Friday, February 7, 2014

Keeping A Price Book

How a Price Books saves money:
This works on the bulk buying principle.  When you find the very best price you can, you buy in bulk to "lock in" that price for yourself for as long as that price lasts you. For example, a few weeks ago Hy-Vee had a sale on shredded cheese, $1.00 per 8 oz. package. This was really a HELL of a deal, as I regularly pay $1.99 for 8oz of cheese at Aldi or on sale other places. I have payed upwards of $2.49 for 8oz of cheese when I was in a pinch and needed it right away for an event.

I bought TWELVE 8oz bags of shredded cheese. That seems crazy, right? Let me tell you why I did that. The expiration date on the bags were all August 2014 or later. So I calculated how much cheese I would use between now and August.  2 bags a month was my (conservative) estimate, so I bought enough cheese to maybe last us the 6 months, effectively locking in my cheese cost for the next 6 months at $1.00 per 8oz.

Had I not had a price book, I may not have realized what a great deal this was. I knew within seconds that I had been recently paying $1.99 or more for 8oz of cheese, so I could easily see this was HALF PRICE CHEESE and folks, it doesn't get better than that.

How I Keep My Price Book:
Since I've now got a 3rd eater at my house, it was high time for me to pick up the price book I started a few years ago and make it work. My original book was paper/pencil, though I've now advanced to an iPhone app: ValueTracker, which costs $0.99.  The buck was worth it to me to always have my price book with me (since I've always got my phone.)  The price book doesn't really work unless you always have it with you when you are at stores.

I put in prices using my receipt after I get home, and calculate the per unit (ounce, pound, whatever) price. I also update prices using the weekly sale flyers. If I used a coupon I note that (though really I don't use coupons often).  (I Plan to share my personal price book here soon!)

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