Posted: Feb 12, 2013
Most products at the grocery store come in several different sizes and at first glance it can be difficult to know which one is the best buy. If it's something you use a lot of, getting the largest size is probably the way to go. Otherwise, make a point of looking at the unit price, which can usually be found in very small font on the price sticker. The unit price shows the cost per a given amount (e.g. 100g) allowing for a quick and easy cost comparison. Larger sizes will almost always have a lower unit price, but since it's not always practical to buy the biggest container of mayonnaise, using the unit price to compare smaller sizes or different formats (e.g. glass jar vs. squeeze bottle) is essential to knowing if you got the best bang for your buck.
For example, which is the better buy: a 500g container of yogurt or 4x100g containers? My guess would be the 500g container but after checking the unit price, it turns out they cost the same per 100g (99.8 cents).
Another example: shredded cheese vs. brick cheese. Typically, the more prepared a food is, the higher the cost. However, this was not the case as the shredded cheese was far less expensive ($1.57/100g vs. over $2.00/100g). So besides saving money, you'll also save time not having to shred the cheese yourself.
Mark McGill, RD