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Unit price is the cost of a product per unit of weight, volume or other measure of quantity. It is usually posted on the shelf below the food. Use unit price to find the best buy among different brands and different sizes of the same brand.

Here are two unit price labels, which crackers are the better buy?:

Store-brand snack crackers: $2.00 / 16 ounces / $0.13 per oz

Name brand snack crackers: $2.39 / 12 ounces / $0.20 per oz

If the unit price is not posted, you can figure it out yourself. Divide the total price of the product by the total weight, volume or other unit of product.

Suppose a 29-ounce can of peaches costs $1.45.
The unit price is $1.45 ÷ 29 ounces = $0.05 per ounce, or 5 cents per ounce.

Keep track of the prices of foods you use often. Note the price at each store where you shop. When a food in your price book is advertised in a sale, you will know if it is a good deal or not. If it is — and you have extra food money — you can stock up. When you know regular prices, you can also quickly spot when a “buy one, get one free” sale is a good deal.

  • Clip coupons for foods you use often. Most coupons are for name brands, and you may find less-expensive store brands. Coupons for basic ingredients such as vegetables, fruits and dairy products are not common.
  • If you use a coupon, make sure the cashier scans it.
  • Only go down aisles that have food on your list. Learn the store layout so you can find food quickly. Basic foods are around the outside edges of the store.
  • Look at the high and low shelves for bargains and healthier choices.
  • More-costly and less-healthy foods are placed at eye level.
  • Be aware of displays at the ends of aisles. They often feature impulse items with “special” pricing.
  • Resist magazines, candy and other impulse items.
  • Watch for scanning errors, coupon deductions and correct change.
  • Check your receipt for accuracy before leaving the store.