According to the USDA, food prices are just over 3% higher than they were a year ago. As prices continue to rise, a lot of companies are shrinking product sizes to keep costs constant. This means that we consumers may get less product for the same price. I don’t know about you, but I plan to watch this as closely as possible. Here are some ways that we can all save:

1. Calculate price per ounce

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.

To calculate 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.

2. Store vs. name brand

While comparing sizes, make sure to check for differences between brands and generics. Store brands are sometimes larger than their name brand counterparts, so investigate the tags for price per ounce, taking into account applicable coupons.

3. Consistent sizes, higher costs

For products that require a certain amount to be used in recipes, such as muffin mix, cake mix and cream soups, companies are pretty limited in size variance. Thus, these types of products tend to see an increase in price rather than shrinking sizes. Always keep an eye out for coupons for these items and follow sale cycles.

4. Bonus items

Krazy Couponers love free items, and a great thing to keep an eye out for is complimentary items attached to products you’re buying! Look for trial size bonuses shrink-wrapped with regular size products, such as a free small mouthwash with toothpaste, a trial-size saving cream with a razor, and other great freebies!

4 Reasons Why You Should Check Product Sizes