Step # 5
Supportive Price Book Management
Making a list and sticking to it
when grocery shopping can save you up to how much?
A. 10 %
B. 20 %
C. 30 %
D. 40 %
Estimates are as high as 40% on
the amount people purchase on impulse when shopping if they do
not have a list with them.
You have probably heard about a
Price Book, or read about them in budgeting articles. However,
what is a Price Book? It is your powerful tool used by smart
shoppers to help you save money. It is a practical technique
used to record prices of frequently purchased items.
Armed with your current Price
Book, you will know if an advertised �special� is truly a
bargain or not. You can avoid costly mistakes. You can save
money by knowing how much to pay for items used most often.
The Grocery Store�s Price
If you are a buyer for a
grocery store you know what the prices of the products you
purchase are. If you�re in charge of an open to buy of $1
million of canned tomatoes.
Buyers have a �buying history�
for canned tomato vendor. It may be on the computer. They will
not work without it. Their buying history gives them an amazing
tool to save money and make good buying decisions. The history
tells them when, where, how many and at what price each item was
purchased. Simply, the grocery store�s buyers have that
history in their computer system. They even know the sales for
At a glance, the buyer can tell
how many they buy at a time. The buyer knows if the price has
been going up or down. Is it time to check the price at a
different supplier? Is there a good time of the year or month to
buy the item? Do you save money with larger quantities?
Armed with that information,
the canned tomato food buyer will do their shopping. They can
quickly spot a good deal. Sometimes the price will cause them to
�stock up.� Because they know what they have been using and
what they expect to use, it's easy to decide how much they want
to buy. equally, they can tell when it's best to only buy the
minimum amount because the price is too high.
Another advantage is that they
can benefit from seasonal savings even if they won't need an
item now. If an item is cheapest in September and they always
buy in November, it's a good idea to buy early.
How Do I organize my Price
Each individual shopper creates
his or her own personal Price Book. You will find various
formats and suggestions that you can follow. However, you
determine the success of a Price Book by the way you prepared
it. It must represent your typical purchases.
It can be simple or complex;
there is no set way to manage one. You should try a few
different ways to determine which method is best for their
personal use. Here are a few methods to choose from when
starting a Price Book:
Small, pocket size notebook
My personal preference is using
my computer and spreadsheet. (In the appendix, you will see a
copy of my spreadsheet.) After updating the spreadsheet, I�ll
print it out, punch 3-ring binder holes and put into a 3-ring
binder. I�ll take it with me when I go shopping and update
prices. Most important, I�ll take my register receipt and use
that to update my Price Book. In the sample, I use categories
first. This allows me to keep track depending on the stores
However, Cliff and Connie Starr
preference is a small notebook that they carry along with their
coupons. They use a simple format. They list the products that
they buy most often in alphabetical order, with the lowest price
they�ve have found next to each item. They find it is best
have realized that with whatever method used, it is best to list
or file alphabetically.
They started their Price Book
by carrying an 8x11 notebook with them to the store. They wrote
each item that they purchased at the top of a page in the
notebook. They listed the price for that particular store, the
date, and a few other brand comparisons. Then each time they
shopped at another store, they would add the prices for that
After visiting each store in
their area, they were able to see which ones consistently had
the lowest prices on the products they purchased. However, they
also found that no one store had the lowest prices on
everything. In order to buy at the lowest prices, they have to
shop at several stores, and be willing to use many brand names.
Once I, like the Starr�s, had
been keeping my Price Book for several months, we knew the
lowest price that we could pay for my regular purchases, and how
to avoid paying over that amount. We saw ads everyday claiming
to offer the lowest prices. Since we began investing my time and
efforts into our own price book, we don�t fall for deceptive
I also like to check my recipe
cost and the book comes in handy for that. If I need to know
what the price of say stewed tomatoes, corn, and other
ingredients, they are right at my fingertips.
Keeping a Price Book is one
easy way consumers you can be smart shoppers. Start your own
Price Book today, and you too will see the patterns that the
stores and manufacturers follow. Don't just start one; be sure
to use it regularly once you have the prices listed. It is a
practical tool to help you save.
If you walk into a grocery
store and see that chicken breasts are regularly $3.99, but
today they�re marked down to $2.99, you might decide that�s
a great deal! You need to be armed with you price book.
Quickly you look up chicken
breast and discover that you have bought boneless skinless
chicken breasts for $0.99/lb in the past, $2.99 doesn�t sound
like such a great deal.
In order to know what truly
make up a good deal, you would need to know the price you have
paid for items in the past. This is where the Price Book comes
in handy. It�s your own personal record of the great deals you�ve
found in the past.
Now that you have the
foundation of kitchen inventory, weekly planning, menu planning
you are ready for your next step. That is the recipe. This is
the keystone of the smart shopping cart program.
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