The unit price is the price you pay per unit of food. Unit pricing makes it easy to compare prices (since some packages weigh different amounts-you can’t always just look at the total price). The unit price is the cost of each unit of measure. The unit of measure may be ounces, grams, pounds, quarts, liters, or gallons. Most unit pricing can be found on the price tags for the item (Hallelujah!) found on the shelf. This also lets you see how expensive some items you’re buying may actually be (like ice cream-see below). This example shows ice cream costing almost 10 cents per ounce…do you know how much an ounce is?! TWO TABLESPOONS. It just helps to put everything in perspective.
AND, have you ever noticed that sometimes the unit prices for different products go by different units? The biggest one that stands out in my mind is Costco and their toilet paper. Some units are by squares, others by length and it can be hard to compare….so CAUTION we’ll be going over a little math now.
Computing Unit Prices
- Write down the cost of the food.
Cost of the food =
- Write down the type and number of units in the package. (To find the number and type of units, look at the quantity listed on the package label. For example, a can of soup might contain 12 ounces. The soup has 12 units or ounces.
Number and type of units in the package =
- Compute the unit price. (Here we go, are you ready?!) To do this, divide the cost of the food (Step 1) by the number of units in the package (Step 2).
The cost of the food / number and type of units in the package = UNIT PRICE
- Compare the unit prices of the items to find the lowest priced item. You may want to compare the prices of food that use different units of measure. If so, you must convert them to the same unit first. For instance, you may want to compare the price of gallon of milk with 12 ounces of milk. A gallon is equal to 128 ounces.
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