You Asked I Answer: Where is My Price Book?

Every time I mention the price I like to pay for things or reference my price book, I invariably get asked to share my price book with you or share my “buy it” prices. I am going to tackle this in two parts. First I will tackle the price book question:

Why is it important to have a price book?

The purpose of the price book is not just to record prices but keep track of sales cycles. Keeping track of these two things will enable you to identify when you are getting the best deal possible. This is important if you are a stockpiler to help you identify the rock bottom price when you should stockpile something. If you are not much of an stockpiler and instead shop around the sales cycle then this tool is even more valuable to you, as it will help you determine when the next sale will come around and how much you need to buy at the lowest price to get you to the next sale.

Why Should You Have Your Own Price Book?

While you can visit this blog and be sure that I am only sharing the best bargains and deals available, the truth is that you also need to do some of this work on your own. YOU need to learn to identify best sale prices and when sales occur at the stores near you. You may have stores that double coupons, so your price book and the information you glean from it will be different from that of someone who lives in an area where coupons are not doubled or where prices are higher due to higher cost of living in general. Having your own price book will also reveal to you which stores consistently offer the best prices and deals available near you.

How to Get Your Own Price Book Together

In the past I have relied on my own memory to keep track of sale prices for items I am more likely to stock up on, or just items that I feel have the most impact on my grocery budget. But here are the steps I followed to put together my own price book:

  • Narrow down the list of stores you shop more often
  • Make a list of the essential items you buy more often AND have the highest impact on your budget. For example if you have small children, I am sure diapers would be on your list.
  • Next time you visit these stores write down the prices of these items and record them on a notebook or Excel spreadsheet.
  • Here is something very important you need to do: For some items you will need to bring the price of the item down to the unit level. This is the only way you will be able to make a fair comparison among all of the stores you are tracking.
  • Once you have set up your price book, you need to keep it up. By updating it often you will be able to identify sales cycles on the items you are tracking.

I have found a price book is a great tool, because it has armed me with facts and information that allow me to make better purchasing decisions. Your own price book will help you determine what is a good deal and what isn’t and as a result save you money in the long run.

Do you have a price book?  If so, what kind of items do you keep track of in it?

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