I’ve always been pretty dedicated to living frugally. As a matter of fact, I have a whole section on my blog committed to sharing frugal living tips I have learned over the years HERE. At the beginning of my frugal lifestyle journey years ago, I learned a very important lesson in why the cheaper price isn’t always the best price. A lesson, that is, in unit pricing.
Before I was introduced to unit pricing, I would always target the smallest price possible for products. Mostly just because it seemed like the most logical way to save the most money. If I had a choice between a bottle of Tide for $3.99 or $2.99, I’d automatically go for the $2.99 bottle – but that was only based solely on the total cost. Little did I know that I could have been saving a lot more money if I was basing my deals off of the unit price instead.
WHAT IS UNIT PRICING?
Unit pricing is simply the price per weight or volume of an item. Of course, this doesn’t speak to the quality of the item you are buying. But it’s a very helpful tool in making informed purchasing decisions.
HOW DO YOU FIGURE OUT THE UNIT PRICE?
In the U.S it’s law that the unit price for any given item is marked on a price ticket. In Canada, Quebec is the only province that holds similar laws. Every other province in Canada is just a voluntary practice. Here in Ontario I often see unit prices marked on price tickets in 90% of the stores I go to though. If you are looking for the unit price on the price ticket, it’s usually located in the bottom right corner.
But, it’s also really easy math to figure it out. And that is coming from me – who’s math skills were a big part of why we choose not to homeschool. the math is just:
the total price / the total weight or volume.
As an example, I’ll use the laundry detergent ticket above.
$7.62/2.5L=$3.048/1 L (or $3.05/1 L)
IS UNIT PRICING AN EFFECTIVE TOOL?
Sometimes with pricing items out this way, it can cost you a bit more upfront. But if it’s a cost you can afford, then my experience says; Yes! Unit pricing a very effective tool. And it’s not just me. This Canadian study was done where over 40% of the population reported that they use unit pricing and find it an effective tool. Unit pricing is how places like Costco or Sam’s Club work. You pay more upfront for a bigger quantity, but pay less overall per unit or volume.
Do you use unit pricing? If not, will unit pricing be a tool you implement in the feature? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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