Unit Pricing


Do you like to find the best price for groceries? Of course, we all do! Grocery stores have a great tool to help you find the lowest prices – and it’s right in front of your eyes. The price label on grocery shelves usually includes the unit price for the product. The unit price tells you the price of the product, often in ounces or pounds. For example, a 12-ounce box of pasta that costs $1.20 has a unit price of $0.10 per ounce ($1.20/12 ounces = $0.10/ounce). Looking at the unit price allows you to compare the price of different sized packages and different brands to find the best deal.

Buying foods with a lower unit price is one strategy to help you stretch your food dollars. Larger sized products and store brand items often have a lower unit price, but that’s not always the case! Compare prices closely to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Let’s look at an example using broccoli.

I compared the prices of fresh and frozen broccoli in different sized packages and also looked at different brands. Here’s what I found…

Product Ounces (oz.)

16 oz. = 1 pound (lb.)

Price Unit Price
Store Brand Frozen Broccoli Florets 16 oz.

(1 lb.)

$1.29 $1.29 per pound
Brand 1 Frozen Broccoli Florets 12 ounces

(.75 lb.)

$2.27 $3.03 per pound
Brand 2 Frozen Broccoli Florets 12.6 ounces

(.79 lb.)


On Sale – $1.50

$2.54 per pound

Sale – $1.91 per pound

Brand 2 Frozen Broccoli Florets 52 ounces

(3.25 lbs.)

$6.89 $2.12 per pound
Fresh Broccoli Crowns 16 ounces

(1 lb.)

$1.59 $1.59 per pound

In this example, the 16-ounce store brand frozen broccoli florets had the lowest unit price. It was even lower than the sale item and the 52-ounce bulk package. We often think that frozen products cost less than fresh, but that wasn’t true in this case. The unit price for fresh broccoli was lower than all of the brand name products that were compared.

Comparing unit prices might take extra time at first, but after a while, it will become routine. Those few extra minutes spent in the grocery store will help you save money and stretch your food dollars.




Note: Food products and prices will vary. The products and prices referenced are from Food Lion in Raleigh, NC.