Creating and using a price book to save money
Last week I mentioned in my Menu Plan Monday post that I was going to start using a price book again. Some of you asked for more information on this.
Although I feel I’m probably not the best person to give advice on this topic due to the simplicity of my system I’ll give it a try. Mainly I want to be able to recognize when something is a good price at the grocery store in order to maximize my food budget. I want to be able to look at the flyers, reference my price book and instantly know whether or not something is a good deal. I don’t bother tracking prices per store since I live in a very small town with only two grocery stores that are only a minute apart from each other. Therefore it really isn’t a big deal for me to shop at either store for the best deal. Those living in bigger centers may find it helpful to include this step however.
Here’s how I do it. In my notebook I label different pages with the various meats and products I want to track and then I break it down further from there. Tracking meat prices is a necessity for me because I can never quite keep all the various types and cuts of meat straight. For instance my first page is for chicken and looks like this (and don’t be shocked by the prices, I live at the end of nowhere don’t forget):
Chicken Breasts (boneless/skinless)
Chicken Breasts (with skin and bone)
Chicken Drumsticks (with skin)
Chicken Thighs (with skin)
I have more listed but you get the idea. Each week as I look through the flyers and see a price lower than what I already have listed in my price book, I know not only to go stock up on that item but also to erase the old price and enter in the new lower amount. This allows me to consistently have a record of what is the best possible price for any particular item. With other products I do also include the unit price (size divided by price) in order to accurately assess a good price when dealing with different product sizes. Often what I think is a good deal at first glance turns out not to be so when I compare prices to my price book.
Maintaining a price book really is a fantastic strategy for reducing your grocery spending and I highly recommend it as a tool for taking control of your food budget.
For more information and ideas please visit these great blog posts:
Price Books 101 at Mom Advice
Make a Price Book at organizedhome.com
Use a price book to slash your food spending at Get Rich Slowly