How to make a price book

Learn how to keep track of prices so you can tell at a glance that you've found the best price.

Woman list

Stop wasting time wondering if you've found a deal. Use these steps to create an easy, pocket-sized system to help you keep track of the best prices for your favorite products.

Get the right gear: Buy a three-ring binder that's small enough to put in your purse. A spiral notebook will work, too, but it's easier to add or replace pages in a binder.

Create categories: Dedicate a page or two to such purchases as canned goods, boxed foods, produce, meat, dairy and snacks.

Record your receipts: Make five columns running down each page. List the date, what you bought (including brand name), the size and the price, taking note if the item was on sale. Jot down the name of the store where you made the purchase too, even if it was at a convenience store or gas station.

Bring your binder everywhere: This way, you'll be able to look up a product and know at a glance if it's an unbelievable deal no matter where you are. Set maximum price limits for groceries and give them a pass when the cost is too high. You'll begin to notice trends, too, such as how often your store offers sales on canned goods, paper goods, meat, etc.