Have you ever wanted to learn how to find out when those items you need will be on sale? Believe it or not, stores usually cycle sales on schedules. By learning how your store does this, you can always get the best deals and know when to stock up, and when to pass on those deals.
The way you do this is by creating a price book, also called a grocery price book. And, it is just what it sounds like – a book which tracks the prices of the items you need at the stores where you shop.
A Price Book is a list of the products you purchase and the prices you pay
to watch for sales trends and cycles.
It will take time to create yours, but once you have it set up, it is easy to maintain and will help you know when those prices are at their lowest, allowing you to stock up and save as much as possible.
How Do I Make a Grocery Price Book?
You want to make sure that what you use is simple enough that you can maintain it. If you are a techy person, you might want to use something on your smartphone. If you are a paper list maker, then you might want to go with an easier method like a spiral notebook or binder with inserts. You can even create a spreadsheet on your computer. The way you track does not matter. What matters is that you just do it.
You will want to keep the list organized, however, by breaking it down by the department or possibly even product. For instance, you will want one sheet for your dairy items, one for meat, one for produce, one for breakfast foods, etc. That way, when you need to find the prices (and update it), you can easily find it.
What Do You Include in the Book?
No matter which method used to create your book, you will want to make sure to keep track of the products you purchase. These will include:
- Size (oz, product count, etc)
- Per unit price
You can create your own form to use, or can get the one I’ve create for you instead. Just click the image below and you’ll find out how you can get yours.
How Do I Create My Price Book?
The simplest thing to do is to start keeping your receipts. Once you shop, write down the information based on what you purchased. It takes a little work up front to get started, but eventually, the book will be easy to maintain and you’ll get the hang of it.
To calculate your per unit prices, you will need to make sure you know the product size. That might mean extra notes when you shop or updating the price book as you put your groceries away. To determine a per unit price, take the price and divide that by the size. For example, if you are looking at diapers you would calculate the price per diaper as follows:
$17.49 / 84 = $0.20 per diaper
You can simplify this even more by updating a price book while you shop. Most stores have the per unit price listed right on the shelf for you. That makes it simpler for you as you can just write down the price in your book.
Do I Ever Change the Price?
Yes! That is the reason a Price Book works! As you shop, you might have a price for an item listed in your booklet, but you find it on sale for less. You will want to update that price in your book as that means there was a sale.
When you see it on sale again the next time, you might start to learn the sales cycle, such as every six weeks or every 12 weeks. Doing this is how you learn when to shop for the items you need.
How Do I Make the Price book Work for Me?
Before you shop, you will want to consult your price book to see if the items on sale are the lowest price or if you know you can get a better deal. If your Price Book shows a lower price, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy that product. It just means only purchase whatever amount you need to get by until the item goes on sale again at the lower price.
On the flip side of this, if you find that the price in the weekly ad is lower than what you show in your price book, it might mean that you not only need to update your price book pricing, but it also will let you know that it is a good time to stock up at this low price!
Does the Book Do More Than Share Sales Cycles?
It sure does! If you find a great coupon, you will know in advance about what you will pay at the store. Your price book helps you determine which store you want to shop at so you can use the coupon for the best deal.
A price book can also help with your budget. If you find that you’ve got “too much month and not enough money” left until your next payday, you can make your list and know ahead of time what you can expect to pay at checkout. This way, there are no surprises, and you can adjust your shopping list before you shop!