Many of us shop at wholesale stores like Costco or Sam's Club. You can save a lot of money by purchasing items in bulk, and supermarkets are paying attention. In fact, you may have noticed "bulk item" aisles popping up in your local grocery. Bulk automatically means cheap, right? Not so fast.
Before tossing that 24-pack of paper towels into your cart, do some simple math. (Don't panic. Just pull out your cell phone calculator.) To find out if you're really getting a deal, don't just look at the price tag. Look at the unit cost. Here's an example. Which is a better buy -- 2 liters of milk at $3.80 or 1.5 liters of milk at $2.70?
The liter is your unit. So if you divide $3.80 by two, you get $1.90 per liter as the unit cost. If you divide $2.70 by 1.5, you get $1.80 per liter as the unit cost. So, the 1.5 liters of milk is the better buy. Just keep this in mind when you're shopping, and you won't be lured by false bulk item discounts.