The large size pack is always cheaper (?)

Unit pricing myth: ‘The large size pack is always cheaper overall’.

Is this one true or false? Share your experience at the store and you’ll enter our competition.

The large size pack is always cheaper

A larger pack almost always costs more, except for when on special clearance. However, I suspect you are talking about price per unit quantity :wink: And the answer is: not always!

Often a larger pack of a particular product is a bit cheaper per 100g, but not always. You need to check the price per 100g for each item before you buy, and sometimes the smaller packs are less expensive per 100g. I suspect the incidence of the cheaper unit price in small packs runs at under 5% though.


Thanks Gordon, that is indeed what was I getting at :slight_smile:


Not necessarily.

I would say as a general statement that for the recommended (normal) retail price, larger sized packages usually have a lower unit cost than smaller sized packages of the same item. There are exceptions often found when a larger package has a higher unit price, but this is not the norm.

However, during periods of sale or other product discounts (2 for 1 for example), this is not necessarily always the case. Often a discounted smaller sized package can be less per unit price than the larger packet.

This is why unit prices with the same base units is important for the consumer to compare.

The other consideration is that a larger packet may be cheaper per unit price, but if one doesn’t use or need the whole packet, then this will affect the real unit price of that consumed. If only half a large packet is used with the remainder wasted, the consumed portion would have a unit price twice the amount of the large packet on purchase.


No way is it always cheaper, it is actually a bit hit and miss. Norco milk (standard full cream) 2 litre bottle at Coles $3.00 & the 3 litre bottle $4.70. So at the 2 litre size you pay $1.50 per litre at the 3 litre size you pay $1.56667 (rounded last digit up). So always check the unit pricing (if you can compare like for like eg per 100 g or per litre)


No. Look at the unit pricing to ensure a good deal. Take a calculator.


Or practice your mental arithmetic :wink:


I was looking at ant powder yesterday and happen to notice these two side by side.

Although from different manufacturers, you will see that the smaller pack is not only shorter, it is also thinner. And, it has 20% more by weight than the larger one.

So, as I keep saying to my wife: size isn’t everything!
Always look and check for the unit pricing :slight_smile:
For example, yesterday I bought ground coffee on sale in 250g packs for a lower unit cost then they were selling the 1kg packs in the same brand.


It can be difficult to determine which one is more cost effective as it is the concentration of active ingredients (insecticides) which are more important. For these two, the active ingredients are also different (Bifenthrin verses Permethrin).

The carrying material for the insecticides can also be different (espcially for different active ingredients as they can react differently with different carrying agents) /have different densities making the final volumes of the products quite different.

Comparing essentially different products made by different manufacturers for similar uses is very difficult unless one knows which active ingredient is more effective in meeting the stated purpose.


Can you smell the burning?.. I’ve been shot down in flame yet again.

You are absolutely right of course.


You got the coffee :)[quote=“meltam, post:8, topic:15351”]
I bought ground coffee on sale in 250g packs for a lower unit cost then they were selling the 1kg packs in the same brand.


My example that I wish to use to disprove this claim is from inside a game.

A… friend - let’s call them Postulatorian - has from time to time been known to play a game called Pokemon Go. Now while it is free to play, you can earn in-game coins and redeem them at the in-game store for items that will improve your game-play. You can also buy these coins from within the app, using (as I - I mean my friend is on Android) one’s Play Store payment method. All very neat and convenient.

The picture below is of what the coins cost in Australia. I understand that this may not be the same in all markets, but the price difference makes me wonder why anyone would buy the bigger coin caches.

And so as a brief explanation, 100 coins costs $0.99. 550 coins should at that rate cost $5.445 - not $7.99! In fact, the prices for the large amounts should - if consistent - be (apologies for the formatting):

100 $0.99
550 $5.45
1200 $11.88
2500 $24.75
5200 $51.48
14500 $143.55

And so my friend has only ever bought 100 pokecoins at a time (using credits earned in-game or from the Google Rewards app).


Great example @postulative and thanks for the comments everyone. Keep an eye out on the unit pricing labels (if they are provided) and if you don’t have access to unit pricing it can pay to do a few quick calculations to make sure you are getting the best price.


OK, so I am late to the party, but I always have a calculator to hand when purchasing alcohol, particularly Hendrick’s gin for me, which I purchase from Dan Murphy’s. You would think that the price per litre would be cheaper, as the volume of the bottle increases. Not so!

Using prices from today (11/3/2019) as an example:

  • 50mL - $10 - $200/litre
  • 350mL - $40 - $114/litre
  • 700mL - $65.90 - $94/litre
  • 1000mL - $100 - $100/litre

This is not the only instance where the cost per litre is cheaper in the common 700/750mL bottle than the larger 1/1.125L bottle. So always take your calculator with you because I can’t see the day where they will put a unit price on the shelves for alcoholic beverages.


Great example @Greenee.


Bunnings offering (27 June 2023):

Three pack unit price is $2.90 each tube. Same sized single tubes are cheaper - $0.12/tube less.

Surely the 6 pack much be cheaper, nope. The six pack works out to be $2.84/tube ($0.06/tube more)…and with an added surprise, 20gms less in the tube.

These aren’t the only products Bunnings sells where larger pack size works out more expensive.


Sometimes true. You need to check how they are priced, whatever they are. I usually buy cheese by the Kg (Coles Colby) but once or twice I have managed to score 500Gx2 for less than the Kg cost.


Sometimes the larger pack may not be used quickly enough and could ‘go off’ and become unusable.

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To be sure the larger size may be more convenient. If it does not go off, you need to worry about it less, and make fewer purchases. Still, the fact it is more expensive per unit should be prominently noted as it would go against your natural expectations.

Very old topic
but there is a lot of loss leading ?
Convenience and the volume popularity of the items i guess matters

Near me for example 8x pack RedBull 250ml is $25
but the 4 pack is $12.75
or 50c cheaper for 2 of the small packs

500ml Iced coffee at coles near by is $4.75 but the 750ml same brand is $4

$2.25 ($9 for 4) for the 250ml V in the fridge or 4x 250ml pack for $12 or $3 more

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