Save Money by Shopping Smarter

Does Comparing Prices at the Grocery Store Make You Crazy? Make it easy with your smart phone!

We all want to save money.  Some people want to put a little more into their Rainy Day fund but others are saving for a fabulous vacation.  If you’re money conscientious, saving a few dollars at the grocery store by buying lower cost items can really add up to some big dollars at the end of the year.  But how do you know what the better deal is?  All the containers are priced differently, and all the sizes of the containers differ.  You can still compare prices even if the sizes of the containers are different.  Here’s how you do it.

Let’s compare juice.  Is the 30 ounce container of juice priced at $3.59 a better deal than the 55 ounce container of juice priced at $6.25?

We could do the math on paper using long division.  But let’s face it, you’re at the grocery store, you’re running errands, the lines are getting longer, you (and I) cannot do it in our heads and we don’t have any paper anyway… And you’ve got a life to attend to!   So don’t hesitate to use the calculator on your smart phone.

The first thing to remember is, you have to have a common unit of measurement.  If there is a common unit of measurement already, type into your calculator the price of the item and divide it by the number of units for the first item.   For example:

  • Juice A (30 oz): 59 price divided by 30 = 0.1196 cents per ounce of juice.
  • Juice B (55 oz):  25 price divided by 55 = 0.1136 cents per ounce

In our juice scenario, buying a larger jug of juice means that it is less expensive per ounce.  The 55 ounce jug is a better deal.

But what about comparing two items that have different unit of measurements such as one item is in gallons and the other is in liters?

Before calculating the price comparison, you must convert one item to the same unit of measurement as the other.

For instance, if Juice C comes in a ½ gallon container at $5.00 and Juice D is 1.5 liters at $6.25, you must convert either the gallons to liters or the liters to gallons so they are both the same unit of measurement.

I’m all about finding the quickest answers because, again, there’s life to attend to.  So this is where I consult the internet.  At calculateme.com you can select a type of measurement and key in the numerical value that is listed on the carton and compare it to a different unit.  Calculateme.com will tell you that ½ gallon (.5) = .3962 liters.

  • Juice C (1/2 gallons):  ½ gallon = .50 gallons (decimal form)
    • 00 price divided by .5 = $10 dollars per gallon
  • Juice D (1.5 liters): 5 liters  = .3962 gallons
    • 25 price divided by .3962 = $15.775 dollars per gallon

 

That’s a huge cost difference!

 

If this information and calculation guide still makes you crazy, check out the grocery store calculator apps and download one to your phone so that it is easy to access.  Beware that some grocery store calculators only add up the items in your cart for a total cost, compare grocery store prices from one store to another or calculate sale item prices for you.  Make sure you are downloading an app that includes all that plus a feature that calculates and compares items in different sized packages.   Saving a few dollars here and there will get you closer and closer to your financial goals and make you a smarter consumer.  Happy shopping!

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