Unit Pricing - use it and save about 25%

Unit pricing, so what the heck is that anyway? It's the little per ounce, per pound, per fluid ounce cost that is found in the upper left or right hand corner of the price tag that grocery stores put on their shelves.

In this case, an ounce or pound is considered a "unit" of measure, so the price is shown as so much per ounce, or so much per pound. For some items, price for a "unit" is so much per item.

This is supposed to be a benefit to the consumer, so let's use it.

If you use the concept of pricing by "unit", you can save money by knowing just what something costs. One day I saved about 25% on my grocery purchase because I decided to investigate the unit pricing of an item.

Yes, about 25% savings. That's considerable. Who would expect that kind of savings? Here is the story.

Tostidos corn chips are a good product. They taste good and are a must for salsa and bean dips. The chips I was looking for one day came in two styles, "rounds" and "scoops". The scoops are great. You can fill up the scoop with your favorite dip and get a good helping of the dip with each chip.

I'm a scooper, especially with a good hot salsa.

At King Soopers the rounds are located on the shelf above the scoops, and both products sell for $3.61 a bag. Well, why not? They are the same product - a corn chip. One is round and the other is a round chip with a big dent in the middle to turn it into a scoop. Both are made from exactly the same ingredients.

So, is there a difference between the products? Can I save money if I buy one type of corn chip versus the other? At first glance, the answer is "no" because they are the same size bag and the same material inside, just shaped differently.

Not taking this assumption as the right answer, I started to think about the shape of the scoop versus the shape of the round. Consider that rounds stack together much easier, like a deck of cards. Scoops can't do this because of their shape. For the same volume, there would be fewer chips because there is so much air space taken up by that empty scoop.

This got me thinking about unit pricing. There are two ways to check unit pricing: look at the price label, or look at the price of the bag and the weight or volume of the bag and do the math yourself.

For grins, I checked out the weight. I don't mind figuring out the unit pricing myself - it keeps me on my toes when it comes to math. Here is what I found. The rounds are 13 ounces, and the scoops are 10 ounces - all in the same size bag at the same price.

Wow, about a 25% difference in how much product you get. That's like buying 10 gallons of "scoop" gas, or 13 gallons of "round" gas, and both are the same grade of gas. Which would you buy?

Of course, you'd buy the "round" gas because with a $35 purchase of "scoop" gas, you could get $43.00 worth of "round" gas. Remember it's about 25% more of the same material for the same price.

So, why is less product selling for the same price? The answer is simple - it's the money game. They figured out a way to get it, and get more of it by giving you less product for the same price.

Here is what the unit pricing for the product should say. It should be 36.1 cents per ounce for the scoops, and 27.7 cents per ounce for the rounds. It doesn't seem like much of a difference, but it's about 25%.

Both bags are the same size and the same price, but one holds 3 ounces less. I just couldn't bring myself to pay the same price for so much less product, so I went home with the rounds instead of the scoops.

Do the math or simply look at unit pricing and you'll save money when you shop.

Done with Unit Pricing, take me back to Save Money on Groceries

There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.

I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.

If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.