I had a message from a reader about price books where the reader wants to know:

“What’s the purpose behind a price book? To compare prices of the same items at different stores? I get that I guess, but I just can’t see creating a grocery list for 1/3 of my groceries at Safeway, 1/3 of them at Save-on-Foods, 1/4 of them at Costco and little bits and pieces here and there at random places around town. My time is worth more than having to drive all around town to save a few cents on a box of Kleenex, for example… so what purpose does it serve in a really practical way?”

I am new to creating a price book, so some you may have better answers than me! I posted my response to that post before realizing that this might be best as a separate post so that it does not get buried in the comments section of that old post.

My response to the above question is:

I’m not an expert, but here is what I plan to use it for..
1. To see what store really has the best prices on the things that I buy
2. So that when I see a sale ad I will know if it is really a good deal or not
3. If I see something on sale in the store I can check if it is really a good deal.
4. To help set a realistic grocery budget.

I don’t plan on driving all around town to save a few cents cause gas is too expensive for that! 🙂 But say if I happen to be by a Target and I am low on mustard and they have the cheapest mustard then I know that and can run in for it.

So,  now I am calling out to those of you that use price books or have thoughts on them that you would like to share. You can leave your comments on this post instead of the one from last week on price books.

Not sure what a price book is, exactly? Well, if you’re a frugalista like me, then you might be interested in using one of these to get your finances straight. Here’s a good defintion from Penny Pinchin’ Mom:

A Price Book is a list of the products you purchase and the prices you pay in order to watch for sales trends and cycles.

When you know your target prices, you know when the price is a good deal and that you might want to go ahead and stock up. For example, if you know you can usually get your favorite soup for just $0.50 a can, you can watch for the sales cycle and learn that every 8 weeks it goes on sale, which allows you to stock up at the absolute lowest price!

Learn more on her blog post about it.

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