One of the most prudent things anyone along the NJroute22 area (as well as the rest of the world) can do – is paying attention to the price per unit of anything and everything you buy. This often means “buying in bulk” to save money.

We’ve mentioned this in the past (especially in our weekly supermarket roundup VLOG), especially when it comes to sorting through the ridiculous mess paper towel marketing has become. They talk about “sheets” or “rolls” (12=20, 6=9, etc.) but never mention “price per square foot.” Why is that?

Luckily for the more astute shoppers – you still have a way to decipher it all. They still indicate the total square feet (albeit in fine print) on the package. And it’s a shame that more people cannot or will not bother – or even worse, do not know HOW!

All you need to do to determine value is find a constant. A true constant, not something that “sounds” like a constant. This way you can figure out the best deal.

Like paper towels – price per square foot is the only true constant. You find out how much the material costs for the same unit of measure, not some fictitious and fungible term like sheets or rolls, which are often not consistent. What is a “roll” anyway? Is it defined anywhere? Is it compatible between brands?

(Naturally – you should also be comparing the quality as well. “Bounty” products are naturally superior to “Sparkle.” So cost factors in there as well.)

You can pay $19.61 per pound…

Mushrooms in bulk so much cheaper!

Another clear example is mushrooms at Shoprite.

You can buy “convenient” shitake mushrooms in a nice, neat (3.5oz.) package for $4.29. Not too bad, right? Until you take a look at the cost per pound: $19.61 per pound!

A few feet to the left were essentially the SAME shitake mushrooms – for just $6.99 a pound. Nearly one third the cost. Or to put it another way – you can nearly THREE TIMES the amount for about the same price. All you need to do is bag them yourselves. (Note that the sign for the “loose” mushrooms was wrong for some reason! It wasn’t 2.33 per pound…)

But that may be “too much” for most people.

Or you can pay $6.99 per pound. How many people can see the difference?

What happened to critical thinking?

The number of people able to see through the confusion – and conclude how to achieve the best value is dwindling by the day. Especially the younger, fast-paced generation raised to google the answers to their lives.

So many people ignore the fine print (as well as simple mathematics), and just see the large print and go their merry way.

The true critical thinkers are a rarity these days.

About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.