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A rookie consumer mistake is buying items based on the overall price instead of price per unit. While some products may appear to be cheaper, upon closer inspection they can be less expensive in different sizes. Look below for further details!

One of the supplies to keep in your binder is a small calculator. To calculate out price per ounce, divide the total cost by the number of ounces. To find the price per unit (such as per roll of toilet paper or per diaper in a package), divide the price by the total number of items. While some stores may print price per unit/ounce on the price tag in small print, they often leave it off sale tags. You’ll also need to do your own calculations if a coupon will be used. Below are two examples:

Price per Ounce

Special K Cereal 12 oz reg. price $3.50 (29.2¢/oz)
Sale price: $1.99
$0.70/1 coupon
Price after sale and coupon: $1.99 – $0.70=$1.29
Price per ounce: $1.29 ÷ 12= 10.8¢/oz

Special K Cereal 18 oz reg. price $4.39 (24.4¢/oz)
$0.70/1 coupon
Price after coupon: $4.39 – $0.70=$3.69
Price per ounce: $3.69 ÷ 18= 20.5¢/oz

In this case, the larger package is cheaper per ounce at the regular price, but with a sale and coupon, the smaller package is the better deal.

Price per Unit

Charmin Toilet Paper, 12 mega rolls $5.99
$0.25/1 coupon
Price after coupon: $5.99- $0.25= $5.74
Price per roll: $5.74 ÷ 12= 47.8¢ each

Charmin Toilet Paper, 20 mega rolls $7.99
$0.25/1 coupon
Price after coupon: $7.99- $0.25= $7.74
Price per roll: $7.74 ÷ 20= 38.7¢ each

It’s more advantageous to purchase the larger package in this scenario.