Simple Savings Sunday #11 – Compare The Net Weight

simple savings sunday tipsWelcome back to another edition of Simple Savings Sunday.  I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend so far.  We have been busy around here trying to get our home ready to list.  I have been loading a lot of DIY into my days and I am getting tired by the time to write here comes around.  Don’t worry though, I will push through it.  I am good at multitasking, so I will just push through this.  I am happy that I have the ability to fix a majority of my problems on the house with my own two hands.  With my mind going into a million places, I have a little story that fits into today’s theme.  In this savings edition, I just want to make sure that you always check and compare net weights for products.  It is easy and you can easily save money.

Compare Net Weight

A majority of products in the grocery store have a weight or volume that dictates the price.  Each price tag even breaks down how much it costs based on the weight.  I typically look at net weights when I am comparing two products, but this past weekend, I didn’t. My wife and I were grocery shopping for our weekly meals.  It was a typical grocery shopping trip.  I was looking at some yogurt (I love yogurt!), mainly Greek, and comparing two items.  My wife spotted the same brand but with a lower caloric count.  She told me to just get that because it was the same price.  Instead of doing my normal review, I just said, “OK, what else do we need?

Was It The Same Price?

I didn’t think anything of the price of the yogurt and went home after checkout.  Later that evening, I pulled out a yogurt and started eating.  One thing I noticed is that the yogurt was a little lighter than the last one that I had eaten.  After finishing, I decided to check the packaging.  Well, that is when it looked like I had been duped by a little marketing trickery.

The Marketing Message

See, the yogurt was the same price, but the issue was that the overall net weight of the lower calorie yogurt was less than the “full” calorie yogurt.  The regular yogurt was sitting at 6oz, but the lesser calorie yogurt was 5.3oz.  Damn, it looks like I fell for the “100 calorie” marketing gimmick.  At least, my wife did, and she pulled me in with her.

The manufacturer of the product was selling the same product with a lesser amount for the same price as the other .  There is no difference between the items, except for the net weight.  What a piece of crap.  I usually don’t fall for these things, but I just wasn’t paying attention.  No, I am not technically saving any money, because the price is the same, but I do get more product.  Isn’t that the goal.  We want the most for our money.

My advice for this week is to make sure that you aren’t falling for marketing gimmicks.  I don’t typically do this, but if there is a lot going on, it can happen.  Just take a step back and do your research.  Take the time to compare two products that you want to buy and make sure you compare the net weights.  You don’t want to pay more for less product.  It is a simple tip, but marketing companies are good at separating us from our money and giving us less for it.  Those bastards!

So, have you fallen for this before?  Do you look at net weights when you go shopping?

I’ve Been Cable Free for 5 Years and Still Watch TV

While in debt, I cut cable and haven’t looked back. It’s easier than you think especially with new services out on the market. One of my favorites is Sling TV, which allows you to watch live TV on the internet. It’s awesome. Check out my Sling TV review.

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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

BlackbeardsWyfe says February 16

Smart advice. Most of the time the boxes or packaging will often be the same sizes. The trick is the volume weight. My favorite place to test this is the Cereal aisle. Pick up two boxes of similar cereal and place one in each hand. You will be surprised at how often there is a noticeable and significant difference in the weight. I often notice that the “better for you” product is often the one that skimps out. The companies make a lot of money by “shorting” the consumer by using packaging “tricks” that unless you pay attention cause you to get a lot less that what you think you are paying for.

    Laurie says February 18

    Yep, that was the case with my yogurt. They were both in the exact same packaging, but one just had less in it. The cereal aisle is notorious for this marketing gimmick!

Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says February 16

I hate it when marketers pull that!! We found a similar issue with our fish food a couple of months ago. There was a bottle that was twice the size – a bulk price on it, but with just a little bit more food than the regular sized canister. What I thought would’ve been a good deal turned out to be a huge rip off. Great post, Grayson.

    Laurie says February 18

    Those just irritate me. That was why I had to write about it here. They give you a bigger package, but don’t really give you much more product.

Ree Klein says February 16

Wow, I bet I’ve fallen for that a billion times! I remember being hacked off when they quietly changed the ice cream package from 2 quarts to 1.75…and yes, the price was the same so you wouldn’t have really noticed that you were being duped (and robbed of a nice bowl of your favorite flavor!).

Thanks for the reminder, Grayson, because those rat-B marketers don’t rely exclusively on scaring the pants off you or making you drool with desire to make a sale…sometimes it’s just sneaky tactics we never notice.

    Laurie says February 18

    I remember when they did that. Now they are 1.5 quarts and they still charge the same price or more. It irritates me and usually I spot it. They got me this time, when my guard was down.

Lauren says February 17

Good advice and something that I think a lot of people overlook when shopping. My husband got me into the habit of checking the price per ounce/per item and comparing net weights. It’s well worth the extra few seconds that it takes!

    Laurie says February 18

    Ah yes, the price per ounce is a great way to check. Those numbers are on the shelf price tag. Great tip!

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