Last week I shared the first of a series of FREE printable tools to help you on your journey to spend less and save more.
I am excited to be able to share another tool with you!
This resource is what is commonly called a Price Book.
This tool is simple to use, and FREE for you to download!
Click here to get your FREE copy of my Price Book.
A Price Book is an on-going document that you use to help you determine an item’s sale cycle. A sale cycle is the fluctuation of an item’s price over a period of time, often 8 or 12 weeks.
If you can figure out what the lowest price is for the items you buy the most often, you can begin maximizing your savings by only buying them when their price hits its lowest point.
It takes a little a bit of work, but in the long run it pays off. After tracking your items for a period of time, you likely won’t need a price book, because you begin to learn the prices you can expect. When just starting out though, it can be a big help!
Tips for Using a Price Book:
- Be thorough. It might be tempting to just jot down the brand of the items and the overall price, but if you have fill in all the suggested information, you can learn a lot more about the price fluctuations of a particular item.
- Always note if the price you’re recording is from a coupon or a sale. When you shop with coupons, you can’t always guarantee that you will have a particular coupon at your disposal the next time you hit the stores. Don’t confuse the price of an item with a coupon for the price of an item in general. The same goes for the price of items when they are on sale. Stores regularly offer items for sale, so pay attention to what sale it is a part of, and see if it is a part of your store’s usual sales programs.
- Pay attention to unit price. This is a biggie. Products come in many different sizes and packages, so always note the unit price so you can accurately compare prices. One week you might find a 16 oz. package of rice for a certain price, but the next week the 32 oz. package is on sale. You want to know what the lowest unit price is, not just the lowest price across all sizes and shapes of that item. To calculate the unit price, divide the price of the item by the number of ounces (or pounds, grams, etc).
- Visit different stores. It might take a little extra time to shop at more than one store each week, but unless you take the time to price the items at different stores, you won’t really know where you can get the best price on the items you buy most often. You don’t have to price at every store, just some of the ones you could easily visit.
- Try different brands. When you are willing to try different brands of an item, you will be able to save the most money. Sometimes the store brand is the lowest option available, and other time it will be a specific brand that always issues coupons. If you can figure this out and don’t mind using different brands, you’ll see savings!
Benefits of using a Price Book:
- You will know what the lowest price is that you can buy an item for. That’s the whole point of this tool…to help you spend as little as possible on the things you buy the most.
- You can stock up your pantry for less. When you stock up on an item at its lowest price, and keep a pantry of these stocked up items, you save money by not having to buy the item when its sale cycle is on an upswing.
- You will recognize the “real” deals. Stores often put items on sale, but that doesn’t mean the item is being offered for its lowest price. When you know the lowest price point an item has, you will recognize real deals and bargains when you see them.
I hope you will find these tips and my Price Book tool to be helpful on your journey to spend less and save more.