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Make Your Own Price Book

Do you like the feeling when you know you actually saved money during a sale rather than just buying an item during a sale and thinking you saved money? I know I do (Now I sound like a bad infomercial). But there is a way to know exactly when you are getting a deal on all sorts of products. By creating your own Price Book, you can find the average price of the desired product at all of the major retailers and find out which really is a sale. This will help you stay on budget. For example:

These savings can help you with debt.

These savings can help you with debt.

(The price of Paper Towels at different retailers)

Wal-Mart: $1.89

Walgreens: $1.97

Target: $1.79

Shaw’s: $1.99

Knowing that the lowest price of towels is 1.79 when they are not on sale should tell you that even if Shaw’s paper towels go on sale from 1.99 to 1.79, it’s still not a sale because you could have purchased the paper towels at Target for 1.79 without a sale.

Next, find out all of the sale prices on the paper towels at each of the retail stores and find out what the average sale price is.

(Sale price for Paper Towels at different retailers)

Wal-Mart- $1.29

Walgreen- $1.39

Target- $.99

Shaw’s – $1.38

(Average sale price = $1.26)

Now that you have found the target price you will pay for the paper towels, it is time to find out how often this item goes on sale. Saving money with sales will help you pay off debt. When you have found out the sales cycle for the paper towels (let’s say 5 weeks) when the sale hits, stock up on the item. Get as much as you think you would consume in the 5 week period until the next sale. This way when you run out of paper towels, there should be a sale where you can stock up for another 5 weeks until the next sale.

When creating a Price Book you will have to be organized, especially when it comes to a grocery list which can sometimes be longer than Santa’s naughty list. One way to keep organized is to create a Price Book from Microsoft Excel. Here is a basic template can be used to help jumpstart your very own Price Book:

Date Store Item Size Price
1/10/2011 Walgreens Paper Towels 1 Roll $1.97
1/8/2011 Wal-Mart Paper Towels 1 Roll $1.89
1/15/2011 Target Paper Towels 1 Roll $0.99
1/17/2011 Shaw’s Paper Towels 1 Roll $1.99

While using a Price Book, you will be surprised to see how much money you can save. You will also see when a so called “sale” really isn’t a sale at all. Give it a shot. It may take some time to develop, but this can be a helpful tool that could save you a lot of money. Happy sale hunting!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.


Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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