Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Starting a Price Book

I've just started keeping a price book, and it's already paying off. Basically, you get yourself any sort of spiral notebook, memo pad, or whatever sort of dead-tree writing surface you're comfortable carrying with you to the grocery store. Then, you dedicate a page to each item whose price you want to track, and every time you shop you note what you paid for that item. To make it useful, you'll need to convert it to a per-unit price (per oz., per pound, per serving). As you build up a longer record of prices, it becomes easier to spot the good deals when you're in the store, or at home browsing this week's circulars in preparation.

Here's a peek at mine:

Why thank you; that is indeed an awesome price I got on Maxwell House Coffee. You know what rocks even harder? I went to their website and printed a $1 coupon, then went back to the store and got a 34.5 ounce can for $4.88.

The website Dollar Stretcher has several articles on how to make and use a price book. It also has a lot of other money-saving information from a variety of contributers, from the cleverly frugal to the absolutely nuts.

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