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Thanks to Holiday Haven for this Guest Post, great info worth passing along!
One of the best thing I was ever taught about saving money was to keep a notebook listing the prices I paid at different stores for things such as milk, bread, eggs, toothpaste, etc. that I buy every month. I have not done this for a while because, after keeping one for several years, it became second nature to know where the best places were to buy different items, when to look for seasonal deals, and when a sale was a genuine deal. Because I have started to get lazy forget about all of this I have decided to start a new one.
I bought this little notebook. It is small enough to fit in my purse and has plain lined pages.
I added stick on divider tabs and cute little scrapbook letters.
(The photo above is only an example, and not the actual prices.)
At home, after I have shopped, I take a moment to record the prices from the receipt. Listing the quantity, store, month/year, and price per each under the item as a heading works the best for me. When I am shopping and am not sure of a deal I take out this notebook and double check it. After time you get a knowledge of where and when it is best to buy certain items and what a real sale looks like. I keep the notebook from getting cluttered by only record items I buy often. I record holiday sales by store, date and % discounted under the heading of the particular holiday. And I have found that I accidently listed some items under two different headings (such as hamburger and ground beef) so I now check for this sort of thing. When I first did this I was so surprised to find that some of the discount stores were actually more expensive than my neighborhood grocery store. I was shocked by the fliers that came in the mail listing ‘sales’ that were more expensive than a lot other stores. And I learned that a big bag of rice can be nearly double in price from one ‘buy in bulk’ store to the next.