Creating a Price Book
Think about the last time you were in the store and saw a bold, bright sign claiming that this item was on sale for 75% off. Was it? What would this item normally cost if it wasn’t on sale?
Unless you have a basic idea of what items cost when not on sale, you really can’t begin to decide if purchasing it now is a real deal. Guess what? Sales don’t always mean the price is the lowest you can find!
I have been in stores that are running a 50% off retail price and they are shouting it from the banners and street front ads. Ok.. let’s look at this for a minute. Suggested Retail is not what most stores sell items for on any given day whether they are claiming to have a sale or not.
So, let’s add numbers to this story:
Item Suggested Retail Price: $20.00
Item can be found any day of the week at any number of local stores for $15.00
Store A is running a 25% off SRP sale (good deal right?) – price is $15.00
Store B is running a BOGO 1/2 off SRP – (better deal?) – price is still $15.00 ($20 + $10 /2)
Store C is offering a $1.00 off shelf price coupon – price is now $14.00
If you don’t know what an item sells for when it isn’t on sale…you will never know if you are getting a good deal or ripped off.
I have a price book that I update a couple of times a year. I also have another price book for gift items that I start new each year and watch for sales on things my little ones want or need that are not food related.
A price book is simply a log of what you normally pay for items. Simple concept. You can start by creating a list of items that you purchase all the time. With this list, note the prices as you visit the different stores in your area. For me, my list compares prices at Kroger, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.
If you really want to get an idea of overall pricing. Take this list and hit all the stores in one day. Write down the shelf price and the price for that day. When you have visited all the stores, simply total up the figures and you will see where you would have saved the most money based on your list of items. This will let you know, all factors the same…you should head to store X for items you need UNLESS they are on sale or you have a store specific coupon.
For me, since I am only label loyal to a few things…I head to Walmart if I need to grab a few items in between shopping trips. When I am making my larger weekly trip, I shop at Kroger for most things, then either CVS or Walgreens depending on the sale and finally at Walmart for the items not on sale and no coupon is available. Of course, I try to NOT buy anything that isn’t on sale AND I have a coupon.
Here are two Price Books to get you started: