Australia’s consumer protection agencies are encouraging shoppers to read the unit price of groceries – and not just rely on the display price – to make savings on their trips to the supermarket.
While we are often attracted by a displayed price that seems cheaper than a similar item, it pays to make sure the comparison is like for like.
Unit pricing, usually found on shelf labels in stores, shows the price of grocery products as a cost per standard unit of measurement.
Large grocery stores, and some online grocery retailers, must display unit pricing.
For example, if a pack of 50 dishwasher tablets costs $10, the shelf label will also show that each tablet has a unit cost of 20 cents. In comparison, if a pack of 75 tablets is $11.25 it may initially seem more expensive, but the shelf label will show the unit cost per tablet is lower at 15 cents each.
Unit pricing makes it easier to compare products across different sizes, brands and packaging types, such as fresh and frozen.
Keep these money-saving tips in mind for your next grocery shop:
- The unit price of large packs is often lower than small or medium packs, but not always, so it pays to check.
- Compare the unit prices of different sizes of the same brand’s product, as well as different brands of the same product.
- Look out for special offers which might temporarily have the lowest unit price – but not always.
- If a product is available loose or pre-packaged, check the unit price of both.
For more information on unit pricing, visit the Grocery unit prices page on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.
Also see our general information on pricing.