Before you can truly take advantage of grocery store sales and utilizing coupons, you need to know what price the items you purchase usually sell for. The problem is that most of us shop with general prices of goods in our heads, and not a concrete price that we have obtained from past experience. That's where creating a price book can save you hundreds of dollars.
The problem is that what a grocery store says is a good price and what actually is a good price aren't always the same. When you walk into a store and see an item on sale for $2.99 that normally retails at $4.00, the automatic assumption is that it is a good deal. If you knew, however, that that same product is sometimes on sale for as low as $1.49, your perspective on the “good deal” would significantly change.
The truth is that you're pretty much in the dark when the store gives you both the retail and sale price without you having another reference to compare those prices against. This is exactly what the store wants. When they put up a big “sale” sign, they want you to make the assumption that it's a good price. By creating a price book that has your own independent data, you can easily confirm that it is a good deal or that it isn't with a quick peak, and this will ensure that you are purchasing products at the best prices possible.
A price book is basically a record of the best price you have paid for all the different grocery items you've purchased in the past. It's your history of what a good price is on each individual product and puts you in the driver's seat in finding bargains instead of relying on the store's word.
Most people don't have a price book for the simple reason that they think it would be incredibly time consuming to create and upkeep. The truth is that it should take less than an hour to create and then a few minutes of your time to update each time you go grocery shopping. All you need is a small pocket notebook and a pencil. Keep them with your coupons so that you always have them at hand when you go to the store.
To begin a price book, take a look at your last grocery receipt and write down the prices you paid for each of the products you bought. If you don't have that, just write down the items that you are going to purchase on your next trip to the grocery store in the notebook.