Why is buying something with lower cost per ounce somehow cheaper or a better deal than buying something with a higher cost per ounce, even if the total price is higher for the lower cost per ounce product?

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Why is buying something with lower cost per ounce somehow cheaper or a better deal than buying something with a higher cost per ounce, even if the total price is higher for the lower cost per ounce product?

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Let’s say I’m buying bottled water. One bottle costs two dollars, while 20 bottles fifteen dollars. Since I know I’m going to need more than 20 bottles over the course of my life, as water is rather necessary, I know that I will end up buying at least 20 bottles no matter what. I can either buy a single bottle 20 times which costs forty dollars, or I can buy the 20 pack once for fifteen bucks.

Say something is 10 cents per oz, and a dollar, you get 10 oz.
The bigger size is 8 cents per oz, and 2 dollars. You get 25 oz.

It’s basically helping you calculate how much each ounce is, right? So if you wanted to get more, you’d get more, at a cheaper cost per unit. You’re paying mover overall but you’re getting more. You’d have to get a bit more than 2 even of the first example to equal how much you get in the 2nd, and it still wouldn’t even out in price.

Look at the labels (at least here) pretty much everything has it broken down for you, which is pretty convenient.

It isn’t always.

For example, say something costs $0.10 per ounce in a 32oz container, or $0.12 per ounce in a 12oz container.

The 32oz container will cost $3.20 and the 12oz container will cost $1.44.

Everything seems fine, the 32oz container is a better buy right? Well perhaps it’s something you use in small enough amounts that you can’t possibly use the entire 32oz container before it spoils. Say you use only 20oz out of the container before you have to throw it out. At $0.10 per ounce advertised, you paid $3.20 and only used 20oz, meaning you actually paid $0.16 per ounce, the 12oz container would’ve been cheaper at only $0.12 per ounce because you would’ve used the whole thing.

Now assuming you actually use all of the product, paying less per ounce means you get more product for the same amount of money spent. For every $5 spent on the above product you would get 50oz with the larger $0.10 per ounce container, but only 41.667oz with the smaller $0.12 per ounce container. So you might spend *more* money upfront on the larger container, but it will last longer and you won’t have to spend that larger amount of money as frequently as if you just buy the smaller container.

Because you get more *of* it. (price per unit) * (number of units) = total cost. If something has a cheaper price per unit but costs more overall, there’s really only one place left it can be reconciled.

It is cheaper only if you end up using all of it.

If you are indeed 5 years old and are told you need to bring a pack of 10 crayons to school, your parents might buy a 10 pack for $2, or 20¢ each.

However, if they know that you like to spend your free time drawing and that you go through a LOT of crayons, they might buy the 40 pack for $4, or 10¢ each.

The 40 pack wouldn’t be a smart buy if you didn’t like drawing, but it would be for a budding artist.