I've found that when grocery shopping, it pays to check the price per ounce. Sometimes a sale item isn't the cheapest product. Kids love to help with grocery shopping. While shopping, asking them to compare prices and price(s) per ounce for various foods.
By Lisa from IL
I always compared unit prices before buying, but you run into problems when one of the items is on sale and it's not reflected in the unit price. Or you have a coupon for one item and then you want to see if it's a better deal or not to buy the generic or use the coupon.
Sometimes I've noticed that items in the same category are broken down to ounces and then pounds so it is a little more difficult to compare. Then when you go into a big box store (BJ's, Costco or Sam's Club) and they have much bigger sizes than the supermarkets. I remember the supermarket prices in my head but not the unit prices!
To solve all of this, I never leave home without my mini calculator. People must think I'm crazy to be standing there with my calculator but it does help a lot with figuring out what is the best deal.
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Know the price per ounce of all food and cleaning supplies that you purchase. Example: vegetables 4 cents per ounce, meat 10 cents per ounce or pine oil cleaner 2 cents per ounce. This will prevent financial mistakes like paying $1.49 for a 20 ounce bottle of soda pop (7 1/2 cents per ounce) when you could have drank home made instant tea mix (2 cents per ounce) Home brewed tea would have been even cheaper 1 cent for 8 ounces.
I am not telling you to keep a list of every food price but to know what you are paying for each category of food and to put a limit on the price per ounce that you are willing to pay. Canned peaches were $1.29 for a 29 ounce can and bananas were $0.39 per pound. I bought bananas because they were 2 cents per ounce and the canned peaches were 4 cents per ounce.
When you know price per ounce, the savings are automatic.
By Native Okie from Tulsa, OK
I've done this since I had my kids, my mum did it as well. It gets to be automatic doesn't it? Best of luck.
Great idea!. I never thought of doing it this way. I just keep a list of the regular price of things I buy regularly, then I know if the sale price is really good or not. I'm going to try your way.
It is a good idea to check the prices per weight. I was at Wal-Mart recently and had been buying the gallon-size Minute Maid orange juice for $6.12. Imagine my surprise when I added up what two half-gallons of the same orange juice cost - $2.28 each - much cheaper than the $6.12. Plus the half-gallons are in cardboard containers while the gallon-size was in plastic. Another benefit is that one of the half-gallon boxes stays sealed, therefore fresher, while using the other half-gallon box. (11/28/2009)
I didn't always take time to calculate price per ounce. I was really glad when stores began voluntarily includint that info on price tags and such. My variation of your tip was that I'd compare unit prices. One can of soda was $0.50, whereas buying a case made the unit price half that. Bad example, I know, since I don't even drink much soda anymore.
Okay, here's another example: For a large family, we'd have spent two or three times the money on dry cereal if I hadn't checked unit price. And I rarely bought pre-sweetened. Easier and cheaper to add your own, and you control the amount of sugar added. (11/28/2009)