Supermarket row of cereal boxes. Shop by price per ounce.

Deflate your Ballooning Grocery Costs

Grocery costs have been swelling and many are feeling the sticker shock as the cost of essentials increase.   Food is a basic need and a significant portion of a family’s spending, so here’s a couple tips for deflating the high cost of your grocery bill.

 TIP 1: Shop based on price per ounce: Instead of shopping by the total price of an item shop by price per ounce. The price per ounce helps you find the best price, even if the amount/quantity of items are different. 

For example, here’s the pricing on my grocery store app for a well-known circular cereal:  The lowest price box at $3.39 is the most expensive per ounce and the highest price box is actually the cheapest per ounce.  In this case, you get MORE for your money buying the larger package. (Note: That’s not always true, so it’s important to compare.)

Well Known  Circular Cereal
Price Ounces Cost per ounce
$3.39 8.9 .38 (38 cents)
$3.69 12 .31 (31 cents)
$4.69 18 .26 (26 cents)

Now 12 cents per ounce may not seem like a big deal, but if your family ate 18 ounces of cereal per week for a year and you bought at the cheaper 26 cents per ounce price, instead of the 38 cents per ounce price you’d save $112 a year on cereal.  

And that’s just your breakfast cereal, how much could you save if you applied the same principle to your other purchases?  

How do you shop by price per ounce?  These days many grocery stores list the price per ounce on the label or note it in the grocery store app.  If they don’t, you can easily compute the price per ounce by dividing the cost by the quantity.

Tip 2: Avoid fast food.  This is not just about our fave fast food drive thru’s.  Anytime you get a food product fast–it’s likely you’re trading off convenience for higher prices.  

Here’s one example, based on french fries that I recently wrote about in Saverlife.

French Fry Options
Medium Size (Drive-Thru): ¼ of a pound for $2.99
Frozen Fries (Grocery Store): 2 pounds for $2.96
Bag of Potatoes (Grocery Store): 5 pounds for $2.67

The convenience of a drive thru french fry is appealing, but for same-ish price you get: 

  • 7 more servings by buying frozen french fries from the grocery store
  • 19 more servings by buying a 5 lb bag of potatoes and doing the work yourself.  

It’s not just true for french fries, but for most prepared, quick pick-up grocery store food.  

Take a look at your favorite conveniences and choose some to make on your own.

Cost versus Convenience: A Tale of Two Carrots.  – Better Financial Counseling Network

Full Saverlife Article: How Early Should I Start Talking to My Kids About Money? | SaverLife 

Photo by Franki Chamaki on Unsplash

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