Need to save some money? How about money on your grocery/food budget? Buy groceries by the OUNCE and SAVE!
Check out this example – Garlic Powder. Granted, this is the Walmart/Great Value brand, so it’s significantly cheaper to begin with, but don’t make the mistake I almost did.
First – the teeny tiny container that is only 3.4 ounces and might last me a couple months (hey – I like garlic!):
Then check out the LARGE container at 26 ounces, which might last me a year or more:
Now – ever check out the “Unit Price” in orange??
Well I do! And you need to actually read it! Sometimes it says “PER OUNCE”, other times it will be per unit, package, etc. But today we’re comparing apples to apples – or ounces to ounces.
Notice that the smaller/3.4 oz countainer is 28.9c/ounce. The large/26 oz container is 34.4c/ounce. You might not think that a 5.5c/ounce difference is very much. Most people can find a nickle in a parking lot. But multiply 5.5c times 22.6 (which is the difference in the amount of ounces between containers – 26 minus 3.4) and you get 124.3c, or $1.24 difference over time. If I multiplied that by 2-4 items per week for the year, that’s $128.96-257.92 savings per year! Granted, I may not find those 2-4 items per week, but one trip might result in one item, while another trip may have eight items; some items may have more or less difference in price per ounce. So this is an average – and approximate – amount of savings.
Usually, when looking at bulk items, it’s significantly less per ounce to purchase the large container. For some reason this item is atypical. So as an educated consumer, you need to read labels and compare.
Don’t be afraid to walk across the store to get a better price.
Items at the front of the store are there so you buy them – not because they’re always on sale. I almost got a pair of “wire cutters” in the floral section because that’s what I was using them for (cutting floral wires for wreaths and arrangements); however, a trip to the hardware department proved that those wire cutters were cheaper – and probably a better quality.
Just about every store has a clearance section – either things for a season that passed, close to expiration date, canned goods that got dented. But just as with the “per ounce” theory, read the labels. Sometimes stores like to put slower-moving brands in there without it really being a sale.
Don’t forget the aspect of quality.
I’ll admit – I buy store brand items. But I’ve also learned from experience and other people that sometimes you have to bite the bullet and purchase name-brand products. A friend of mine, who is one of the biggest penny-pincers I know, says “Never buy cheap rice, toilet paper, or Mac N Cheese.” And I mostly follow that mantra (because I’ve gotten away with cheap rice …)!
For instance – I purchased store-brand contact solution for years. Then I started having problems with my “contacts”. After talking to an optometrist friend, I learned that the chemical composition of the solutions were slightly different – enough so that the store-brand was making a chemical reaction in my eye like your kid’s vinegar-baking-soda-volcano! Needless to say – I have gone name-brand since!
Consider an App!
I needed ways to save, and I found Ibotta. You can earn bonuses based on your purchases. Be careful! Don’t buy things just because they’re available in the app – you may end up with a higher grocery bill along with groceries you never would have gotten in the first place!
My philosophy is 1) Only add things that I know I’m going to use, and 2) Only add/purchase items that will be cheaper than your usual brand. Otherwise, how are you saving money??
With some of the bonuses I acquired, I earned about $40 within the first two months of use! My first four months is nearly $60 (I slowed down my grocery spending after the holidays and became more strict on the rules above).
To sign up through Ibotta consider using my referral link and you could earn a bonus!
Being strategic and saving money on groceries can seem like a lot of work, but before you know it, checking out the “per ounce” rule will be second nature. Do a comparison of your own – how much can you change your grocery bills? Have any great money-saving ideas? Let me know in the comments!
Want to know more about how I save money on groceries? Contact us, or subscribe for updates!