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
Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn't have it and thought of other things if you did.~James Baldwin
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