Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Unit Costing your Food Purchases

Everyone has experienced the difficulty in deciding which is the better deal when shopping at the grocery store.  The seemingly endless choices in dish soap or cereal are enough to make a frugally determined person quite frustrated.  Do I choose the generic brand, or do I go with the name brand that is conveniently on sale?  I’ve seen time and time again, price conscious consumers falling for the sale signs and “reduced priced” glamour only to still be paying more for a product in which they are not very brand conscious for. 
There is a very easy strategy to compare all the cereals, or dish soaps; look for the unit cost information just to the left of the price.  All products are required to have this information, and it essentially puts every like-minded product on the same playing field.  For example, what is the better deal, the generic dish soap that is $1.99 or the name brand soap that is on sale at $1.79?  Many people might pick the name brand soap, but what do the unit costs say?  The generic is $8/gallon and the generic even after the sale is $8.75/gallon.  You know that you are getting more product for your money if you went with the generic soap.
Product packaging and design is a multi-billion dollar business and one of the main goals (besides enticing you to buy the product), is to make the product look larger than it really is.  No wonder you might have a hard time comparing product prices when all the containers have slightly different amount in them.  This is the beauty of unit costs though; it doesn’t matter the sizes, because you can compare them all just in the same manner. 
Today, my Wife and I hardly ever even look at the actual price of a product, but instead look at the unit cost.  One word of caution though; sometimes the units may be a little different.  On the rare occasion, I’ve seen the unit cost listed (for example) as $/gallon and $/liter.  This may through things way out of whack, but this is usually a rare occurrence.  I’m not promising you that your grocery bills will be smaller with this shopping tactic, but I can guarantee that you will be getting much more for your money if you follow it.
Wonderful Moment of the Day: Been having a relatively easy week at work given that I just came back from a week long vacation.

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