I in no way claim this is the best, most effective, or most accurate and useful way to make a price book. One of the comments on my next steps post about bulk buying asked me to share my price book method, and so I am. I love the *concept* of a price book but I just never got around to the *implementation* part. And the idea of constantly maintaining it made me cranky. I’m just inherently… that lazy. So I decided to implement this sort of hybrid concept, that gives me some price tracking information but is by no means comprehensive. And here it is. Take from it what you can, and improve on it for your own use. In fact, feel free to share improvements in the comments and we can all learn something.
Basically, my price book method is all about the receipt. I shop at Aldi first, and I get my receipt. Then, when I go to Walmart, I will note on the Aldi receipt the price of the equivalent item there… provided I remembered to bring a pen and I happen to see it. I don’t generally seek the stuff out. I usually end up noting the price at Walmart of about half of my Aldi list.
When I get home, after I write my grocery roundup post, I open up my spreadsheet program and enter the prices of everything from my receipts in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has a column for each week and each row is an item and location. I put the Aldi and Walmart equivalents in rows right next to each other. So for example, if I have the price of Aldi spaghetti, the very next row will be the Walmart spaghetti.
Date: 09/30/07 10/06/07
Walmart 16 oz spag. 1.29 1.29
Aldi 16 oz spag 0.99 0.99
On the spreadsheet everything actually stays in columns, I’m technologically challenged and haven’t figured out how to import things like that to the blog.
That’s it. I use the spreadsheet to decide what store to buy which items from my list before I go, and also to decide if items from the Kroger circular are worth buying. I don’t keep Kroger in my price spreadsheet generally but I will use the circular to look for deals there compared to the prices of the “normal” stores I shop at. Kroger is basically across the street from me so it is easy for me to go there without making a whole special trip if there is a good deal available.
Knowing I am inherently lazy, feel free to suggest improvements!