Consumer Alert: Food savings

(National-Consumer Reports) January 3, 2007 - The Super Bowl is about a month away, and if you're planning a bowl party, then no doubt you'll be buying plenty of party-sized snacks and other super-sized grocery items.

Buying bigger quantities can be a good way to save, but after taking a closer look at supermarket shelves, Consumer Reports found that bigger isn't always better.

In the supermarket, there are lots of different sizes to choose from, and if you're like most people, you probably think you're getting a deal if you go with the larger one.

Not so fast.

Consumer Reports just investigated supermarket pricing, and found that some bigger sizes can come with bigger price tags.

"Several university studies have shown that the larger size of a brand-name product is a worse value about 25 percent of the time."

In a small sampling of stores, Anthony Giorgianni paid more for larger sizes of foods such as kidney beans, tuna, and olive oil.

"We bought two cans of tuna at a single store. The smaller one worked out to be a dollar thirty-nine a pound. The larger one turned out to be two dollars and nine cents a pound."

So how can you be sure you're getting the most for your money?

Consumer Reports says along with checking the price, look closely at the unit price to see if the bigger one really is a better deal. But be aware, stores don't always use the same units of measurement, making it tough to compare prices.

Giorgianni says, "We were in one store that was using ounces, pounds, quarts, and price per 100 milliliters to show the unit price of spaghetti sauce."

Another way to save on groceries is with store cards. You get automatic discounts without having to clip coupons, but be sure to review the privacy policy at your local store before you sign up - that way you can be sure your information isn't shared with anyone.

Posted 2:41pm by Bryce Mursch

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