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Calculate and compare unit price

By on April 27, 2011

The largest size of a product isn’t always the best buy. Compare unit prices. To figure the unit price, divide the price by the number of units. Which costs less per unit? Foods that cost less per unit are not always the better buy. The biggest size is not a good buy if you can’t consume it before it goes bad, or if you can’t store it properly. Unit prices can be found on most grocery store shelves, too. The first reader tip offers a quick and handy way to do the math and compare at home.



I was looking at prices of food for my stockpile online and I was a bit frustrated because there was such a variety of sizes, and I wanted to get the best value. I found a unit price calculator at Not only does it give you a price per unit calculation, but you can compare two and find out which is cheaper! — Janelle, Massachusetts


We had a bottle of bleach, unopened on a shelf, that was apparently two (or more) years old. (We missed it in the rotation.) The bottle imploded and the bleach leaked all over the cabinet. We talked to the manufacturer and they said unopened bleach has a shelf life of only about two years. Just wanted to give you a heads-up to be careful about long-term storage of it. — Marie, e-mail


I reuse those tiny jelly jars you get in gift sets during the holidays. They hold maybe 2 tablespoons. I put herbs and spices in them inside small cloth cases. The cases stay in our pantry basket which goes camping with us, so when we’re camping we don’t have to go without the same tasty goodness we get from the pantry at home. — Rae, Minnesota


Chocolate mint is very hardy and heavily scented. Harvest it by the end of summer but before fall. Cut it way back. Toss aside any that look too eaten by bugs. Save only the best, fresh stuff. Strip all the leaves and flowers off it onto oven safe cookie sheets. I wear gloves as the green will stain hands. Bake at 200 F for about 15 minutes. The key is for it to be almost black, or black, NO GREEN. It won’t crush if its green, and you will have moisture problems when you store it. Crush into airtight containers for storage. Acquire decorative fabric. I use remnants from the bins in JoAnn’s, Michael’s, when on super-clearance or after-Christmas sales. Pour about 1/4 cup into a fabric square that is about 6 inches by 6 inches. Secure the top with ribbon. — Peggy, Colorado


Years ago, when I was really struggling, my sister and I used to call each other up and say, “What’s in your pantry”? We’d then figure out how we could pull a meal together with the food we had. Reminded me of the stone soup story — how one family did not have enough on their own for a meal but when pulled together they made a pot of soup for the town. — Polly, Pennsylvania

photo by financialfellow1

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