Finally all my hard work has paid off! For the past twelve weeks I've been keeping track of the prices of everything I buy at Walmart, Vons, Ralphs, CVS, Smart & Final, Albertsons, and Costco. I made an Excel spreadsheet with the weekly date, item, size, and price for all the stores. I then documented what I bought for that week on each store's spreadsheet. Couponmom.com recommended that you do this for 12 weeks in order to get an idea of each store's sales price cycle.
So, I finally finished the 12 weeks and am so happy to be done with it, but it was definitely worth it. Now it's so much easier to check and see if something on sale is really worth buying or not. I get out my spreadsheets and the weekly fliers and compare them, to see if an item is really at it's lowest price. If it is, then I add it to my weekly grocery list for that store. If it's not, then I don't put it on my list.
This is also a great way to check and see if items on sale at the grocery stores can beat the regular Costco prices. Just be sure and check the price per unit, like price per ounce.
I know this sounds like a lot of work, and it was at first, but now that I'm done, I can definitely see that it was worth it. I've also memorized a lot of the prices of the items that I use every week, so I don't even need to check those. I just know if they're a good sale or not. It's really shortened the amount of time it takes to go through the weekly fliers.