

So, here’s the thing.

Comparing grocery stores will take some time and effort. You’ll need to visit several stores in your area, locate your staples, record their prices, and compare costs.

But while comparing your supermarkets may seem like a chore, it can actually be a lot of fun.

You will feel a bit like a private investigator. And once you do, you’ll save money every time you shop – no more thought or effort required.

automatic saving? Yes, please.

supermarket comparison

It’s very easy! Here’s what to do.

1. List Your Staples

First things first: Make a list of your most-bought items – the things you always have in your home.

You still want the best price on your one-time treats or occasional purchases.

But if the cookies or candy you buy every time are too cheap at a certain store and all your staples are more expensive, you may not be looking at the true winner. So to automate your savings in the best possible way, always stick to what you have on hand.

We’ve rounded up some suggested categories in our sheet to help you think, but if you don’t eat meat, for example, no worries—just use those spaces for more vegetables, or whatever you buy. are use it.

If you buy some of your items in bulk, like toilet paper, don’t include them—you’re almost certainly getting a better deal at your Warehouse Club store.

2. Choose Your Store

Now that you’ve got your list, it’s time to choose which stores you want to compare.

If a shop 50 miles away has great deals, that’s great — but you’ll be cutting into some of your savings by driving that far, to say nothing of the opportunity cost of spending that much time on a weekly necessity.

Plus, when it comes to busy Tuesday nights when you need to swing by the store because you’re out of milk or toilet paper or the included-needs-here, you don’t want to drag yourself all the way to town.

Do yourself a favor and do surveys only within a reasonable distance. Fill in their names at the top of the list – and get ready to find out which one you’ll start seeing a lot more in!

3. Find Prices

Here comes the time-intensive part.

You’ll need to take the time to visit each of the stores you choose, track those items, and write down their prices.

You don’t need to do it all at once, so take your time. Make it fit by doing your usual weekly grocery shopping at each store as needed – remember to actually write down the prices as you go!

One important note: remember to write down the quantity of the items as well.

In some cases, stores will not carry similar items in the same size. Even if the overall sticker price is cheaper, you may not be getting a better deal if you have less product.

By recording the actual quantity of each item, you will be able to calculate the cost per unit or ounce, which will give you an idea of ​​how it is priced.

4. Compare Prices

Once you’ve listed all the prices and amounts for each of your stores, start comparing those prices and find out which store has the best deals.

If it’s a one-for-one comparison (say $3.49 versus $3.09 for a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast), it’s simple: Record whatever store is cheaper in the column on the right.

But in some cases, you’ll have to do some math if two stores don’t package the same amount of items. For example, check out our sample math to find out which deals are best for bacon.

supermarket comparison

Since Publix had 16-ounce packages marked at 2-for-$8, it technically won at 25 cents an ounce.

But if that sale didn’t go through, Walmart would be the winner — so it’s not always easy to judge.

Which brings me to another caveat: Quality matters! Feel free to factor in cases in which you’d like to spend a little more per ounce for your favorite product, or for fair trade, organic or humanely raised foods.

5. Name a Victor—and start shopping smarter!

Now look at the column on the right hand side and count the number of times each store name appears. Record the total number at the bottom of the store’s column (see example above).

Whichever store name appears the most, this is where you should shop to save the most money on your grocery shopping.

Congratulations, you’ve just automated your grocery savings! You can rest assured that you’re saving money every time you shop, even if you never clip another coupon.

Of course, markets and prices change, so you’ll want to revisit your comparisons regularly.

And besides – just try to tell me you didn’t enjoy sneaking around stores to record their prices.

And if you really didn’t? I’m sure you will have kids. So next time, enlist some help.

Consider Grocery Comparison App

If you feel more high-tech, you might consider a grocery store price comparison app. We tested some of the offerings in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store and found Basket to be our preferred choice for shoppers.

The Basket app is free and enables you to compare product pricing at different grocery stores (and even grocery delivery services). If you want one-stop shopping, you can view the best prices for individual items or your entire cart.

You can quickly scan any product with a barcode if you don’t feel like typing it. You can put different carts together for different shopping trips or to plan any big dinner or party you can throw.

The basket also shows some great savings from local grocery stores, displaying current sales and available coupons.

Download Basket from the App Store for iOS or the Play Store for Android devices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I choose the right groceries?

When filling up your shopping cart, be aware of what you’re taking home. When shopping for perishable items, never buy more than you can use before they expire (no matter how good the deal). If possible, buy non-perishables in bulk.

How much should a single person spend on groceries?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average moderate-cost monthly meal plan for an adult (aged 19-50) is $367 for men and $310 for women. More aggressive savings when shopping can bring the price down to as low as $238.

Is it cheaper to eat out or buy groceries?

Because of the additional overhead costs you need to support when dining out at a restaurant or grabbing takeout, it’s usually always cheaper to buy groceries. Additionally, eating at home will allow you to keep a close eye on nutrition and what actually goes into your food.

Jamie Cattanach is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Michael Archambault is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder specializing in the technology.

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