Upon reading the following article in the morning call a couple of weeks ago, I found it to be very informative for explaining what a co-op is and how it works. Since Savvy Shopper 4 U offers and is essentially like, a co-op, I wanted to share this article with you, my readers! Enjoy!! You've just dealt with rush-hour traffic on Route 22, or, perhaps you've just completed a public bus commute with a transfer at the Bethlehem transit center. Regardless, it's been a long day. You head into the kitchen to prepare dinner for your family. Halfway through the recipe, you realize you are out of one of the essential ingredients. How long does it take to get to the grocery store, purchase the item and return home? Chances are, if you live or work in downtown Bethlehem, you've experienced a moment of frustration like this at one point or another related to the lack of a nearby grocery store.It is exactly this sort of situation that sparked a movement to open a community-owned-and-operated grocery store, known as a food co-op, in Bethlehem. While the location of the store is still being determined, it will be within one of the city's two downtown areas — locales defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as "food deserts" or neighborhoods with low access to fresh food. The Bethlehem Food Co-Op will strengthen our community by improving the local economy, increasing the walkability of the city, and empowering residents.
Co-ops have been a successful business model since the 1840s, when a group of artisans in England got together to collectively purchase food and household items they could not afford on their own. They ran their business according to a set of cooperative principles. Since then, numerous waves of cooperative development have occurred under those same principles, growing from various social and political movements.
The Bethlehem Food Co-op is part of a solution to strengthen the economy in the greater Lehigh Valley region. Part of the co-op's mission is to support local food systems whenever possible. The store will build relationships with farmers and producers in the Valley, keeping food dollars circulating in our local economy and allowing lower prices to be passed on to shoppers.
According to Buy Fresh Buy Local, an organization that connects consumers to local farmers and producers, "If each of the 390,000 households in the Greater Lehigh Valley committed to spending just $10 per week on locally grown foods during the growing season, we would keep $109 million of our food dollars circulating here."
Clearly, a store committed to sourcing as much product as possible from local vendors would have an enormous positive impact on the local economy. Additionally, the co-op plans to provide quality employment opportunities by offering fair wages, comprehensive benefits, and the chance for employees to have a strong voice in the business.
Another benefit residents can look forward to with the opening of the Bethlehem Food Co-Op is the increased walkability of their neighborhoods. Aside from the obvious convenience of being able to purchase basic groceries and household items without driving across town, research suggests that neighborhoods and cities that are considered walkable have stronger economies than those that require residents to drive.
"Real estate values increase as neighborhoods became more walkable, where everyday needs, including working, can be met by walking, transit or biking," according to Christopher B. Leinberger, professor at The George Washington University School of Business and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Leinberger found that average household incomes can increase by up to $10,000 in walkable neighborhoods.
One of the most valuable things the co-op will offer to its neighbors is a chance for empowerment. While the store will be open to any member of the public, households that choose to invest a small amount of equity in the co-op become member-owners, meaning they have an equal voice in decisions regarding the business and are encouraged to run for the board and take on other leadership positions. The Bethlehem Food Co-Op will be more than just a store; it will serve as a community gathering space, a center for education and informed consumerism, and a forum for neighbors to build relationships and have their voices heard. The co-op will be a source of pride for its members and the city as a whole, bringing the spirit of the Lehigh Valley into the spotlight. (Morning Call newspaper, October 29, 2013, written by Colleen Marsh, http://articles.mcall.com/2013-10-29/opinion/mc-bethlehem-food-co-op-marsh-yv-20131029_1_grocery-store-local-economy-food-dollars)
1. Buy nothing. Many times, not buying anything at all will save you more than buying something on sale.
2. Consider all your options. Instead of purchasing something could you make it, get it used, fix something you already own, or do without? Could you use a less expensive alternative or a generic or house brand item?
3. Know what you want. Write things down while you're at home, where you'll most likely be using most of your purchases.
4. Research larger purchases. You don't have to study every loaf of bread, but if you're thinking of buying an appliance, an automobile, a computer, etc., it can be well worth your time to familiarize yourself.
5. Keep a list. If it's more than two items, write them down.
Writing things down while you're at home helps you not to forget them when you're at the store, thus saving you trips, time and money. This is especially true for day-to-day purchases.
Lists of larger purchases or potential can help you to distinguish between needs and wants, and to consider larger purchases more carefully before buying them.
A list can be a good place to leave things you're still considering. You may learn more about a particular item or decide you don't need it later on.
6. Know what a good price is.
For items that you buy routinely, such as groceries, watch the advertisements and know what good prices are and what very low sale prices are. You can keep a notebook with prices at different stores if it helps.
For items you purchase less frequently, do a price comparison. Call or shop around to a few different stores. Look online, too, but don't forget to figure in the extra costs of shipping and taxes.
7. Stick to the list. Stores go out of their way to put the basic items in the back so that you have to wander past prominently placed, colorful bargains. If you didn't need junk food, colorful sandals, or an extra 100-foot extension cord when you were at home, you don't need it in the store.
8. Stock up, but be selective about what you stock up on. Bulk pricing can get you a good deal, but if you end up with 25 pounds of flour and you never bake, it's not really a good deal. Buy in bulk if you use it, if it will last long enough for you to use it, if you have the space to store it, and if the price is really better than you'd get buying a more moderate quantity.
9. Consider bargains carefully. Is it really a good deal, or is somebody trying to up sell you or persuade you to buy something you don't need?
10. Learn to recognize a sales pitch and resist it.
11. Spend cash. Seeing yourself Part Company with your money, and parting company only with money you have, can often remind you to spend less. It can certainly help you keep from overextending yourself.
12. Think through the lifetime of your purchase. Will this purchase become clutter? Will you be able to go on using it for a long time? Can you do without it for now?
13. Remember that not all purchases are objects. A restaurant meal, a gym membership, and a monthly cell phone bill are all purchases you should evaluate carefully. Scrutinize anything with a monthly bill or monthly payment with special care, since a few dollars a month can quickly turn into many dollars per year.
14. Figure in all costs when considering a purchase. Include taxes, subscriptions, shipping, upkeep, and your own time to use or set up whatever you are purchasing.
15.Ask for a better price. Not all prices are negotiable, but it doesn't cost you anything to ask. Simply asking "Is this the best price you can offer?" can often bring the price down, but depending on the situation, you may want to haggle a bit.
Doesn’t “unused inventory” mean expired or cast-off?
“Cast-off” is the wrong idea. The products just weren’t selling, so the remarketer moved them elsewhere to find a customer. These products are typically the very same name-brand goods you would buy anywhere else and they’re just as safe as they would be elsewhere. As proof, many outlets offer a money-backed quality and satisfaction guarantee.
As part of that guarantee, the outlets also take great care to explain that their goods are not expired. Before you visit an outlet for the first time, I’d recommend visiting its website to learn more about product packaging and “best use” dates.
Basically, a “sell by” date should be followed for safety reasons, but labels like “best if used by” and “use by” dates on packaging are not related to product safety and are just a manufacturer’s recommendation for peak flavor quality.
Outlets may still sell goods after these ‘best use” dates as long as they judge the goods to still be safe.
Buyer beware, of course, but I shop at grocery outlets all the time and I’ve never been disappointed by the quality I’ve found. (Don’t forget the outlet guarantee, either.)
What other things you should know about grocery outlets? Many of them still accept manufacturer’s coupons, which will save you even more money at the checkout. Also, heads-up: many outlets try to keep their costs low by avoiding credit card fees and thus, many outlets don’t accept credit cards.
As the saying goes, cash is king, and now you know how you can save a lot of it just by shifting your shopping to grocery outlets.
BY: Sydney Jarod is a freelance journalist in northern California
Feeling Crafty? You’re not alone. As a country, we have rekindled our love through the Arts and Crafts made in America. From knitted scarves to ceramic birdhouses to felted baby booties, American’s are getting more and more hands on.
According to a 2011 Craft & Hobby Association report, more than half of U.S. households take part in at least one crafting activity, whether it’s canning, sewing baby booties from scraps of felt, fashioning coffee clay mugs, to our young kids making the newest craze fun loom bracelets. Did you know American’s spend more than $29 billion a year on crafting-a figure that has remained pretty stable in spite of the wobbly economy.
People are creating personalized things rather than going out and spending money on the same items, says Keri Cunningham, the association’s director of marketing. “When life is crazy, it’s good to take time to do something that relaxes them.”
New things are being learned everyday in the crafting world. At skills fair in Seattle this year participants learned to make soap, nut milks, and solar cookers. People are recognizing the joy and satisfaction and security of being able to provide for our own needs, proclaimed a flyer for the event. It is kind of like relearning the skills our grandparents knew!
Crafting is not just good for the soul; it’s also good for the body and mind, according to researchers at the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine. So if you have a burning desire to do a craft find what you are good at and do it. You might make it your next full time job. The most important part is enjoy what you make and do every day.
Article provided by Parade and Teri Reuvers
Here are some more ways to save that you may not have thought of.
· Start a budget, stick to it: This may seem like an obvious tip on how to save, but it’s something that not a ton of people do. Just keeping track of where your money is going has a tendency to help you realize a lot of areas that you can save.
· Wash your own car: Instead of going to the car wash and spending between $15-30 every time you go, wash your own car!
· Do your own maintenance: If you’re handy with all things automotive, change your own oil to save on a trip to the service station. Maintain your own home appliances with help from the internet!
· Stop a bad habit: Are you a smoker? Quit! It’s better for your health and will save a ton of money. Drink lots of soda? Stop! Drink more water instead.
· Don’t pay for extras: Renting a car? Don’t pay for the extra insurance if your own insurance covers it. Going on a flight? Don’t pay for first class, but try to get an exit row with extra leg room instead.
· Save by reducing your taxable income: Take advantage of deductions, make deductible contributions to retirement accounts or increase amount sent to flexible spending or health savings accounts.
This list is just the beginning. Saving money can really become a way of life if you want it to be. You just have to be creative, have a reason and a goal for why you’re trying to save, and think consciously about the decisions that you’re making.
October has always been my favorite month. It’s the time of year when the leaves start to change into beautiful shades of red and orange and the word “pumpkin” is in front of everything from candles to hot drinks. It’s also the month that parents turn into Inspector Gadget trying to purchase Halloween costumes without dipping into college savings.
Coming up with kids’ Halloween costume ideas is never easy. Throw saving money into the mix, and it gets even more difficult. As my son gets older, he’s starting to take more of an interest in dressing up, so I’ve become quite creative in finding ways to make sure his wishes match my wallet. Before you head to the store, it’s important to have a costume idea or theme in mind. This will help eliminate overspending and endless hours in aisles.
Here are some tips on how you can make your child’s Halloween dreams come true without taking a financial hit.
In recent years, I’ve noticed more thrift stores creating special displays just for Halloween decor and costumes. You may be able to find a complete costume (sometimes with the tags still on!) or find accessories to complement a costume. Make sure to go with an idea of what you will need to complete the costume or you could spend all day sifting through the racks to find a good match.
Consignment stores are a great budget-friendly option because you can bring last year’s costume and put some of that money toward this year’s. I frequently used consignment stores when my son was a toddler because he was growing so fast and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something he’d only wear once. Consignment stores may have special Halloween costume shopping events, coupons or swaps. Make sure you are on their mailing lists to stay in the loop for last-minute offers.
Last year was the first year I made my son’s costume — a buttery box of popcorn. All of the materials were items I had in my home. I used a large cardboard box, red and white duct tape, a packet of microwaveable popcorn, a sheet of paper and a glue gun. My project began with cutting a neck and arm holes in the box to fit my son. Using the red and white duct tape, I created vertical stripes around the box. I microwaved popcorn and hot-glued it to the top of the box. Using my computer and printer, I made a sign that said “popcorn” to glue to the front of the box. It was a big hit, and it only took me an hour to make.
There are so many tutorials online for how to make costumes using items you may already have in your home or can pick up at your local dollar store. Plus, not only are DIY costumes easy on the wallet, but they’re a greener Halloween option, too!
This is a great opportunity to tap into your social network and help other families who may be scrambling for costumes. You can start with your child’s classroom, a parenting group, or their soccer team to see if anyone else has items to donate. You could host a costume swap at a local library or community center for two hours on a Saturday afternoon. Invite community members to bring gently used costumes and they’ll hopefully leave with a new one. Anything left over can be donated to a charity or thrift store.
Another thing you can do to save money is to get creative and do things that others may not have thought of doing to save money. Here are a few things I came up with. Make your own laundry or dish detergent
: My friend Matt over at DIYNatural put together a tutorial on how to make your own laundry detergent
or dish soap
.Re-use old clothes
: Find ways to re-use old clothes instead of tossing them. Use old t-shirts to wash your car, use old jeans to make a new purse
or bag. Make your own gifts
: Instead of buying mom that expensive gift, make something from the heart. Think things like a photo collage of shared good times, inexpensive gift basket. Grow your own vegetables
: Build a square foot garden
and grow your own vegetables, cutting down your grocery bill. Buy used or re-purpose
: Instead of buying things like furniture new, buy it cheap or get it free online through a site like Craigslist. Or re-purpose furniture you already have. Ask for a discount
: Even if you don’t have a coupon or listed savings, ask for a discount – even at places you wouldn’t expect. A while ago we saved 10% on our hospital bill just by asking and paying in cash.Buy groceries direct from the farmer
: Are you near some local farms, or have a farmer’s market near you? Try buying fresh veggies – direct from the source.Negotiate your rent
: Try negotiating your rent
to save money by signing a longer lease, pre-paying rent or offering to cut the grass in return for lower rent.Buy quality
: Buy things for quality, instead of buying the cheapest. In the long run you can save money because you don’t have to buy a new item as often.Borrow or share things you need
: Instead of buying something you need, borrow it from a neighbor, or everyone pitch in and share the item.Hang your clothes out to dry
: Instead of using a dryer, save by hanging your clothes on a clothesline
There are times when money just tends to leak away because we’ve spent money somewhere without thinking about it, or because there are hidden costs that we didn’t even realize were there. Here are a few to be aware of or to look for in your own house.
· Buying coffee on your way to work
: I’m extremely guilty of this one. I tend to just spend money on coffee on my way to work several times a week. I’ve recently started cutting back on this and instead buying great micro-roasted coffee
to make at home instead
, and it saves a ton of money.
· Hobby spending
: Do you collect comic books, leather-bound volumes of great literary works or play a ton of video games? Whatever your hobby, you can often spend a ton of money every month on buying the latest and best associated with your hobby. You don’t need to cut it out completely, but cutting back on how much you can spend can save, and you’ll have more money for other things.
· Bank fees
: Avoiding overdraft fees, other network ATM fees and other assorted bank fees shouldn’t be too hard, but it’s a problem for a lot of people. To save make sure you’re reconciling your accounts regularly, and make sure that you always know how much money you have by using a personal finance tool like Mint.com
· Buying things for others
: If you’re naturally a giver you may have a tendency to overspend on gifts for other people. It feels good to give gifts to people, but we can easily over-do it. Instead, try your hand at giving more creative and frugal gifts
, or giving the gift of time or an experience with your friend or family member.
· Paying full price
: There’s no excuse for paying full price for things
when there are sites like RetailMeNot.com
to give you coupons, discounts, rebates and more. Just last night my family and I got one of our pizzas for free when we used a coupon we found online. Make sure to do your research and do a quick search and find discounts on the things you buy.
· Unused credit card rewards
: A lot of people have credit card rewards saved up that never get used. Things like points for trips, cash back savings and points to get gift cards and more. Make sure that if you’re going to use one of these cards, that you actually use the rewards.
· Unused gift cards
: People will get gift cards for birthdays and holidays, but then they sit in a drawer, in a purse or in a wallet without being used. Don’t forget to use those gift cards, or at least sell it online and get some money out of it! Otherwise you’re spending money you don’t need to!
· Missed tax deductions
: When it comes to tax time a lot of people miss out on savings because they didn’t take deductions that they were entitled to. For example, they don’t take deductions for charity donations. Instead, make sure to keep track of your deductions using a tool like It’sHYPERLINK "http://www.itsdeductible.com/" Deductible
, and save on your taxes!
· Eating out too much
: At our house our dining out budget is one of our biggest problem areas. Just by cutting the number times we eat out in half can save us hundreds! When you do eat out, don’t forget to use coupons and discounts
· Getting drinks
: When you eat out or go out with friends your bar tab can quickly get out of hand. Instead of drinking all night, stay in control, and only get one or two drinks. Or just get water!
· Not taking advantage of available discounts
: Sometimes people forget to take advantage of discounts that are available for products and services through their employer or other avenues. For example, many employer health plans have discounts available on gym memberships if you go to the gym a certain number of times every month. Take advantage!
· Paying a bill despite being overcharged
: Make sure to keep track of your monthly bills and know what you’re paying for. Often unknown charges can sneak into your statement if you’re not paying attention. I recently discovered an erroneous increase of $5/month on my satellite TV bill
. After complaining to their support repeatedly, they reversed the charges.
· Having too much coverage and high premiums:
Some people have too much coverage when it comes to insurance of one type or another when they could easily get by with a lesser plan with higher deductibles. Cut your premiums by getting less coverage, and accepting higher deductibles.
· Buying brand names
: Quite often people will buy brand names just because they have always done that. In reality the generic brand is often just as good or even better than the brand name
· Buy less of things that spoil
: When buying groceries think about what types of things tend to go bad at your house, or that end up spoiling before you eat them. Buy less of that item, or cut it out all together.
· Candy from the vending machine
: There are times during the workday that you get hungry and just HAVE to go and buy something from the vending machine. If you’re doing this every day, however, it can add up – and take a toll on your health. Instead buy some of your own tasty and healthy snacks to stock up on at work.
· Impulse buys
: If you’re one of those people who likes to buy things on impulse, rein yourself in and make a rule that you can only buy something after a waiting period of at least 24 hours, if not longer like 30 days.
· Allowing too much money to sit idle in your checking
: At times I’ve been guilty of allowing too much cash to build up in my checking, instead of investing it
or putting it in a higher yielding savings account
. Put your money to work!
· Buying DVDs, video games or books
: One thing I used to do quite a bit was to buy DVDs of movies that I never ended up watching, or buying a ton of books that I never read more than once. Instead of buying, rent or stream the movies you want to watch, rent video games and get books or ebooksHYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/how-to-find-free-e-books-and-reading-material-for-your-amazon-kindle-or-other-e-reader/" from your local library
· Not figuring out why a bill has gone up
: Sometimes a bill may increase, but you just accept it. Instead, figure out why your utility bill has gone up. Is there a problem with a your water heater? Filter needs replacing? Or did you leave a window open in the unused room upstairs? Ask why.
· Cancel un-needed memberships or subscriptions
: If you’re subscribed to a magazine but don’t read it very often, cancel it. If you’ve got a membership to a wholesale club but haven’t been in two years, cut up the card. Haven’t watched a HYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/is-netflix-a-cost-efficient-entertainment-option-for-you/"netflixHYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/is-netflix-a-cost-efficient-entertainment-option-for-you/" movie in weeks
? Put your membership on hold
Save On Recurring Expenses-Part 1
One of the first places people should be looking to save money is on the big recurring expenses that we all have every month. Let’s look at a few places you can save.
·Cell phone bill
: JD Powers reports that the average annual wireless phone bill is $1,152
, or about $96 a month. Why pay that much when you can get a great smartphone via a pre-paid wireless provider for hundreds less every year. My wife pays $35/month or $420 a year for unlimited data and 300 minutes every month. That’s a savings of $732 over the average! Find out how to do it on our post showing how to save on your cell phone bill
: Some people will cancel their home phone service altogether in favor of either cell phone service only, resulting in savings of hundreds per year. Of course if you still need a phone you can go with internet telephone service instead, which often costs much less. We switched to a service called HYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/ooma-review/"Ooma
. OomaHYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/how-to-set-up-the-ooma-telo-voip-device/" was easy to HYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/how-to-set-up-the-ooma-telo-voip-device/"setup
, and it only costs about $4.50/month in taxes in our area. That’s a big savings over the $43/month we were paying before. If you need to have a land-line for a home security system or something along those lines, consider canceling extra options on your phone like voicemail, call waiting and caller id to save on things you don’t need or use.
: Try switching your internet service to another provider in order to take advantage of new subscriber deals or promotions. Switch from one internet type to another – DSL to cable or fiber-optic internet. Switching can often get you great initial deals, and then you can hop providers to get another great deal when the promotion ends. Also consider bundling your services
like phone, internet and TV to save.
·TV and entertainment
: there are a variety of ways to save on your TV and entertainment costs. First, you can switch cable providers from one to the other to get in on a promotional offer. If that doesn’t work you can always cut the cord altogether
, and save a ton by setting up a home entertainment system using streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and other free content providers.
: Often there aren’t a ton of ways to save on your local utilities whether it is electric, garbage, gas or other services. Quite often you only have one utility option to work with. What you can do is cut back on how much you use the services to limit costs. Turn the temp up in the summer, and down in the winter to save on electric costs. Use a programmable thermostat. When you’re not using something, turn it off or unplug it. Turn the water heater down to 112 degrees and don’t run the dishwasher or laundry every time you’ve got a small load. Look for energy leaks in your home by getting a home energy audit, and find ways to maintain your home to cut costs – like cleaning your AC HYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/save-money-by-doing-simple-diy-maintenance-and-repair-before-you-call-a-professional/"condensorHYPERLINK "http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/save-money-by-doing-simple-diy-maintenance-and-repair-before-you-call-a-professional/" coils
or changing furnace filters regularly.
: Shop around
to find the best rates on your insurance whether it’s auto, home, life or other types of insurance
. The last time I switched auto insurance I was horrified to learn I was overpaying to the tune of around $1000/year, for the same coverage. That’s a lot of wasted money! Switching homeowners insurance also saved us a ton.
: There are quite a few ways that you can save on gas
. Do things like carpool, buy at the cheapest local gas station (use an app like GasBuddy
to find it), fill up at a local warehouse club, take advantage of gas coupons via local grocery stores and use cash back credit or debtit cards that can help you save anywhere from 1-5% of gas. Of course, you can also just drive smart and limit your quick starts and stops, and keep to smooth acceleration.
: One of the quickest ways to save on your prescriptions
is just to make sure that you buy the generic version of your regular prescriptions. Other things to do include shopping around at different pharmacies for lower costs, getting samples from your doctor or buying your prescriptions in larger quantities to save.
: Sometimes you can appeal your property taxes if you believe the appraisal they’ve given your home is incorrect. We saved several hundred dollars by appealing our property taxes
·Refinance your mortgage
: While lending restrictions have tightened, if you’re able you can get some amazing rates right now and save hundreds on your mortgage every month.
·Remove mortgage insurance
: A lot of folks are paying hundreds of dollars a year on mortgage insurance if they didn’t put down at least 20% when they bought their home. If you are one of those folks, and you’ve recently reached the magical 80/20 loan to value ratio, ask your mortgage provider if they will remove the insurance from your monthly payment.
·Online bill pay
: Try paying you bills online instead of mailing in a check. It can save you $50-60/year depending on how many monthly bills you have.
: You can save on a gym membership by taking advantage of health plan discounts, or by setting up your own home gym
The Price Book helps discipline smart shoppers by allowing a quick comparison of the average unit price of an item and comparing it to the "sale" price being offered.
At first glance, keeping a Price Book seems like a tedious chore. But by following these simple steps, the monetary return over a period of a few months may prove to be worth the effort. There are many different methods of coming up with your own personal Price Book and in time you will find what works best for you.
Start by saving all of your grocery store receipts. Don't forget to save the "quick-stop" receipts because often those are your "most used" items. Toss the receipts in a drawer or box so that you can begin to build your shopping history.
After you have collected four to five weeks of receipts, your next step is to begin building your Price Book using the information from the receipts.
Purchase a small three-ring notebook or binder. Get something that is not bulky and can be easily taken to the store with you without being cumbersome. You will want to be able to add and remove sheets as you build your book, so a loose leafed notebook is recommended.
Start a sheet for each major category. For beginners, stick to the main items such as, Canned Food, Boxed Food, Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Dairy Products, and Snacks. You can always add more later as your book grows.
Create columns for listing your comparison information. You not only want to compare price but also keep track of which store offers that price. A typical sheet will include columns broken down into the following:
| Store Name | Brand/Size | Unit Price | Sale Price | Date of Sale
Referring to your old receipts, fill in the appropriate information. This will be your first step to smart comparison shopping. You will begin to see a "spending-cost history" develop as you log your information. You will also discover where to purchase your favorite items at the lowest price.
When reviewing the weekly sales advertisements, pull out your book to see how good of a deal you are really being offered. Add the best deals, on your most frequently used items, to your shopping list. If possible, buy the item in bulk, so that you can optimize your savings.
Bring your Price Book with you when you shop, to enable you to determine quickly, if an item is at a price incentive good enough for you to purchase.
Continue to save your shopping receipts and use them to update your Price Book for several weeks.
If you do this consistently for several weeks, you will soon be able to determine which stores consistently have the lowest prices on the products you purchase. Remember, no one store can offer the lowest prices on everything. Keeping an opened mind about where you shop and which brand names you shop for will quickly begin to pay off.
The goal in using the Price Book is to help discipline you to not be deceived by advertised specials and to allow you to pay the lowest price for your favorite items. Give it a try. For many people it becomes a great budgeting tool and a fun hobby.