How to make a price book - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-19-2009, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been planning to do this forever and just never get around to it. Notebook? Spreadsheet? By store? Alphabetical? Please share you did yours!
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#2 of 12 Old 04-20-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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I've been meaning to post about this!!
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#3 of 12 Old 04-20-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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I use to do this... my grandpa is a old gambles shop owner and still does it. I would do this in excel. I list the items going down in alphebital order then across by store. What my grandpa does is writes the price on the item in a black sharpie... just like you would see at some country store.

That's just what I did... didn't stick with it because it was on a computer that crashed.
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#4 of 12 Old 04-20-2009, 01:40 AM
 
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I'm trying to figure this out as I just started to make one this weekend. We only shop at 3 places - Trader Joe's, our local HFS, and a couple things from Costco (bulk organic carrots, frozen organic veggies & blueberries). I'm not interested in going to a large variety of stores, and with dietary restrictions, I can't get some things at regular grocery stores, so I know I'm just dealing with prices between those three. But, what I want to figure out is what is cheaper at TJ's and what's cheaper at our HFS, and if the bulk frozen organic stuff at Costco is a better deal than smaller packages at one of the other two stores.

Right now, I'm using a spiral bound notebook, writing down all items that I would get at each store (if there's overlap between the stores, I'm checking the price and writing down the unit of price for each store), and writing prices per unit (box, pound, etc.). My goal is to then do like tryingforbaby above described - putting it all in Excel in alphabetical order, and having a column for each store. Then, I can make my shopping lists accordingly depending on where the price is best.

What I haven't figured out is how often you should take that list and recheck against current prices. Right now the prices seem to fluctuate so much - mostly up - that I have a feeling each month or so prices would need to be checked against the list. I don't know though. I've never actually paid this much attention to how much things cost before.

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#5 of 12 Old 04-20-2009, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really surprised there aren't more responses! Since every book on frugality seems to mention them, I just assumed everyone but me had one. Huh! Well ok, I think I'm going to do what others have suggested and just do it on a spreadsheet. I guess I can then print it out and stick it in my coupon notebook.

Or I can surf the 'net and think about it some more.
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#6 of 12 Old 04-20-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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I've been meaning to do this as well. I started an excel sheet with the item across and store down.
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#7 of 12 Old 04-20-2009, 11:14 PM
 
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I used to have one in a small notebook during Part 1 of my frugal lifestyle. Then I took a few years off and now have started one on Excel. I'm starting with old receipts and also using store flyers. It is eye-opening and useful but currently a PITA.

I was thinking it would be great to do a pricebook online, where multiple people could contribute, for a given city/region/area. That way you wouldn't have to collect and enter all the data yourself. Kind of like how the couponing forums keep track of sales and coupons, but with prices, KWIM?
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#8 of 12 Old 04-21-2009, 02:45 AM
 
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I do it in excel. I list everything that we buy, and then the price at the different stores, and bold the cheapest one. That way, if I run into a cheaper price somewhere, I know to stock up. I can also push my food plan to shopping at one store + the stockpile so that I rotate the stores I shop at rather than stopping at multiple places each week.
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#9 of 12 Old 04-21-2009, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieBonita View Post
I do it in excel. I list everything that we buy, and then the price at the different stores, and bold the cheapest one. That way, if I run into a cheaper price somewhere, I know to stock up. I can also push my food plan to shopping at one store + the stockpile so that I rotate the stores I shop at rather than stopping at multiple places each week.
Items down the side alpha, stores across the top?
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#10 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 03:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
Items down the side alpha, stores across the top?
Yup. items split into dry goods/fruit and veg/meat/dairy so I don't have a lot to scan across per section, and prices are either price by weight or by item, whichever makes more sense.
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#11 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 12:10 PM
 
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I did a quick price book by hand a while back. Stores at top, items down the side. I tried to keep it sorted by type of item but it was hard since I was hand writing. That price book ended up being more an overview to give me an idea of how much I was overspending where. Plus we shop at 4 stores, it all depends on the direction we are going when we need food. It was certainly an eye opener. The store we thought was the most expensive was mid range. The one we thought was mid range was horribly expensive. Like $1 more per small rice milk kind of thing.

Recently I decided to get more accurate on more items. Plus I wanted something I could keep with me. I started putting it into a spreadsheet. I use Numbers in iWork on my Mac which is like Excel. Same format but I can easily move stuff around and keep things in order by type. Then I can print out a copy on a couple of pages which are easier to stuff into my bag then my old notebook.

I wish there was a price book app for my ipod.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-24-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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I just started doing one after reading about them in the Complete Tightwad Gazette (great books! - I think it's from the first one). I just hand write in a small binder. I didn't want to buy anything new to make it so I cut down old notebook paper to fit my little binder & then hole-punch to fit since it is a 6-ring.

The items are in alphabetical order and have their own page per item. I list in order: store, brand, price per package, price per individual item or 100 gr or whatever is appropriate. I just started with my Costco receipt so don't have more than one store per item yet, but will add as I shop or pricecheck elsewhere.

Here are a couple of examples:

Bagels
Costco - Kirkland - $5.99/12 - $.499/bagel

Butter
Costco - Meadowdale - $3.58/454gr - $.789/100gr
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