Sunday, February 8, 2009
Essential savings tool: The address book
How many of you comparison shop? In these economic crisis times who can afford not to? One problem though is, that comparison shopping - which I whole heartedly endorse and practice - becomes a major mental exercise. The moment you spot a sale, you have to immediately recall what said item is going for in all your other shopping haunts.
I don’t know about you, but I often have trouble recalling exactly what a five pound bag of organic potatoes goes for in the health food store, so I could actually compare and see if the sale of organic potatoes per pound in the big chain supermarket is really such a good deal. And I only shop at two stores - health food store and big chain supermarket - which are conveniently located next door to each other. I know that some people actually run or more accurately drive from store to store picking up items here and there. I don’t know how they do it!
So, to take the mental exercise out of the comparing I have started using an address book. I know this is a little goofy - but it really works. You can find an address book for a dollar at the dollar store and you will make up that dollar the first time you use it.
Simply enter each food at the appropriate spot - designate one line per store - for me big chain supermarket prices take the address line, whereas health food store prices go in the phone # line, and take down quantity, price and maybe specifics such as organic - non-organic, sales price etc.
Surprises for me after using it for the first time:
Organic coconut milk is 25 cents cheaper per can in the health food store, than the non-organic one in the big chain supermarket.
The same brand potato chips in the health food store - are twice!! as expensive as in the supermarket, since the bag is almost twice as big - who knew - I just never noticed - there is so much air in these bags
Grated Percorino Romano cheese is $3.00 more per pound in the supermarket than in the health food store - and the one in the health food store smells, looks and tastes fresher!
Agave nectar is $1.00 cheaper per same size bottle in the health food store
These are just some of the revelations in the first couple of weeks of writing down prices. I am sure there are more to come...