Welcome to my blog

Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More about the price book

I'm up just a bit too early. Too early to start quilting. I thought I'd drink another cup of coffee and tell you a bit more about how the price book helps save money.

These days the buzz words seem to be all about stocking up your pantry..... just in case. What is a well stocked pantry? It's not so much about a place in your house where food is stored.... it's about an attitude. Sure, you can do an internet search to find all kinds of "pantry stock lists" where someone else tells you what is the ideal items to have on hand. If you follow those lists to the letter you may find yourself, sometime down the road, cleaning out dusty cans of food to take to the food bank because your family just doesn't like what's in there. Or you might find yourself tossing outdated items you couldn't figure out how to incorporate into foods your family would eat.

A well stocked pantry is an attitude of knowing you are getting items your family loves at the absolute lowest price you can find.... and the items will be used instead of gathering dust. A truly frugal person is also well organized. Keeping organized helps prevent over spending on things you thought you needed but didn't. Staying organized shouldn't be overwhelming. Yes, it does sometimes feel like staying organized is beyond your control. It happens to me too. That's why I try to combine my organizing whenever possible. To keep it simple.

A price book is a memory helper. (These days I need all the memory help I can get.) It helps you remember the store that carries the stuff you like the most.... at the lowest price. What prices you keep up with are your family's personal choices. The brands you know won't gather dust. How many items you put into your price book are also your own personal choice. It might be only a few and it might be everything. The point is that you want to know for sure if store A, store B, or store C has the lowest price of anything you are about to shell out hard earned dollars to buy.

For example: store A has your favorite brand of toilet paper priced a whole dollar less than store B and C so you buy it from store A. Saving a dollar of your grocery budget. Store C carries the spices you always have on hand at about 30 cents cheaper than store A and B. You see the idea? A price book lets you look up which store is cheapest when you are making out your grocery list. The price book also tells you if the sale price for toilet paper at store B really is cheaper than store A this week. All you have to do is look in your price book to compare.

As I explained in my last post.... you can't outsmart the marketing people at their own game. Well, maybe that's a wee bit wrong. It all depends on how quickly you get into the store and get out again. The longer you stay in a store the more likely you are to pick up an extra item or two. I'm sure you know what I mean. You run into the store to get milk and bread but come out with a cart full of stuff. If you learn to get in quickly and get out quickly... you win. A price book helps you learn.

How you create your price book is also a matter of choice. The form it takes really doesn't matter. Do you prefer paper? Do you prefer keeping it on the computer? Do you really want to keep up with the price of 4 brands of peas at 6 different stores or only track the price of your family's favorite brand? Would you want to inventory everything in the house all at once or would you prefer starting with only your current shopping list and adding to it over time? What really matters when creating your personal price book is using it to save money on your shopping budget.

A price book becomes more valuable and easier to manage over time. As you start entering data you'll find it requires fewer changes as time goes by. You'll be able to spend only a few minutes each time you make our your grocery lists. If you stick to your grocery list.... buying only want you plan to buy.... your inventory will also be updated in just a few minutes at the same time you create your shopping lists. Eventually the price book will help you with meal planning too.

No comments: