Why supermarket unit pricing is the best way to save money

SAVING money when shopping for groceries might seem as easy as buying loose items instead of prepacked goods, or bulk products rather than small packages.

However, supermarkets are not that simple, especially when weekly specials conspire to confuse shoppers, so there’s just one way to make sure you buy the best-value stuff: unit pricing.

MONEY MUM: How I save $4000 a year on groceries

The big supermarkets have to display unit prices — the costs of item per unit of measure such as 100g or litre — and consumer specialists say it’s not difficult to compare. If you get confused by different measures, there’s always the calculator on your smartphone.

Trolley Saver’s Sam Lee says specials can confuse shoppers. Picture: Kylie Else
Camera IconTrolley Saver’s Sam Lee says specials can confuse shoppers. Picture: Kylie ElsePicture: News Corp Australia

Research by the Queensland Consumers Association found that people could save a quarter of their shopping bill simply by switching from a high unit price to low unit price product.

The association’s spokesman, Ian Jarratt, said many people followed shopping rules of thumb where buying in bulk was cheaper, loose items were cheaper, and specials delivered the best value.

“It ‘ain’t always like that,” he said.

“You quite often get the situation where the company puts on special the medium-sized package.

“And one

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Universities sitting on piles of money should put it to use

The debate over tax reform has highlighted many quirks of the tax code, but in some instances it has also highlighted quirks of the economy. Such is the case with university endowments.

What you do with regard to debt and savings can reveal much about your beliefs about the future. If you are a young person and you believe your future will be improved by getting a higher education, it makes sense to borrow money to pay for that education.

If you are later in your career and you don’t expect to work forever, it makes sense to be saving or to have saved money.


This is also true at the firm level. Companies without compelling investment opportunities may retain cash until there is a good deal in front of them. The reverse is also true. Many of the prominent tech companies that we see in the headlines take outside investment and don’t make money for years in part because it is so valuable to invest their resources in more growth. 

Even countries operate in this way. Nations that have significant natural resources often establish a sovereign wealth fund. With the influx of significant money, these countries can’t always invest in ways that make sense today, and by using up resources today, they have an obligation to future generations. When a country can borrow at a low rate to invest in their economy and produce higher rates of growth, they generally do.

In other words, saving money implies that you don’t have a compelling

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Gifts from nonprofits: Try some new shopping venues, save money and support local groups


At the Sharlot Hall Museum gift shop, regular customer Katie Jump looks at one of the local history books. The store carries a variety of historical and Prescott-centric gifts, books, crafts and jewelry. Specialty items in the store include the $12 hand-sewn sunbonnets in pastel colors that speak to the early days of this city’s history. (Nanci Hutson/Courier)

A Billy the Kid cookbook.

A cat-face, hooked rug holiday pillow.

An old-fashioned tin Jell-O mold.

These unusual, specialty items and much, much more can be found in a select group of mostly volunteer-operated boutiques and thrift stores that many residents and newcomers don’t know exist. The good news is that once people discover that the proceeds from sales in these quaint spots is tax free and benefits non-profit organizations, they tend to come back.

Let’s start with the Sharlot Hall Museum on West Gurley Street.

Beyond the preservation of local history on its campus of historic buildings and exhibits, including the first Territorial governor’s mansion, Sharlot Hall’s cadre of volunteers run a gift shop in the restored 140-year-old home that once belonged to a frontier businessman, William C. Bashford, son of Arizona’s first lawyer, Coles Bashford.

The Victorian house with its stained glass front doors, solarium and decorative fireplace is divided into specialty rooms, one of them stocked with books that tell tales of Prescott’s early years as well as offer insights

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Health care: Let’s put our money where our mouth is!

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It has been said a society is judged by the manner in which it handles its most vulnerable persons.

We also know ill-health that incapacitates an otherwise well-functioning individual creates a level of helplessness and vulnerability that can make one question their very reason for being.

For a long time, access to healthcare of acceptable quality has been a factor of socio-economic status. Poorer countries have accepted third-rate health systems, subjecting their populations to increased morbidity and mortality as well as a poorer quality of life because of their poverty.

Even within countries, wealthier individuals and families have been able to access the best healthcare in the world, wherever it is to be found, while poorer people have had to make do with what is essentially voodoo in the name of public health systems. The new Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, came into office with the promise of making universal health coverage (UHC) a top priority across the world. He has continued to push an aggressive campaign to get countries to sign on and help make it a reality.


In the past few weeks, President Uhuru Kenyatta has been setting out the priorities for his government over the coming five years, and it is gratifying to note that for the first time in our history health is ranking as one of the four priorities his government has decided

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Show Me the Money: Economist Calculates US Gov’t Blew $21 Trln in Taxpayer Money

Skidmore’s estimate, based on a careful reading of publically available documents on government spending under three administrations between 1998 and 2015, was calculated after intense digging by the professor and his team, including poring over government websites and making repeated requests (often unanswered) to government officials for more information.

According to Skidmore, his investigators’ persistence led the Office of Inspector General to temporarily disable website links to files showing possible misappropriations and waste. Unfortunately for the agency, his team had downloaded and safely stored the documents before that happened.

This is an aerial view of the five-sided Pentagon building, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Va., in 1975Last week, the US Department of Defense began an agency-wide audit, the first in its history. The audit came just a few days after Dr. Skidmore discussed his findings with USAWatchdog.com, a nonpartisan news and analysis site focused on government accountability. Commenting on the move, the professor said he felt that his team’s findings “may have made a difference,” but refrained from claiming that his estimates specifically prompted the audit.

Skidmore told USAWatchdog.com that his findings remain incomplete, being only what he and his team have managed to find by looking through Office of Inspector General reports back to 1998. At the same time, he said, the “biggest chunk” of unaccountable spending came from the US Army, with $11.5 trillion in possible misappropriations found over a thirteen year period.

The economist is now lobbying lawmakers

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