This is one of the most overlooked steps in cutting your grocery cost, but is one of the most beneficial.
Now that you have your coupons organized, you will want to create a Price Book for recording the unit price of your most commonly purchased items. (We recommend the top 25 items you purchase.) This way you can easily recognize a deal when you see one. Your Price Book should have five columns – Item, Price, Price By Unit, Store, and Date.
Record the price for your 25 most purchased item from the store where you think the product is priced the lowest. This becomes your benchmark. Brand names should only be noted for items you will not or cannot substitute (i.e. Tide HE Laundry Detergent vs. Laundry Detergent – Any Brand.)
As you start couponing and strategic shopping, note when you purchase one of the items for a lower than benchmarked price. This new price becomes your new benchmark and you know not to purchase the item (unless last resort) unless it reaches this price or lower. Keep updating your benchmark as you continue to stock your stockpile and pretty soon you’ll have established the lowest absolute price. When an item hits this price – you know to buy as many as your budget allows.
A Price Book can be hand written or electronic but needs to be something you can easily access through your phone or carry in your purse when shopping. By recording the unit price of your 25 most purchased items you can make sure you’re comparing apples to apples when in pursuit of the best deal.
My first Price Book was written on a cute piece of paper that I kept in my mini expandable coupon organizer. As my preferences change for how I organize coupons so does the look and feel of my Price Book. Currently, my Price Book is a 3×4 notebook I keep in my purse.
The time and effort you put into creating a Price Book will pay off quickly.