Welcome to my “daily comment.” The ground rules Ceres and I have agreed to are simple. I can write whatever I want, ranging from a sentence to an epic, and nothing is off limits. I can even say things like, “Don’t trade stocks yourself — for most people, it’s smarter to invest through no-load mutual funds.” Which it is.
Yesterday, I recounted what Kramer and I know about saving money at warehouse stores. The land-of-the-giants tuna fish episode of Seinfeld.
Today, I take you comparison shopping, just to give you a sense of what’s out there. The idea is to shop smart and save money, because the IRS doesn’t tax you for that. A penny saved at the supermarket is a penny that falls straight to your bottom line.
My motto: NOTHING IS EVER ON SALE AT THE 7-ELEVEN.
The following shows prices for January 24, 1996 in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area. The comparison is in no way meant to be scientific, just to give you a sense of how prices — especially prices per unit — can vary. If you always tend to get the best price, or nearly the best price, you will save a lot of money compared with those who get the normal mix of good and bad prices.
Not shown here are the really bad prices — the travel size toothpaste you can buy in the hotel shop for $2.39.
Instead, I just compared a Sam’s Club warehouse store with two large Southeast supermarket chains, Publix and Winn-Dixie.
Not shown either are the “store brands” that are often another excellent way to save money. Not on ketchup, of course — there is only one Heinz ketchup. But on garbage bags? Paper towels? In many cases, these come off the same production line as the “brand name” products.
And a final disclaimer: I’m not saying you should actually eat stuff like this. Fresh vegetables, baked potatoes, lots of fruit — that’s what you should eat. (Costco sells a mean jumbo frozen fruit salad, incidentally.) The point of this is just to show how prices can vary.
|Price per lb.||1.798||1.995||3.28|
|Kraft Parmesan Cheese|
|Price per oz.||.31||.37||.41|
|Stouffer Frozen Lasagna|
|Price per oz.||.09||.125||.125|
|Tostitos Tortilla Chips|
|Price per oz.||.125||.206||.186|
|Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers|
|Price per oz.||.128||.215||.193|
|Nabisco Wheat Thins|
|Price per oz.||.125||.179||.179|
|Price per oz.||.037||.052||.047|
|Price per oz.||.074||.112||.105|
|Price per oz.||.057||.050||.061|
|Campbell’s Tomato Soup|
|Price per can||.49||.40||.445|
|Chef Boy-ar-dee Ravioli|
|Price per oz.||.055||.066||.67|
|Mott’s Apple Sauce|
|Price per oz.||.033||.039||.041|
|Juicy Juice Boxes|
|Price per oz.||.038||.043||.058|
|Minute Maid Juice Boxes|
|Price per oz.||.038||.035||.039|
|Ocean Spray Cranberry|
|Kraft American Singles|
|18 carton (large)||1.48||n/a||1.85|
|Price per tart||.215||.249||.248|
|Post GrapeNuts Cereal|
|Price per oz.||.125||.162||.103|
|Price per oz.||.158||.166||.165|
|Kellogg’s Corn Flakes|
|Price per oz.||.117||.137||.137|
|Price per oz.||.174||.177||.174|
|Peter Pan Peanut Butter|
|Price per oz.||.081||.107||.106|
|Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna|
|Price per oz.||.103||.095||.095|
|Del Monte Peas|
|Price per oz.||.027||.036||.032|
|Del Monte Green Beans|
|Price per oz.||.025||.033||.034|
|Del Monte Corn|
|Price per oz.||.025||.036||.032|
|Del Monte Peaches|
|Price per oz.||.038||.051||.051|
My other motto: SHOP AROUND.
Tomorrow: Wine by the Case: Amazing Math
Quote of the Day
Guys, just remember: if you get real lucky, if you make a lot of money, if you go out and buy a lot of stuff, it's gonna break. You got your biggest, fanciest mansion in the world. It has air conditioning. It has a pool. Just think of all the pumps that are going to go out. Or go to a yacht basin any place in the world. Nobody is smiling and I'll tell you why: something broke that morning. The generator's out, the microwave oven doesn't work, the cook's gay. Things just don't mean happiness.~Ross Perot to Harvard B-School students, quoted in Forbes
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