The Price Book:
Powerful Tool For Couponing
Couponing can seem very daunting. I can remember my Mother-in-law would use coupons years ago, and spend very little but come home with a cart full of stuff at times. She was a coupon master in my eyes. She would be proud of my family today. So, just how do Couponers today remember all those prices, bargains, and shopping bonanzas? Is the Costco mega-pack a real bargain? Are sales actually a sale?
I have recently discovered what I believe to be a powerful weapon that should be in every Couponers arsenal. That is a price book. First mentioned by Amy Dacyczyn, from “The Tightwad Gazette” (no longer available). This type of book can be a power tool for you keep track of prices, products, and sales. After you have this information recorded in your price book, you can begin matching up coupons to get the best value on each product you purchase.
I keep seeing on the internet, the question, “What is a good price on a particular item to stockpile?” The answer is different for each of us based on where we are located and what type of region we live in. Keeping track and recording price variations over time from the different stores will establish a target price and will show your stores sale cycles for products you buy regularly.
Just knowing that your target price for mayonnaise is $1.99 or $2.49, and that the sales cycle is twelve weeks long, you’ll be prepared to stockpile when prices are low. You’ll then be able to rely on your stockpile until the next sale, three months later. You don’t have to go out and buy a special program or even a special “book” to create your price book. What you use is not important. Just as there are different ways for tracking and handling your coupons, there is no one right way or Method for creating a price book. The low-tech Couponers might just use a small spiral bound notebook to record their information (Date, Store, Brand Size/Price and Unit Price for each item). You might be someone who uses a daily planner. In your case, you can devote a tabbed section of your planner to price book pages.) The Hi-Tech Couponer most likely will enter price book data in a computer spreadsheet, and the gadget savvy Couponer might just download the spreadsheet data to a smart phone or other device for quick in-store check. There is a printable price book PDF page here to use as an example or to print out and use for your information.
Whatever the form, the heart of the price book is the product pages. Each page tracks price
information for a single product. You’ll list the date, store, brand, size and price, and unit price for that product. Over time, you will begin to see the best regular price, recognize special sales, and track sale cycles for that product. Then as the coupon inserts come out each week, you will be ready to get the coupons that you need now, and you will also be ready for the next sale cycle to begin.
As you can see, a Price Book can quickly become a very powerful tool for you, no matter how little or how much you delve into the Couponing World. It does require some work as to recording the information, but that information will become of valuable to you as you seek to wisely spend your money on products that you need for you and your family.
The Couponing Dad
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