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Grocery Shopping 1001- Unit Price

Posted Apr 21 2011 10:47am
I am so excited to be doing this series of grocery shopping posts! I have been getting a lot of emails about how and where I do my grocery shopping. I know first hand that it can be difficult for college students to shop for only one person, let alone on a budget! After co-facilitating a shopping tour with Cooking Matters , I was inspired to do one of my own here on Fit Foodie Finds! Here is the first post [of many] on comparing Unit Prices.

Unit Prices
Compare unit prices on different brands and sizes to get the best deal.
  • What is unit price? Unit price is cost per unit. It is a number used to compare prices on products of different sized quantity.
  • Where is the unit price found? Unit prices are usually found on a small tag located right below the item.
  • How do I know what the better deal is? The lower the unit price, the better the deal. Often times, buying a product in bulk results in a lower unit price. Even though you are spending more money, you are getting a better deal in the long run. 
  • Comparison: Can of Mushroom Soup 
  • 16 oz. vs 19 oz.
    As you can see, the unit price/oz is 9.0 cents for both sizes. The shopper would not get a better deal by purchasing the larger size because the unit prices are equal. source

    Common Misconceptions
  • Just because a box is bigger, doesn't mean you are getting more product. Producers can be sneaky!
  • Just because the price is lower, doesn't mean you are getting a better deal. It's all in the unit price! The lower the unit price, the better deal!

  • Products I buy in bulk [to get the better deal- based on unit price]
  • Yogurt: Tub vs individual servings
  • Grains [brown rice, quinoa, baking flours]: Bulk section vs pre packaged
  • Hot/Cold Cereal [oatmeal & oat bran]: Bulk section vs pre packaged single servings
  • Canned food
  • Fresh/Dried fruit
  • Chicken Breast/ Frozen Shrimp: Bulk vs single serving- You can always freeze the rest!
  • Deli Meat: I look for the larger quantities and simple product packaging 
  • Milk

  • Unit Price Shopping Tips
  • Skip the single packaged products and go for bulk! (ex: instead of single prepackaged oatmeal, buy it in bulk to save.

  • Buy a bag of apples instead of single apples. (this works with oranges, lemons, etc.)
  • Generic brands often have a lower unit price. *note: generic brands may have lower quality than name brands

  • Do you have any unit price shopping tips?
    What items do you often buy in bulk to get the better price?

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