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Home >> Grocery Shopping Tips >> Step 5: Price Book

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Menu Ideas & Planning

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Step # 5 Supportive Price Book Management

Making a list and sticking to it when grocery shopping can save you up to how much?

A. 10 %
B. 20 %
C. 30 %
D. 40 %

Answer D

Estimates are as high as 40% on the amount people purchase on impulse when shopping if they do not have a list with them.

You have probably heard about a Price Book, or read about them in budgeting articles. However, what is a Price Book? It is your powerful tool used by smart shoppers to help you save money. It is a practical technique used to record prices of frequently purchased items.

Armed with your current Price Book, you will know if an advertised �special� is truly a bargain or not. You can avoid costly mistakes. You can save money by knowing how much to pay for items used most often.

The Grocery Store�s Price Book

If you are a buyer for a grocery store you know what the prices of the products you purchase are. If you�re in charge of an open to buy of $1 million of canned tomatoes.

Buyers have a �buying history� for canned tomato vendor. It may be on the computer. They will not work without it. Their buying history gives them an amazing tool to save money and make good buying decisions. The history tells them when, where, how many and at what price each item was purchased. Simply, the grocery store�s buyers have that history in their computer system. They even know the sales for that item.

At a glance, the buyer can tell how many they buy at a time. The buyer knows if the price has been going up or down. Is it time to check the price at a different supplier? Is there a good time of the year or month to buy the item? Do you save money with larger quantities?

Armed with that information, the canned tomato food buyer will do their shopping. They can quickly spot a good deal. Sometimes the price will cause them to �stock up.� Because they know what they have been using and what they expect to use, it's easy to decide how much they want to buy. equally, they can tell when it's best to only buy the minimum amount because the price is too high.

Another advantage is that they can benefit from seasonal savings even if they won't need an item now. If an item is cheapest in September and they always buy in November, it's a good idea to buy early.

How Do I organize my Price Book?

Each individual shopper creates his or her own personal Price Book. You will find various formats and suggestions that you can follow. However, you determine the success of a Price Book by the way you prepared it. It must represent your typical purchases.

It can be simple or complex; there is no set way to manage one. You should try a few different ways to determine which method is best for their personal use. Here are a few methods to choose from when starting a Price Book:

Large notebook
Small, pocket size notebook
Index cards
Address book

My personal preference is using my computer and spreadsheet. (In the appendix, you will see a copy of my spreadsheet.) After updating the spreadsheet, I�ll print it out, punch 3-ring binder holes and put into a 3-ring binder. I�ll take it with me when I go shopping and update prices. Most important, I�ll take my register receipt and use that to update my Price Book. In the sample, I use categories first. This allows me to keep track depending on the stores layout.

However, Cliff and Connie Starr preference is a small notebook that they carry along with their coupons. They use a simple format. They list the products that they buy most often in alphabetical order, with the lowest price they�ve have found next to each item. They find it is best have realized that with whatever method used, it is best to list or file alphabetically.

They started their Price Book by carrying an 8x11 notebook with them to the store. They wrote each item that they purchased at the top of a page in the notebook. They listed the price for that particular store, the date, and a few other brand comparisons. Then each time they shopped at another store, they would add the prices for that store.

After visiting each store in their area, they were able to see which ones consistently had the lowest prices on the products they purchased. However, they also found that no one store had the lowest prices on everything. In order to buy at the lowest prices, they have to shop at several stores, and be willing to use many brand names.

Once I, like the Starr�s, had been keeping my Price Book for several months, we knew the lowest price that we could pay for my regular purchases, and how to avoid paying over that amount. We saw ads everyday claiming to offer the lowest prices. Since we began investing my time and efforts into our own price book, we don�t fall for deceptive advertising claims.

I also like to check my recipe cost and the book comes in handy for that. If I need to know what the price of say stewed tomatoes, corn, and other ingredients, they are right at my fingertips.

Keeping a Price Book is one easy way consumers you can be smart shoppers. Start your own Price Book today, and you too will see the patterns that the stores and manufacturers follow. Don't just start one; be sure to use it regularly once you have the prices listed. It is a practical tool to help you save.

If you walk into a grocery store and see that chicken breasts are regularly $3.99, but today they�re marked down to $2.99, you might decide that�s a great deal! You need to be armed with you price book.

Quickly you look up chicken breast and discover that you have bought boneless skinless chicken breasts for $0.99/lb in the past, $2.99 doesn�t sound like such a great deal.

In order to know what truly make up a good deal, you would need to know the price you have paid for items in the past. This is where the Price Book comes in handy. It�s your own personal record of the great deals you�ve found in the past.

Now that you have the foundation of kitchen inventory, weekly planning, menu planning you are ready for your next step. That is the recipe. This is the keystone of the smart shopping cart program.

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