Tuesday Tip: Pay Attention to Unit Price when Grocery Shopping


So I had to school my husband on how to use the unit price or price per ounce to figure out the better deal when grocery shopping the other day and thought maybe some of you out there are also unaware of this handy dandy tip.

Lots of grocery stores include a unit price next to the retail price of an item.  Basically, the store has done all the math for you and have figured up what the item costs per ounce.  For example, on the ice cream below, the retail price is in yellow and this carton of ice cream costs $3.98.  If you look the left of that, there is the unit price in an orange box.  The unit price tells you that each ounce of this ice cream costs 7.1 cents.

price per ounce grocery shopping

The unit price allows you to compare brands and sizes easily and quickly.  It is how I determine what brand I will buy.  Looks can be deceiving.  Most ice cream cartons seem to be relatively the same size so naturally, the cheaper one would be the lowest retail price, but that is definitely not the case.  Some of the cartons hold a lot more ice cream even though you can’t tell and therefore have a lower unit price.

I’ve also found that sometimes the bigger size is not always cheaper.  Just yesterday, I noticed that Simply Orange Juice had a large jug of orange juice and when I went to switch out the two regular sized jugs in my cart, I realized I would actually be paying more to get the larger size, so of course I stayed with the regular sized jugs.

price per ounce

grocery shopping price per ounce

In the two photos above, notice there is only 10 cents difference in the retail price of the two cartons of ice cream.  However, one has a unit price of 7.1 cents and the other of 6.4 cents.  Blue Bunny is definitely the better deal.

I hope this helps save you some time and money the next time you go grocery shopping and try to price compare!

What other tips do you have for saving money when grocery shopping?  What about saving time?

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