One thing you can do to help save money is to create your own Price Book. What is a Price Book? Simply put:
A Price Book is a list of the products you purchase and the prices you pay in order to watch for sales trends and cycles.
When you know your target prices, you know when the price is a good deal and that you might want to go ahead and stock up. For example, if you know you can usually get your favorite soup for just $0.50 a can, you can watch for the sales cycle and learn that every 8 weeks it goes on sale, which allows you to stock up at the absolute lowest price!
How Do I Make a Price Book?
You want to make sure that what you use is simple enough that you can can maintain it. If you are a techy person, you might want to use something on your smart phone. If you are a paper list maker, then you might want to go with a simpler method like a spiral notebook or binder with inserts.
What Is Included in the Book?
No matter which method used to create your book, you will want to make sure to keep track of key items. You need to know the product name, price, size, unit price, store and date. I’ve created a free Price Book template you can print, or even use as a guide for your very own form.
How Do I Create My Own Price Book?
The simplest thing to do is to starting keeping your receipts. Once you shop, write down the information based upon what you purchased. It takes a little work up front to get started, but eventually, the book will be simpler 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 6 weeks or every 12 weeks. 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 simply means only buy the amount you need to get by until the item will go 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. This helps you know at which store you want to 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!