Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Getting Started with a Price Book

Have you ever stumbled across something that was on sale and you wondered is this a good deal? Off the top of your head . . . Do you know what a good price for eggs are in your area, or how often they go on sale, and which grocery store usually has it at the best price? If not, then maybe a price book would help.

I am in the beginning stages of making my price book but I can already tell it is making a difference in my budget. I know what stores have the cheapest bread, milk, eggs and yogurt. These are the things I buy weekly so knowing the best price and where to buy it saves me time and money.

A price book is a notebook, binder, piece of paper or whatever you feel is handy for you to carry with you. It is a way for you to keep track of an items price so you know when you are getting a good deal or not. Stores sometimes try and trick you with sales like "buy one, get one free" when really it isn't the best deal out there. You should have prices for the items you buy most frequently.

For example I know that eggs at Target are $1.19, Wal-Mart is $1.00 and Fareway is $1.29. I have seen them go as low as .88 at Fareway. That is the lowest I have ever seen them. Usually they go on sale at Hy-Vee, Target or Fareway for .99 every couple weeks. I have come to the conclusion that eggs are cheapest at Wal-Mart if I can't find them on sale anywhere.

To get started you will need a notebook. The best place to start is with your receipts. You can begin building your book with the information from the receipt. You will want to make columns and write down the item with size if applicable, date, store where it was bought, price and the unit price. Also make note if the item was on sale. Make sure you bring your price book with you to the store and update it when necessary.

Unit prices are sometimes found on the shelves next to the price of the item. If it isn't you can figure the unit price by dividing. For example if flour is $1.89 for a 5 lb bag and $8.99 for a 25 lb bag, which is the better deal? You divide the price by the unit, in this case the unit is pounds. So, $1.89/5=.38 per pound and $8.99/25=.36 per pound. So in this case the 25 lb bag would be a better deal. If you are dealing with smaller items like tomato sauce you can go by ounces. The unit price for a 15 oz can of tomatoes at $1.29 is .09 per oz. It is important to take a calculator with you unless you are a math wiz!

Create a price book to track how much you spend on each item that you purchase, and you'll soon know if that "buy one get one free" sale is really a good deal or not.

This post is linked to Tackle it Tuesday over at 5 Minutes for Mom and Talk about Tuesday at The Lazy Organizer.


  1. I tried making a price book years ago, but wasn't good about keeping it up. One suggestion I do have for you is keeping it in a 3 ring binder so that when you fill up a page or need to add another item, you can just add a sheet of notebook paper. Good luck!!

  2. I really should start a price book too! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is a good idea. I am really horrible with remembering prices and knowing what is a good price. This would really help. Thanks for the tip!

  4. I do this through my recipe and grocery software! It is really, really helpful when making out a grocery list to see if it is a dea or not! Great tackle:-)

  5. I love knowing the prices and when I see somehting at a great price I recognize it immediatly

  6. I use one too. It does comes in really handy.

  7. Me and my wife take advantage of buying Tissues by the bulk @ BJ's. I just can't seem to figure out how I'm running out of 'em so darn fast??