Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Shopping Smart: Pay attention to unit prices!
Today, I was at the supermarket for tomato sauce. An 8 ounce can of tomato sauce cost 38¢. A 15 ounce can, on sale!, cost 89¢. The unit price on the 8 oz. can is 4.75¢ per oz. while the unit price on the 15 oz. can is 5.93¢ per oz. Wait a second! That doesn't sound right. But, things are often priced this way. A lot of people assume that the bigger the package, the cheaper the unit cost. It's not always so. I've seen this a lot on boxes of cereal too, a food where the difference can be as much as a dime an ounce. Buying in bulk may not be your best deal.
So, pay attention to the unit cost to get the best deal. Supermarkets post the unit prices so smart shoppers can "easily" comparison shop. I can't tell you this is always easy. Supermarkets have a way of displaying the unit price in different units, making it much harder to figure out the best deal. The same food with unit prices in ounces and in pounds can give you a computational headache. But, most of the time, the units are consistent and you can get the best deal by using this information.