Coupon Database

Friday, March 6, 2009

Unit Prices and Bulk Purchases Warning

When I was younger we were taught that buying in bulk or buying the larger package is cheaper. The explanation was that:

1.) When you bought more product, less packaging had to be used, therefore you paid for more of the product and less packaging.

2.) When you buy more product the manufacturer and stores makes more money so they can charge a little less per unit.

It wasn't that long ago that you could pick up the larger size ketchup and almost be certain you were getting the best deal. As long as you used all that product before it went bad, you would be saving money.

In recent years, I have noticed that when you use your calculator to figure out the unit price or compare the unit prices on the shelf, you may find, a lot more often, that the smaller bottle is the better deal. Why is this? What about the stores and manufacturers making more money selling more product in bulk?

Well, you know they know how consumers shop, what type of packaging appeals to us, where to put the candy and the sugary, expensive cereal and how to get you in the store with loss leaders. They have also realized that people have been programmed all these years to buy in bulk and they are definately taking advantage and making more money.

This practice is bad for a lot of people out there that do not understand how unit pricing works and are still under the assumption that buying in bulk is better. One the other hand, I can now buy smaller packages (sometimes) and not have to worry if I will use it all before I have to throw it away. When you think about it, it's actually somewhat of a money saver!

So, while you may have heard this before, check the unit prices and have a calculator (or use the one on your cell phone) to check unit prices not listed right on the shelf by dividing the price of the product by the number of units. Example: 50# of dog food at $9.97. 9.97/50=.20 per pound.

Happy Saving!

If you found this post helpful, let me know, I'd love to get your feedback.

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