Making and Using a Price Book

One way to be sure you're getting the most for your money when you go grocery shopping is to make sure you're getting the best price you can on the items you purchase. Whether this means shopping around at different stores, or taking advantage of sales to stock up on the things you use regularly, you have to know what makes a deal a good deal. This is where having a price book comes in handy.

A price book is something you create so that you don't have to try and remember how much cereal A costs at Store X versus Store Y, or how much ground beef normally costs per pound at your favorite market. In a price book you keep track of the purchases you make, noting quantities and prices paid, breaking it down by store. Once you have this tool, all you need to do is refer to it the next time you're trying to decide whether a purchase is going to be a good deal or not.

To get started, sit down with a small notebook (something that will be easy to take along to the store) and some recent grocery receipts. How organized you get is up to you, but write down what you've been buying, the quantities you've bought, the prices you paid, cost per unit, and where you made the purchases. You can make one big list, or you could use separate pages for different parts of the grocery store (meat, dairy, canned goods, etc.). You could also make a spreadsheet and then print it out to take along on your shopping trips. Once you've done this for a few shopping trips, you will start to get an idea of where the best prices are for the things you buy, as well as what the best unit prices are.


Jennifer Thompson owns and manages DivaTribe, a web site for smart, creative, courageous women. DivaTribe features free journals, message boards, articles, book reviews and more to help women reach their full potential.

Jennifer Thompson


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