I strongly recommend you have a play with SQLite (DBD::SQLite) to dip your toe into the database waters. It is completely stand alone, even to the extent that the DBD 'driver' includes the database engine. It is ideal for the sort of application this threat discusses (although I'm not recommending you re-engineer your current solution). Having database tools in your toolbox is pretty likely to be useful to you, to the extent that having a bit of a play now is likely to pay dividends in the longer term.
True laziness is hard work