The Grocery Guru

Helping you save big so you can live large

Keeping A Price Book (or ‘How to convince people that you have lost your mind’)

I always swore that I would NEVER get so price-conscious that I would keep a price book. I mean, only seriously crazy people keep track of the price of every little item they buy, right? Well guess what? Yes! You are right! I keep a price book. And I am going to tell you how to make one to!

What is a price book?

A price book is just a place where you track the price you paid for items that you regularly purchase. I use an Excel workbook, and I have it set up so that it figures price per unit so that I can easily compare prices.

Why would I EVER want to keep a price book?

A price book makes it easy to compare prices. So, if you see a sale, you can go to your price book and see if the sale worth getting in on. Believe it or not, not all sales are good deals. At least not in my book (pun intended). There are certain items that the grocery store prices so low, they will lose money on them. They do this because they assume that you will come for the deals and then do all of your grocery shopping with them. These items are known as ‘loss leaders’. However, we savvy shoppers will buy the loss leaders and not buy anything else unless the price can’t be beat elsewhere. And how will we know if the price can be beat elsewhere? Say it with me now… Our Price Book!!!

For example, if I see a sale for diapers at my local grocery store, I figure the price per diaper at the grocery store. Then, I go to my price book and see what I pay per diaper at my local warehouse store (where I can buy diapers for the cheapest possible price). If the price per diaper is lower at the grocery store, I know that it is the real deal (again, pun intended).

How do I make a price book?

I thought you would never ask! I use a simple excel workbook that I have created to auto figure the price per unit. You could do the same, or even do it the ‘old fashioned way’ and use a notebook and pen. Whatever works for you. If you would like the Excel template that I use, email me and I would be happy to email one out to you.

Then, every time you go shopping, bring home your receipts and enter the item that you bought, the price you paid (per unit), the store you bought it at, and the date. You don’t need to include every little item you buy, only those that you buy regularly.

To figure the price per until, divide the price by the size. For example, I buy a 64 ounce container of ketchup for $2.14. To figure the price per unit, you divide 2.14 by 64, and you get .03. That means that I pay 3 cents per ounce of ketchup.

As always, if you have questions, leave me a comment. I am always happy to help.