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Discussion Starter #1
Having a pricebook seems like one of the biggest frugal tips I read so I got myself a notebook today. I'm still wary of the work it will take and the actual savings I will receive. I don't have a car and not much time to get to different grocery stores all the time, but I'll give this thing a shot.

Who uses one? Does it help a lot? Any tips?
 

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I don't use one. I personally do not have the time to make it worth my while. I am a full time mom, student, bank employee, and on top of that my husband is deploying in 2 months. When I am not working or doing school stuff, I'm trying to spend as much time with my 'boys' as I can.

I just can't justify the time spend running to two or three different stores for what would be a few cents difference (for me).
 

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I have a price book, but it is only for the store I frequent most. That way, when I write my grocery list, I also write how much the item usually costs, and I tally it up to see how much my grocery bill is going to be.

Having a budget for groceries, I also have a budget of what I will spend each week, so if I am going over that amount, I can start relooking my list and seeing what it is that I really need, and what I can scale back on.

Also, when I am in the store, I keep a running tally of how much I am actually spending on the items. Sometimes things are on sale, and if enough items are on sale, I can put something else back on the list.

Some people may use price books to save money alone.... but I use it more as a guide to help keep me within my budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, the problem is I can't really run to many stores either. I just shop between Wal-Mart and Wegmans.

Also, there are so many brands of everything that I feel unsure about what to include and what's a waste of time.
 

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now because i only shop at 3 stores i don't use one. there are certain things i get at each store becuase teh other 2 don't have them. when we were in CT and 2 stores were across teh street from each other, i would use my price book. i started it using my receipts and the store flyers. the flyers up there would give you weights and package sizes so that made it east to calculate unit prices. some pages were genenric like milk, bread eggs. others were brand specific like heinz ketchup or cheer laundry detergent. milk i would buy whatever brand was on sale so all the brands went on one page. ketchup was just heinz since that's all dh liked and the other brands didn't compare. only keep track of whatyou use on a regular basis. something you use one every 6 months isn't going to be worth it. and if there are 5 brands of shampoo, but you only will use 3 of them, only keep track of the 3 you use. this is supposed to be something helpful for you not something to bog you down. i know some people will go into store just to write down prices of items in their price book. but that can be a boring and long task. i would take my receipts from each shopping trip and enter those prices down. when i flipped through flyers, i'd write those down. it takes a while to build up information in a pricebook to use it to see trends of when things go on sale or to notice a steady increase in prices. you would have to go into the stores weekly to enter prices to see those benefits from it and would take way too much time.after a few entries you should start to be able to see who usually has good prices on the things you buy. and who usually has good loss leaders. it's not going to be an instant thing you see, and it's not always going to be a constant which is why i continued to enter prices from my receipts. another benefit from making enteries from receipts is you are only logging things you actually buy.

i dont' use one now because most of my shopping is done at walmart, some things i get from trader joe's and others i'll get from sam's club. these 3 are teh least expensive stores in my town and the one next door. every so often i'll go to a regular grocery store for loss leaders, but even those haven't been good lately.

and one thing i learned from my pricebook when i needed it and used it, one store always had lower prices on 99% of what we bought while teh other had good loss leaders about once a month. so for regular shopping i went to the store with the constant lower prices and went to the other just when they had good loss leaders. saves on gas and sanity.
 

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I started a price book, because I shop between Aldi and Wegmans. I buy mostly generic at Wegmans, but I have a few brand loyalties when it comes to toothpaste, hair conditioner, hair dye, and cat food (that's where my coupons enter in). I also just started shopping at the dollar store for soap...mine has a wide variety of body soap to choose from.

Since I have been shopping between two stores I usually know what I can buy the cheapest in each place, however sometimes I am surprised. The shredded cheese at Wegmans is usually cheaper than at Aldi. I also like to know how much money to bring each shopping trip and if I know the price I am going to spend on each item I can get a pretty close estimate of how much I will need while shopping. My price book has been handy, and the saved dollars and cents by shopping in two different places has added up for me.
 

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I have a price book, but I didn't make it the way TWG suggested. I created an Excel spreadsheet listing the items I buy frequently. I then checked the online ads of the stores in my area for several months and entered the lowest prices I saw for each item. After a couple months, I knew the target price to pay for each.
 

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I think if I could only normally get to one or two stores, I would write down the regular price at each store for all the items I regularly buy. If there are several brands, write down the cheapest unless you are loyal to one of them. That way, if something goes on sale, you know if it is actually a good price or just a marketing trick (giant sale sign but really same price as always). And if you happen to find yourself in a different store on occasion, you will know if something is a good deal.

I don't think you need something elaborate or time consuming - just a list of items and two columns for the prices at your two stores. You could sit down at home and make the list based on the stuff in your cupboards, then just jot down the prices when you go shopping.

I have 8 stores with dramatically different prices, so mine is getting complicated.
 

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I don't use one, I don't have a written down list, but I do have a limit on what I am willing to pay for things. If I can't get what I need at my price or less then I don't get it. For example cereal, I will not and have never paid more then $1.50 for a box of cereal.
 
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I don't have one either. I've tried making one twice and found it too time-consuming. I do have a list in my head of the cheapest place to get the few staples that we buy all the time, but it can't be more than 10 things.
 

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I just shop between Wal-Mart and Wegmans.
Oh, Wegman's! I now live in a part of the country where there is no Wegman's, or Trader Joe's for that matter, and I miss it so. If I could have moved my house into the cheese department, I would have done it.

BTW, I do use a price list.
 

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I had a price book, but found I could remember the best prices on items we frequently purchase. I don't buy a "want" until it reaches a certain price, and I can usually keep that price in my head.
 

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I have a pricebook. There are three stores in my town...IGA, County Market and a Sav-a-Lot...I also write down prices from Aldi's, but don't get there much as it's 30 miles away, but will make a point to stop there, if I'm in town.

It's helped me greatly, and has honestly become like a religion to me. Everything I buy gets written in the price book and where it was bought. I know where the cheapest places are to get all of my neccesities, and have even been known to swipe the reciepts from my grandmother or mother to write down the prices from that too.

I always insist on knowing the prices of EVERYTHING!!

However, it's convienent for me because I do my grocery shopping in one big circle...Sav-a-lot first, then I hit the sales and the things that savalot doesn't have at the other two. (I'm also a really big fan of the saturday flyers that come in the mail, listing the sales for the following wee.) Sav-a-lot is the farthest from my house...a whole whopping 12-15 blocks maybe!

Another thing I've noticed with the two branch stores here in town, is that the best sales are at the end of the month...when social security is running out or food stamps are running too low. Then, those people don't have the money to shop, they can have their HUGE sales and make good impressions, but really, not near as many people are shopping, so they're not losing the money. But, if everyone were to wait til the end of the month to do their shopping, the sales are better.
 

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I pretty much keep a pricebook in my head. I can tell what is about what at all the different stores I go to.
I noticed today my salad dressing (Walmart brand has gone up 6 cents ).
Maxwell House coffee is still the same at $5.48 for a big can.
etc.
 

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I used to keep one, but it got too frustrating because Wal-Mart (one of my mainstays) was constantly changing (read: raising) their prices.:skept:

My price book (just a spiral notebook) has a bunch of scribbles in it now with no room to write current prices. I guess I need to invest in some white-out. Grrr.
 

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I have one, but don't use it anymore. I used it originally to find out which store was cheapest. When I determined that, I kept track of prices once a month for a whole year. That told me when things went on sale. Now I refer to the price book occasionally to see what sale might be coming up. But I rarely shop anywhere but this one store, because all the others are way more expensive.

Edited to add: I also kept track of prices throughout the month for awhile. Turns out prices are higher the week of payday - mid-month and end of month - and cheaper the other two weeks of the month. Go figure! I stock up during the cheap weeks generally.
 

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I think if you shop at only two stores it would just be more work than it woudl be worth for you. I just know the prices of my most frequently bought items in my head. I try to to ever pay more than 2.79 for a gallon of milk but I know that at walmart the current price for milk is 3.89. I will look in todays adds to see who has it on sale. IF nobody does (and thats unuseual) I will go and get it at cvs whos highest price has only ever been 3.09.
 

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Price book

Hello,

I have just started this! Any helpful tips or suggestions?

:apple: :purpcat:

Have a blessed day,
Tina
 

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Tina Louise:

My tips:

1) set up a page for each item (eg. peanut butter).

2) give each grocery store an abbreviation, and note it at the front of the line about a particular product.

3) include the date of the purchase, the brand name, the size, and the price.

4) go back once a month and note if the price is the same. If it is, don't bother to change it in the book. But if it's different, note it. I note it on my grocery list. I don't take my price book to the store with me. Store managers don't like to see price books coming.

5) go back once a week and note changes in price, if any.

6) look at prices and determine who has the best deal. Here's where my problems arise. Often the place with the best price has the crappiest produce. So I shop for everything I can get there, then head to the store with the nicest produce and buy the rest there.

Hope that helps.
 
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