How To Create a Price Book
I will attempt to explain my reasons for keeping a price book, and why I can't create one for you.
WHY KEEP A PRICE BOOK?
A price book is a very important tool if you want to learn to save the most and be organized and not waste.
If you keep a price book of the best prices, or the price you are willing to pay for items, it gives you a starting point. Then you can watch for sales and coupons to match with those sales, and you will know when you have a great deal or not.
REMEMBER, a great deal to me, may be very different than a great deal to you. Never try to compare what your savings are to someone else's savings. Especially when you start out couponing, you will find it hard to get the "best" deals you see others posting. It is certainly a great way to learn, and you should check out other people's shopping posts, but do not get discouraged by them. For Example: last week you may have paid $2.99 for Deodorant and thought it was a great sale, and this week it is still on sale for $2.99 but you found a coupon for $1, making it $1.99. Just because you see someone post they would never pay more than $1 for deodorant, it does not mean YOU didn't get a deal at $1.99. You saved $1 more than you would have the week before, that's just the start and is money in your pocket!
Your Price Book will be a very personalized thing, so I can only show you some ideas and examples. It will take some time to set up, but I assure you, it is well worth the time.
In order to plan to save the most, you should create a Price Book to keep track of the regular sale prices of item YOU purchase on a regular basis.
Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Start with making a list of items you buy every month (include toiletries, cleaners, food and paper products)
- List the price you are currently willing to pay for each of these items (again, this will be different for each person, and will change as you learn to save more using other strategies)
- Add an extra column to mark the lowest price you remember ever seeing this product for
- Include the Per Unit price. One brand's double roll of bathroom tissue can be much smaller than another brand.
- Mark down how often you go through 1 of each product (item or package), this will help you determine how many to purchase to get you to the next sale.
As many of you know, sales on items repeat every 4-6 weeks. Most brands that are on sale this week, will be on sale for the same, or close to the same price in another month or so.
Keeping a certain amount of each item on hand to get you through to the next sale, or longer is a great way to save as well. Stockpiling gets a bad rap because everyone pictures the Extreme cases. This is not what I am promoting. It is a personal thing depending on the size of your family, and the space you have. Everyone is different.
Here are some examples of what I have in my price book. These are items we used to buy regularly, but now we only buy on sale and hopefully with a coupon or other saving method (cash back apps or points). I try to get these items for this price or less. Most can be close to free or free at times, and by having a price book and logging how long each takes us to go through, I can decide how many to buy when I do get one of the Free or almost free offers.
A few items in my Price book include:
This is very different from what I was willing to pay 3 years ago. You will change and tweak your list as you go. My veggie and meat prices are often higher than you will see on some lists. We try to buy local as much as possible.
I will not pay more, and watch for sales to make it less than these prices.
- Deodorant (Women's) $1.00 or less
- Deodorant (Men's) $0.75 or less
- Body Wash $1
- Shampoo (favourite brand) $1.50 or less
- Shampoo (any brand) $0.75 or less
- Kiwi $0.33 or less per
- Bananas $0.65/lb
- Lettuce $1 (per bunch, head)
- Baby Spinach $2.99 (large container)
- Avacado $0.80 each
- Broccoli $1.99
- Cauliflower $1.99
- Cheese Large block $3.99 or less
- Yogurt Tub $1 or less
- Bread $1.50
- Eggs $1.99
- Lean Gr Beef $3.99/lb (beef prices have risen in recent years, this may be higher)
- BL/SL Chicken $3.99/lb
- Diapers $0.10/diaper (smaller sizes)
- Diapers $0.18/diaper (larger sizes)
- Baby Wipes $1 pkg or less
- Snack foods (for school lunches) $1.50/6pk ($0.25/snack)
- 2L Pop $1.00 or less
- Bathroom tissue (Royale 12 dbl roll) $2.99 or less
- Paper Towel (Royale Tiger Towels, 6 roll) $2.99 or less
I do purchase Bathroom Tissue at Costco most of the time. The Kirkland brand works out to be the best consistent price when buying. I worked out the PER SHEET price, yes, I know, a little too detailed! It makes a huge difference when comparing sizes of rolls of Bathroom tissue.