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Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Do a Price Book

I have been realizing more and more recently how much a "price book" could really help me with comparison shopping, buying in bulk, etc.. I had started several "price books" in the past, and couldn't find a system that worked for me.

Before I go any further, I should tell you what a "price book" is. A price book is something that you use to keep track of how much the things you typically purchase cost. Doing this helps with a couple of things.

First of all, it helps you to know if that "super deal" that the local grocery store is having is really a "super" deal. I have often been shopping at a local grocery store and wondered, "Now, how much was this at Walmart?" If you have a price book, you can simply flip to that product and see how much you usually purchase it for. You can know what your "target" price is that you want to try to get that item for.

Another reason a price book is helpful is for keeping track of a store's sale cycles. Most grocery stores have a sales cycle of about six weeks - meaning something that is on sale now will probably be on sale again in about six weeks. If it is something that you use a lot, you can stock up on six weeks' worth, knowing that it will most likely be this price again in six weeks.

Finally, a price book is great for keeping track of the "unit price" of something (To calculate the unit price of a product simply divide the price by the amount of ounces, etc.). This is a feature that I think I am really going to enjoy. I can quickly tell if that larger bottle of BBQ sauce is a better deal than the smaller bottle that is on sale.

I found this FREE printable template here that I have been using. I put one in front of each section of my coupon folder (canned goods, laundry detergent, etc.). Then, I pulled out a couple of old receipts I had to get started. I entered the date, store, product, size of the product, price and unit price. I am only going to keep track of those things that I purchase on a regular basis. Now, when I come home from shopping I will enter either 1) things that are not already in my price book or 2) things that are priced lower than the price I have listed for it.

I hope this is helpful if you have thought about keeping a price book. If you have one already and a different way of doing yours, please share that in the comments!


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