First of all, the original post:
If you have not done so already, you may want to keep a price notebook, or a price spreadsheet on your computer that you can print off before you go shopping. Here are the basics of this idea: keep a running record of an items price, size, store purchase and unit price so that when you are at another store, you can easily calculate whether or not it is a good deal. This is especially helpful at warehouse stores since buying in bulk is not always saving money.
Now the new part:
I was at Food Lion a couple of days ago and the quart size jar of Hellmann's was 4.79 - OMG - almost $5 for mayonnaise! MAYONNAISE! Flabbergasted doesn't even begin to describe it. Our local Wal-mart has the same jar for 3.59 - better, but still high. Yesterday I was at the Wal-Mart in E.C. with my mom (long story on how I got there), and the same jar of mayo was 2.98 and I had a .65 off coupon. Still more expensive than making it myself, but much better than buying it locally. So sad.
Locally, our Food Lion has 5oz cans of Food Lion brand tuna for .84. This is not only a price increase from .74, but they shrunk the can from 6oz to 5oz (as if no one would notice). I went to Harris Teeter a couple of weeks ago - HT brand tuna was .77for a 6oz can. I bought 10, and will probably buy 10 more each time I go. Canned tuna is a frugal family's safety net when the recipe goes bad or gets burned - hi ho it's tuna melt time! PS - the HT tuna is chunkier than the FL, which is good if like a larger flake tuna. FL tends to be mushy.
So, back to the price book. If you can, try to at least track 15 of your most commonly used items by writing down where you can buy them for the least amount of money, what that amount is, and how large the package is. I put my pricebook sheet from my excel in my coupon book so I have it when I need it. Also, if you really want to be a detective take a calculator too.