Finding Unit Prices and Using Them To Save Money

Printed below the price tags in most grocery stores is a small label reading "__¢ oz." Did you know that this little piece of information could be the key to keeping both your refrigerator and your wallet full? Even if the convenient labels are not present, unit prices are easy to calculate.

Things You Will Need

Shopping List
Calculator (Optional)

Step 1

Grocery List (22744) Locate any desired item from your shopping list in a grocery store. There should be several different brands offering the same item, but at different prices and at different amounts. On your shopping list, write down the offered prices and their corresponding weights or amounts.

Step 2

Calculator If the unit price is listed underneath the products' prices, you may skip this step. If, however, there is no label indicating every item's unit price, you must calculate them. This can be done either on paper or with a calculator, whichever is more convenient. To calculate the unit price, divide the price of the product by the weight or amount of the product. The quotient will be the unit price (the amount you are spending per unit of weight or volume measurement).

Step 3

Once you have calculated and written down the prices of each brand's product, you can now identify which on is the best deal. The item with the lowest unit price may cost a total amount greater than that of other products. This will put you in the dilemma of choosing to either purchase a large amount of something for a greater "deal", or purchase a smaller amount of something at a lower price (but not getting your money's worth). The best way to make this decision is to choose a product that has both a relatively low unit price and total price. In the situation where the product with the lowest unit price is also the least expensive product overall, you are in luck, as there is nothing in your way of buying that product. In the long run, buying only products with the cheapest unit price should have a big impact on your grocery budget. When you buy bulk products, which have extremely low unit prices (in comparison to smaller portions of the same product), you will be able to stretch out the amount of time your grocery stock will last. While you may currently be buying items simply by their cheapest total price, you are probably not getting the most out of your money. More frequent trips to the grocery store also takes time and gas money; something to consider when you are purchasing petite meals. Happy shopping!

Tips & Warnings

Be careful when calculating the unit price on sale items. Some stores will list both the original unit price and the sale unit price. Do not confuse the two prices, as that can be a costly mistake.