Unit Price – How To Get More for Less
This is the first post in the series ‘Compare Grocery Prices for Frugalific Savings‘ – we start with comparing unit prices because it is the easiest way to compare prices – the store has done the math for you already! As we move through the series, you have to start doing a little more effort – we can’t have the store do everything for you!
Just like you buy gas based on the price per gallon, you should buy your groceries based on the price per unit. What you need to look for is the unit price label which is required in many states (see why unit price labels are required). On the grocery shelf where you see the retail price is a small (how convenient!) number that says the price per ounce, pound, gallon, whatever.
So how does shopping by unit price save you money? In the example below, we have prices for cans of tuna coming in different sizes. Lets say you eat about 6 ounces of tuna each week – you’d think you were stretching your dollar just buying the 6 ounce can each week, right? Well, if you bought the big can up front, at the end of 5 weeks you would have only spent a total of $2.40 rather than $3.60 – thats an extra $1.20 or a 33% savings (for those looking for big savings – remember what we said about watching out for what you’re comparing?)
Hellmanns Real Mayonnaise
|Store||Size (Ounces)||Retail Price||Unit Price per Ounce|
Now, what if your weekly budget is really tight and you don’t have enough to get that 30 ounce can of tuna right now? Get that 15 ounce can and save the difference and eventually you can get that 30 ounce can. And what if you don’t even have enough to get that 15 ounce can? See the following posts in this series for more tips! But shopping by unit price is the easiest way to stretch your dollar – after that you have to put a little more effort.
Don’t get carried away with this. Don’t buy more than you think you can use before the product goes bad. You may find the lowest price per unit for mayonnaise is the 48 oz jar but unless you are planning on making a lot of egg salad for a lot of people, you will likely end up wasting money as you have to throw the extra away when it goes bad.
Like examples? Go to the next page!