Do you know if you are getting the best price on your groceries? Staying on a budget is a great first step. Keeping a price book can help to maximize your savings.
A price book tracks the cost of the things you purchase. It can be used to compare prices between different brands of a product. You can use it to compare the prices from several stores to find the best value in each product.
Take canned tomatoes for example. Name Brand A costs $2.29 for a 26oz. can. Name Brand B costs $1.99 for a 24 oz. can. Store Brand C costs $1.59 for a 20 oz. can. It can be confusing as to which brand is the lowest cost. A price book helps you track and discover this information.
The same applies across different stores. You may shop at three different stores. It can be difficult to remember the price for a certain product at each store. Trying to remember prices at multiple stores is even more taxing to the brain. A price book can ease the stress by tracking the prices you have paid.
A price book is a good way to determine if a sale really is a sale. Every week stores offer products on sale. Are they the best prices? You won't be sure unless you have kept a record of the best price you have paid for each item.
Another advantage to a price book is that it catches seasonal changes in your area. Use a price book for a year and you will begin to see sale patterns. You can track when certain items have the best sales. You can learn when to buy certain types of products and when to wait.
A price book is set up to track the unit price of each product. This way you are doing an apples-to-apples comparison. The above example shows the importance of tracking unit pricing. Which do you think is the lowest cost alternative? It is Store Brand C. Not because its price is cheapest, but because its unit price is cheapest. Unit price is the cost ($1.59) divided by the weight/measurement (20 oz.). Name Brand A is .088/oz., Name Brand B is .082/oz., and Store Brand C is .079/oz.
A price book lists the item type, brand, cost, weight, unit price, and store. It can be more detailed if you choose. It can be fairly simple and straightforward as well. Apps exist to help make it easier to track prices. Or, you can use a small notebook to carry with you to track prices. Either way, you want to have your price book with you when you shop. This way you can adjust prices as you see changes.
You can track just a few items or a lot. It is easy to maintain once you set it up. It is worth it as you can save a lot of money with a price book.