Now that you have your list of items you want to keep in your stockpile, it's time to think about how much you will pay for those things. I was talking with my daughter yesterday and she mentioned that she was tempted to just go out and buy everything for her stockpile. That's not the way to save money. Of course she knows that, she is just feeling tempted (anxious) that's all. She will need to buy things when they are at the lowest cost possible.
She also asked me if the price of canned tomatoes on sale this week was a good bargain? Good question. I wish I could honestly answer that question. The last time I bought canned tomatoes was about a year ago so I couldn't answer her question. I admit, I've been pretty lax in doing frugal things the last few years due to the overwhelming machine quilting schedule I used to keep up with.
This is a rough draft of how my price books will look. I don't have the right size books I need yet but I wanted to post about creating one anyway. I will try to do another post on my price books as soon as I get them made.
Creating a price book will help save money. A price book is an organized way of comparing prices. You can use it to check whether a bargain really is a bargain or just clever advertising to part you from your hard earned money. You can use a price book when looking through sale ads as well as checking a price while in the store. In the picture you will notice that my chart is in ink but the prices will be in pencil. That's so I can erase and change information without messing up the chart. One thing I forgot is a place for how many I want to have in storage (ink) and how many I have of each already (pencil).
In my opinion the price book should be small enough to fit into your purse so you can carry it with you all the time. It will be with me if I happen to come upon what looks like a bargain but I'm not quite sure. Actually two small, purse sized spiral notebooks would be ideal. One for food items and one for non-food items.
I will use one page per item with stores listed, the price paid (or price copied from the shelves), size, and the date purchased. My price book will be created using my stockpile list as a guide. Every item on my stockpile list will get a page in my price comparison books. The last time I had a price book I also had a "normal price" column. I wrote down prices as I shopped so I knew which store sold which item cheapest when not on sale.
In my opinion a frugal shopper should never be without their price books. Oh my, am I a bad shopper or what? I haven't carried a price book in a long, long time. If there is a question about whether a price on an item is a good bargain or not..... look in the price book.
My daughter has come up with her own version of price book using her computer to create a spreadsheet. She plans to have only one sheet per store with her stockpile list under each store. She was telling me how she can sort in all kinds of ways to get the information she needs. I'm more of paper and pencil type person but she is a computer person. Either way will be fine so long as it's created and used.
No organizing system will work if it's not used.
One thing to remember is to not go overboard and spend money on over priced items just to get a stockpile created. A stockpile is all about saving.... not just having. A stockpile is created by getting items as you find them at their lowest price possible. Hmm.... it's kind of like knowing there will someday be a flood but not panicking and sitting there waiting to be rescued years before it actually happens. You want to be prepared but not panicked.
You want to stay within your normal grocery budget and at the same time add to your stockpile. For example, say you find that tomatoes are at the lowest price in a long time. Drop something from your normal shopping list so you can stock up on the tomatoes.
Hmm.... maybe this will make more sense. I think most people have heard about how to "snowball" your way out of debt. That's where you pay off the lowest debt. Take the money you would have used to make a payment on that lowest debt and apply it toward the next lowest debt until it's paid off. Take the money you would have used on those two payments and apply it toward the next lowest debt and so forth until all debt is paid.
Well that's how I believe a grocery stockpile should be created. Start with the cheapest item (or the current sale item) to put into your stockpile. Buy enough that you won't be buying more until it's at it's lowest price again. Use the money you would have spent on that item to purchase the next cheapest item and so forth until your grocery stockpile is full. Then you only need to maintain your stockpile by buying items at their lowest price again. Stay within your budget! Don't panic and spend without a plan. It will probably take months to get a really good size stockpile created but you won't be overspending just to create a stockpile, if you buy wisely.