March 27, 2010

Tips for Comparing Price Per Unit

When shopping, it’s important to compare price per unit.  Many times it’s commonly thought that the larger the item, the better the price. That’s not necessarily true. Here are a few comparison shopping tips:

1.  Pay attention to the shelf tags in the store.  Some stores will break down the price per unit and put it beside the price of the item.

2.  Try to take a calculator with you. Even though some stores will break down the price by units, sometimes they are not equal comparisons. What I mean is that sometimes you’ll find items compared by ounces and then a similar item compared by the piece.  It can be really confusing, so taking a calculator is the best way to compare.

3.  Keep a log of the best prices you find per unit.  This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It can be a piece of paper that you keep folded up inside your coupon pouch.  Simply write commonly used items on the list and a target price to look for.  This way you’ll know when a good deal comes around.

4.  Be sure to factor in the coupon amount when comparing price per unit. Just today I was at Wal-Mart shopping for catfood.  Normally, it would be cheaper to purchase the 16 lb bag of cat food, but this time I had two $3 coupons.  It ended up being cheaper to purchase two small 3.5 lb bags of cat food with the $3 coupons rather than to purchase the large 16 lb bag with a $3 coupon. 

5.  Determine the need for the product.  Sometimes it is less expensive to purchase the larger item, but it’s not such a great deal if you’re not going to use the product before it goes out of date.

What tips do you have for comparing price per unit?

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