Posted by: Kelsey Avers | March 13, 2010

Paying more attention to Unit Price

The “unit price” of a grocery product (mostly food) is the price you are paying per ounce or per pound. Often it can be difficult to decide which product will be a better buy, whether they are different or even the same brand or size. A simple fix to this problem is looking at the price tag of the item and searching for that small print that is the unit price.

The battle is back: Generic vs. Name Brand

Ralph's Cranberry Juice

The first example here is Cranberry Juice Cocktail, generic vs. name brand.

The Ralph’s Cranberry Juice Cocktail is priced at 2/$4.00 (or $2.00 each) with the Ralph’s Savings Card (original price: $3.79).
The Langers Cranberry Juice Cocktail is priced at $2.99 with the Ralph’s Savings Card (original price: $3.99).

Langer’s Cranberry Juice

Now while the name brand juice is only a dollar more than the generic brand, which might

automatically tempt the buyer to just stick with the “better” brand, what you need to look at is the true savings, a.k.a. unit price savings.

With the Ralph’s Cranberry Juice, you pay 3.13 cents per ounce. On the Langers Cranberry Juice, you pay 4.67 cents per ounce. It is really necessary to say which one is the better deal? Go with the generic brand. If you aren’t sure about the “non-difference” between generic and store brand, check out this blog post for some facts.

Larger bottle = better deal.

My next example distinguishes the differences between single items and those that come in a pack. Take Gatorade for example.

A single, 32 oz. bottle of Gatorade is priced at 99 cents with the Ralph’s Savings Card (original price: $1.99).
An 8-pack of 20 oz. Gatorade is priced at 2/$10.00 ($5.00 each) with the Ralph’s Savings Card (original price: $6.99).

Many shoppers might see the 8-pack and go straight for it, thinking that buying the 8-pack is cheaper than buying eight single bottles.

Check the fine print!

In reality, the 8-pack is less affordable at 3.13 cents per ounce, while the single bottles are only 3.09 cents per ounce. What you’re actually paying for when it comes to the 8-pack is the convenience of the Gatorade coming in smaller, handy bottles. In an instant  you’ve discovered that in most cases, the larger container is actually cheaper, and even though you’re paying more upfront for the large size, you’re paying less overall.

Just go for the single bottles and save yourself some change. If you don’t drink it all, make some Disco Lemonade! (assuming you are over 21 years old, of course!)

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