What if I told you that if you keep a grocery price book, you could cut your grocery bill in half even without using coupons? Sound too good to be true? It's not!
Saving money on your grocery bill doesn't just happen. It requires planning and being intentional. That's where keeping a price book comes in.
A price book is simply a place (paper or digital) to record all the prices, dates and unit prices of the things you buy most often. This allows you to see which items you've purchased and when and where you've paid the lowest price. Just because an item appears in a sales flyer or displays a “hot deal” sign, doesn't necessarily mean it's the best price.
A price book shows you the real deals!
This powerful tool works hand in hand with The Pantry Principle. It helps you keep close tabs on the products you buy the most, so that you can maximize your savings and hopefully never pay full price for anything.
Keep a Grocery Price Book to Save Money
A price book makes you more aware of what you are spending not just for a single item, but per unit or serving which is more accurate and can help you save money over the long haul.
For example, if you buy a six pack of Coke, the unit price would reflect the cost of each individual can of Coke. This gives you a truer price than simply looking at the cost of the six pack.
If you were considering a six pack of bottles or a six pack of cans which are different sizes, you can also break the price down into per ounce to give a more accurate comparison.
The unit prices are often listed on the tags at your local grocery store or can be determined quickly with a calculator, but a price book will show you the unit prices at several stores for comparison. See the difference?
You will be able to track sales trends and determine when the best time is to stock up on your favorite products at their lowest price.
Keep a Price Book to Stay Organized
As I mentioned before, saving money requires a plan. Forming a plan requires organization.
My money saving plan consists of three elements:
2. Clipping coupons
3. Utilizing the Pantry Principle
Using the pantry principle means never paying full price. Never paying full price means you have to know where the best prices are.
People often ask me how I can remember what or where the best price is. This is something that has always come naturally to me, but it's difficult for most.
A price book doesn't require any memory since all the information is in black and white and can be updated when needed. It takes the guesswork out of determining what is really a good deal and is one less thing to remember.
A price book helps you keep track of current spending and price trends for those items you buy the most, and brings all that knowledge to your fingertips. With that knowledge, you can better plan menus and shopping trips to save both time and money.
I have a friend who has been keeping a price book for several years. At the drop of a hat, he can tell you where and when chicken, ground beef or a can of beans will be at its lowest price.
Keep a Price Book to Sharpen Your Budget
Nothing blindsides your budget quite like hidden or impulsive spending and a price book brings everything into the light. When you first start out, you will save every receipt and write down the prices of the items you buy the most.
In doing so, it will be impossible to overlook those extra items you buy all the time without regard for cost or necessity. We all do it, but it is vital to be aware of it and not ignore it. These hidden costs are the very things that cause a budget to fall apart.
Keeping a price book takes a little work and it's not a magic money saving wand, but it can certainly help you cut your grocery bill in half over time, if you approach it with diligence and self-discipline.
Are your ready to save? We'll show you how to make your own price book!