Friday, August 22, 2008

Family Size Pricing Rip Off

I learned a lesson in deceit tonight at the grocery store: buying family size packages do not necessarily mean you are saving any money.  In fact, it was just the opposite.  The principle of buying in bulk is that it costs less per unit for a manufacturer to produce and ship a larger package than a 'normal' size package.  Thus, the price per unit should be cheaper for you.  A kind of reward for buying in bulk.  I found the opposite to be true when I scrutinized the pricing of my Kraft Mac n Cheese!

Single box (normal size package): 74 cents
Family size (basically double the quantity): $1.99!
So, it costs 51 cents MORE to buy the family size than to buy two regular size boxes!  That's a pretty significant difference.
But wait, it gets better!  How about the bulk package?
Five box bulk package: $4.19
Five individually priced boxes @$0.74: $3.70!!
So, it costs 49 cents MORE to buy in bulk!  What the heck?

I only had time to check one other item since I was almost finished with shopping and my little angel was waking up.  I instinctively went to grab the largest box of Cheerios but remembered my pasta lesson.  I checked the price per ounce and found that it was the same scenario; it was cheaper to buy the regular size box instead of the huge 'family size' box!  I'll definitely have to pay more attention next time I go to the store.

Luckily, there is a quick and easy way to tell what package is the best buy!  If you look at the shelf price tag it shows the price per whatever standard unit the item is measured in.  For example: my Kraft Mac n Cheese shows a cost of 10.7 cents per ounce (7.25 ounce regular package size at a price of 74 cents).


Will said...

The question is, why is a devotee of the teaching of Brown eating the blue box?

Rich C. said...

It's just a little to hard to grate cheese while holding a baby :-) I can't wait until she;'s old enough to help me cook. She did sit quietly in her car seat and watch me make spaghetti sauce late last night though!