Monday, March 7, 2011

31 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Budget: Tip #7

Tip #7 – Keep a Price Book
What is a price book? It’s a book that you keep prices in. :) Well, OK, to elaborate, it’s a book of the items that you buy/use the most with their regular price and basically a tracking of sale prices and at which stores. Over time, you’ll be able to see a trend in what the “rock bottom” price is and what the sale cycles are for it. You’ll see it on sale for $2.50 but you’ll know, if I wait a week, it should be at $2.00.
Obviously, this is not an overnight process. But even just knowing the regular prices of the items you buy the most is helpful. You’ll then know when a sale is a great sale and when it’s just their trickery of marking it down $.10 and saying it’s on sale! Which, it easy to see when you are in the store but when you are looking through a sale ad and deciding if you should buy it or not, it’s not so easy. (Though, I do commend Jewel for usually listing the regular price with the sale price in their ads!)
I have to admit, I haven’t done a quite so elaborate price book. (BUT it is on my list of new things to start doing!) I have learned the regular price of items I buy a lot but there are some things I’m still unsure of sometimes. I usually have the hardest time with meats. But I have seen a benefit to keeping track of sale cycles.
For example, you are low on cream cheese. They have it on sale. But Thanksgiving is coming up. Let me tell you, every year they mark these down during most holidays. So what I would do is only buy one if I absolutely needed it and wait to stock-up on any more! Just like Cinco de Mayo. If two weeks ago I needed taco shells, I’d know to wait because right before Cinco de Mayo, they mark them down–and usually the coupons/deals come out to match!
So while having a book of every item and it’s sales cycle would be ideal, my advice to you is start off small and at least keep track of the regular prices of your most used items in a book. And if you happen to come across a great sale, note it.
Knowing the best price for the items you use most not only saves you money, but it also helps you stockpile at the right amount. And an extra bonus: it may help you decide that one store is more right for you because they always have the best prices on what you need most. These three things result in $avings!
Hope this one helps.
Tune in tomorrow at  for Tip #8.

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