CHOICE membership

UNIT PRICE OR SELLING PRICE? Which do you use most when buying pre-packaged grocery items?



Usually the Unit price. I am disappointed though that this type of pricing doesn’t stretch to Liquor where the unit price for the larger bottles is often more than the smaller bottles. I’m forced to take my calculator to Dan Murphy’s :slight_smile:


Interesting replies! Marketing research (from long ago) that I took on board indicated that priorities started at price, then quality, and finally style (in this case, taste). As some others have noted, generally, we have a preference decided through family experience long ago … only changes of significance cause us to re-consider. Acceptable taste and quality are critical here. Within that, we tend to use unit pricing to compare between stores, or evaluate specials. We tend to “stock up on special” and not shop for items till they are on special again. Ads these days contain lots of gear that is at everyday prices, so unit pricing helps catch this out. In that regard, we have a pretty good idea on package sizes for our main inventory, so total price (special) or multibuy price are really another form of unit pricing in our world. For us, then, the question tends to be “buy now or wait till later” rather than shift to an alternative product based on unit price.


Unit price always.

Experience and heads-ups from Choice lead me to assume that a packet may not contain the same quantity as previously and/or in other shops, and in any case, unit price is THE price of a product.


Unit price, definitely. If it’s a giant pack that we won’t use, then I’ll go down in size. As for comparing quality, it’s often trial and error, at least the first time around. Some of the own brands are good, which they acknowledge by having more than one line of labels - cheap, “select”, and maybe a premium label.

I also try hard to buy as much Australian content as I can.


Thanks @grizzlyowl. I thought I was the only one to calculate unit pricing there (as they don’t have any displayed) …

When I’m there, most people don’t even seem to look at the pricing, they just close in, grab, and move on.


Once I am happy with the product, always unit price, both to compare brands and sizes within brands. (I used to calculate unit price before stores started to display it.) However, before looking at unit price I compare the nutritional panels as apparently similar products can vary a lot in saturated fat, sugar, sodium etc. That will often narrow the choice.


Now that you mention it, I actually don’t do it for fresh (loose) food. Except like, eggs. But even then… my first focus is on where it came from. Maybe because there doesn’t tend to be much variance of seller (no 5 companies all selling navel oranges for different prices) or maybe because it’s ‘cheap enough’ that the taste is more important. I won’t buy a cheaper apple if I prefer the taste of another - unless for some reason there is a remarkable difference in price.

…Wow. I have never questioned having ‘only one price/seller’ for one type of any fresh food item before. Without leaving the store, I mean.


Unit price “when available”? Is not a legal requirement to post it on the shelf? Mind you, the tiny print is an indication that the supermarket would rather not have it. Hey, how about we have the unit price as big as the selling price. Or better still, a full swap round.


Unit Price for sure, but I’m getting cranky at the shenanigans they’re pulling. IE listing two of the same products different brands and using per 100g for one and a completely different unit for the other, or similar BS so you can’t compare easily.


Where possible unit price, tempered by quality and suitability/taste.
For many items there are now so few options or choices the unit price is pointless.

Eg a Mars bar is a Mars bar except when they are in a pack of minis, or supersized. I just wait untill they are not twice the price, and buy just one to savour the total salt, fat & sugar overload! :yum:

As an aside unit price is perhaps the only reliable way of comparing changes in product pricing over time. Assuming you have a 20 year hand written personal record of the price of 100gms of vegemite. (Or cupboard full of old dockets)
Something Woolies and Coles and Aldi no doubt have on computer? :thinking:


I use unit price as it is the easy way to compare prices between different size packaging. The bigger pack is not always cheaper


Unit price is only legislated for supermarkets with a floor space of over 2,000m2 and for shops normally selling predominantly food. The wording is in the Act. Therefore little “supermarkets” like those in country towns don’t have to provide Unit Pricing, and it is telling that, although they have the data, they don’t bother. Places like Big W that sell clothing, plants, books, cosmetics etc, don’t have to Unit Price their food either.


This is my buying technique too.


I use unit price routinely but calculate it myself (If its too much for my brain I use my phone calculator) as I have found so many mistakes on the tickets I will ot rely on them.


Unit price.

Years ago, I started using a Palm PDA. It came with a copy of Docs to Go. Since then, my shopping list has been a small spreadsheet (Palm died, but Android carries on). Makes calculation for comparison easy.


Unit price, except occasionally when it’s a frequently purchased item and a matter of definitely preferring one brand over another.


It would be an interesting if slightly comic notion?

Noting larger sized garments use more cloth and have more cm of cutting and stitching and more waste. Should the price vary according to size?

Adjusting price for the weight of a garment might seem a fairer way to trade. :thinking:

For F&V selling expensive products EG avocados by the each would also seem a poor outcome as the unit weight and price are obscured by the practice. As a high value food item the cost of stocking and handling is a much smaller proportion of the cost compared with other fruits, Eg bananas which are always sold by the kg?

Mangoes are treated in a similar manner, but I’ve seen Rockmellon marketed by each and by weight. Also pumpkin.

So is the practice of selectively selling certain F&V by the each or bunch etc and not declaring the weight helping the consumer or the store? There is little option unless you walk out empty handed.


Unit price is always an important consideration for me but not the be all. Quality comes into it as well. You haven’t spelt out exactly what you mean by pre-packaged. I usually find pre-packaged fruit and vegies are dearer for smaller items, but not always. Larger staple items like spuds and fruit are usually cheaper pre-packaged.


Unit price for same products or very similar quality products.


I am a great believer in reading unit prices as so many things in larger quantities are not always cheaper. For example recently at Woolworths there were a Christmas special box of chocolates and it was double the usual product weight. But when I checked the unit price there was a much cheaper option of buying two smaller boxes. I note that many have noticed similar and the use of unit pricing is a must for observant and astute shoppers.