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Shopping Myths Busted

April 28th, 2009

I recently went grocery shopping with my daughter. She needed shredded cheddar cheese and planned to buy the brick of cheddar cheese and shred it herself. As we looked at cheese prices, we discovered that the shredded cheese was not any more expensive than the brick cheese. Here are the cheese prices we found for a store brand cheese:

8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese = $1.78 = $.222 per ounce
16 ounces (1 pound)  of shredded cheddar = $3.94 = $.246 per ounce

16 ounce (1 pound) brick of cheddar = $4.18 = $.261 per ounce
32 ounce (2 pounds) brick of cheddar = $7.18 = $.224 per ounce

We were surprised to discover that the smallest package (8 ounces) of shredded cheese was actually the cheapest when you looked at the unit price. I guess you might say we “busted two shopping myths.”

Myth 1: Pre-shredded cheese is more expensive. You can save money by shredding it yourself.

BUSTED! My daughter saved time and money by buying the pre-shredded.

Myth 2: Buying in bulk is less expensive.

BUSTED! In this case, the larger quantity of the pre-shredded cheese was more expensive. The larger quantity of the brick cheese was less…but still not quite as cheap as the 8-ounce package of shredded (which was the quantity my daughter wanted).

Bottom line: Don’t make assumptions! Check the unit prices to really find the best deal!

Find more dairy shopping tips on the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. Web site.

-contributed by Renee Sweers

food cost, food preparation , , ,

  1. JS
    | #1

    The pre-shreaded cheese may cost less, but take a look at the ingredients. Often it is not all cheese. There are fillers and other additives. This is especially true of cottage cheese and yoghurts. Some of those have an ingredient list a mile long when they should read something like milk, cream, rennet, salt. Sometimes there are other factors to consider other than price. Of course it is cheaper when the product is not real.

  2. Renee
    | #2

    JS, I agree, you do have to watch that and sometimes shredded cheese can be ‘imitation cheese’.. which is not going to have the calcium content and may be higher in fat. Often the packaging looks just like the product that is real cheese.. so it can be confusing. In the price comparision in this example, it was all cheddar cheese we were looking at.. no fakes. Thanks for bringing this issue about imitation cheese out. Renee

  3. | #3

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  4. | #4

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  5. Susan
    | #5

    @JS
    Thanks for pointing this out. Not that I have every bought grated cheese because I just assumed it was cheaper. But now I know it could be fake cheese or have additives and filler, I would never buy it, even if it were half the price! I don’t buy any packaged cheese though – look at the ingredient list on that, yuk. Buy cheese that is either cut while there, or pre cut and then wrapped, nothing added. It’s a shame you have to check to see what is in cheese, but sadly you do.

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