Creating A Price Book
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Creating A Price Book

Posted on Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at 10:12 am
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Warning: what may be on sale may not always be the best deal!  Sometimes grocery stores will trick shoppers by knocking off just a few cents and calling it a sale, but really you can save much more at other times.  Savvy shoppers know that the best way to be mindful of these tricks is to keep a price book.

What Is a Price Book?

A price book is an organizational tool that allows shoppers to know when they are getting the best price possible.  You use the price book to track the items that you purchase most frequently and make note of certain information.  After a while you will know when to buy which products at which stores to get the most for your money.

How Do I Start a Price Book?

It sounds a little daunting, but it isn’t that difficult and it is absolutely worth the effort!

To begin you will need to get some sort of a loose leafed three ring binder or notebook.  You probably don’t want it to be too big since you will take it to the store with you.  Next, create categories for items you purchase.  These categories might include dairy, produce, meat, or snacks.  It’s your price book, so organize it how it will best work for you!  After you have your categories set up you will want to have columns for information.  Again, you will want to create your price book in a way you will best understand it, but these are a few ways to divide up information: store name, date, product (you can include brand names or just keep it general), size of product, price, sale price, coupons and discounts used.  You may find that all of that information is helpful, or that you only need some of it.  Now you are ready to start filling in your price book.  All you have to do is collect all of your receipts from shopping trips for several weeks and write in the information for the products you regularly buy.

There is another way to create a price book for those shoppers with smartphones.  You can create your price book in a spread sheet using something like Excel that you can view on your phone.  There are also apps available that allow you to enter all of your information and use it while at the store.  Isn’t technology wonderful?

Now What?

After you have been entering information into your price book for a while you will start to notice trends.  You will be able to see the sales cycles of certain stores (these usually range from 6 to 12 weeks).  Knowing this information will help you figure out when and where to stock up on certain items.  Now you can compare prices quickly so you know if what the store is calling a sale will really benefit you or not.  Happy shopping!


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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.