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Making a Price Book + Request for Lentils Recipes

May 26th, 2018 at 05:00 pm

One of the things Amy Dazcyzan recommends in the Tightwad Gazette books is to make a price book. I have never done this and I really never considered doing it before today, but it would have really come in handy these last two weeks when making up the grocery list, so today I sat down with as many receipts as I could still find and started making a spreadsheet with the prices of everything that would fall under either groceries or household expenses.

This way when I make up my grocery list I will know approximately how much everything costs so I can make sure I am coming in under budget, give or take a sale or two. I will also know which store has the better price on what, though I pretty much have that in my head already. It will also let me know if I need to bump a staples purchase to a different week or if I have enough in the household budget for whatever purchase I want to make that week.

I always thought it would be a tedious process, and it probably would be if I were doing it by hand, but typing it into a spreadsheet is easy enough. I put everything in alphabetical order, and then if I need to add anything new I can just insert a sheet row in the appropriate spot and still keep it in order. I do love modern technology.

I think it may be time for me to put the Tightwad Gazette books on hold again at the library. I am in a way different place than when I've read them each time before, much more heavily focused on the food budget and budgeting more tightly in general. I've learned something new with each read and I think that was because I was open to something different each time.

Oh, also, I am going to venture into cooking with lentils. I am looking for some good recipes that do not have beef, lamb, or pork in them. Most of them seem to be made with ham and she can't eat that much fat. Chicken or turkey or fish are okay and so is vegetarian. Lentils are a protein my daughter can eat (and likes) without fear of it upsetting her gall bladder, or in the aftermath of having it taken out. I just found out that Thrive Life has lentils, too, so I added a #10 can to my monthly order. If she likes those ones, then I'll get a bucket.

13 Responses to “Making a Price Book + Request for Lentils Recipes”

  1. Sue Says:

    I have not done a price book for the same reason - I "assume" it would be a pain in the butt!! I might have to rethink my opinion!! I have "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" and I think I need to pull it out again as well. We are trying to get the IRS paid off and dh needs some dental work so ANYTHING that can help keep me on track is welcome! I started reading "The Total Money Makeover" today and am already on the 3rd chapter - the bottom line is, what we are doing ISN'T working so time to get serious!!!

    Will check out my recipe book for lentil recipes - not a HUGE fan, but I know I have a couple.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    This is my favorite lentil recipe. It has a lot of flavor and if you are missing a few spices it still tastes fantastic. I prefer it warm, but could be eaten at room temperature. It can also be placed over rice, but I'd try it as written first.

  3. Amber Says:

    I use Google sheets as my price book, that way if I stop in a store for something quick I can access the cost at anytime.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    Can she have pasta and tomato? If so I have a delicious lentil recipe—two actually!

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    Ceejay--Yes, she can have pasta and tomatoes.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    I have made several price books over the years, and yes, they are a pain in the butt and take a lot of time, especially if you're comparing 3 or more stores, as I do.

    There are 2 disadvantages to price books:

    1. Prices change all the time, so you really need to update your price book more than once a year, IMO.

    2. What you'll likely find is that one store has the best price on this but the other store has the best price on that. So you end up making trips to multiple stores, and I'm not sure this is the best use of my time.

    My compromise is that I now consider Alid's first, but they are a small store and don't carry everything I want, so inevitably I have to stop elsewhere for certain things. And I will continue with BJs after letting my membership lapse since I got 3 mths free membership and now have a coupon for a year at $25.

    I think it's really helpful to just concentrate on the 2 dozen or so different food items you buy most regularly and gauge prices for them.

  7. Sue Says:

    That is a great idea PatientSaver - the idea of a price book is very overwhelming to me, but I can keep tract of the things we buy on a regular basis!!

  8. Rose. Says:

    I like this lentil recipe. I'm vegetarian so the lentil and potato combo fills me up.
    https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/lentil-stew-with-spinach-and-potatoes-349

  9. ceejay74 Says:

    Here are my favorite lentil recipes (I put some spaces in the URLs so they would post):

    Kushari http://ceejay74. savingadvice.com/2011/12/01/awesome-new-comfort-food-discovery_86812/

    Lentil-a-roni: http:// secretsofmom.com/?p=2950

  10. crazyliblady Says:

    I am glad your daughter is feeling better. Best wishes for full recovery.

    If you have a smart phone, maybe you could make a price book on your phone?

    Here are my favorite bean/lentil recipes. These are all pretty basic, cheap to make, and easy to make and easy to substitute ingredients if you don't have a certain ingredient. The second calls for ham, but you could leave it out and maybe kick up the spices for extra flavor. Like ceejay, I put in spaces in the urls.

    https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/13978/ lentil-soup/?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results

    https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/17628/basic-ham-and-bean-soup/ ?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results

    https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/220658/black-bean-burgers/ ?internalSource=hub%20recipe&referringContentType=search%20results

  11. crazyliblady Says:

    There is an app!
    https://www.moneycrashers.com/ making-grocery-price-book/

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