Pop Quiz: What's the real deal? Do the math...

They say that education is the great equalizer.

Let's apply that to our shopping efforts and take a step toward leveling the playing field.  The playing field is not level.
Stores and companies spend lots of time and money to tip the scales in their favor.  The more educated we become as consumers the better chance we have to make better purchasing decisions everyday.

Confusion is one tactic clearly used by stores everyday.  They work to have us buy more than we plan for or even need.  Consumers need to know what things cost so we can identify a real deal when we see one.

Pricing strategy is a big source of that confusion.  I pulled these examples directly from just 1 grocery store flyer this week.  See how quickly you can turn these numbers into per unit costs... the actual cost of one single item.  Back to school, time for a new math habit?

Let's start off easy:
10 for $10, 2/$5, 2/$3

Good start.  Now try these:
4 for $10, 4/$6, 8/$10

Extra credit:  3 for $10, 10/$4.50, 4/$14

Why not just tell us how much each item costs and let us decide?  Because confusion can be profitable.

Get into a new habit of knowing what these numbers are immediately when you see them.  This working knowledge will help you to make more informed purchasing decisions.  TIP: I put my cell phone on "calculator" before I go in the store to help with the per unit pricing calculations.

answers: $1, 2.50, 1.50, 2.50, 1.50, 1.25, 3.33, .45, 3.5, respectively.  
How many did you get?

It seems confusing and unnecessary.  But when you can process actual pricing faster, and don't get frustrated by it, it helps you make better buying decisions.  Advantage: us!

What else do you do to give yourself a chance to save more?


Daria said...

Ooh, now how about advanced math? How much per oz? or per granola bar? Yikes!! :)

Daily Saving said...

One step at a time! Gotta walk before you can run, no? Pricing per paper towel is a post for next month...