Shopping Tips: Know The Cost per Use

Shopping Tips: Know The Cost per Use. A lot of us know to check for the cost per volume. But there are times when that lower-priced alternative may end up costing you more. Here are a few examples.
A lot of us know to check for the cost per volume. That's why we usually buy the biggest size. And that's how we know that in the Philippines, shampoo in sachets can be cheaper than buying that 750ml press-top bottle.

But did you know that it's not always the best way to save money?

A more effective eay is to measure your Cost per Use.

If you have a copy of my free ebook, you've probably heard of this already. But for everyone's benefit, here's a few examples to illustrate my point:

As I mentioned in my book, buying a 40ml bottle of deodorant at 70 pesos looks more expensive than the 25ml bottle at 35 pesos. For the same price it looks like I get 10ml free on the smaller bottle. But after having bought a bunch of them and testing over two weeks, it turns out that it's about the same. I'm not sure why either, but there it is.

Another good example are diapers. Obviously you want the cheapest ones, since they're meant to get soiled and thrown away. But when we bought EQ dry, we found out that it would start leaking if not replaced in a few hours or if left on overnight. Using Drypers, we tended to use one or two less diapers per day. So despite having a higher per piece price, it actually cost us a lot more. Not only because of the frequency of changing diapers but also because if it leaked, it will also cost additional money to wash the clothes and sheets that were part of "collateral damage."

Another good example are powdered juices. Did you know that those small litro-packs are cheaper than the big bag of powdered juice? Well according to the price they're not.

But because it's much more concentrated, you use less powder to make 1 liter of juice compared to what it would take when using those bigger packs.

The same principle applies to a lot of other things. For example, if you're using cheap and low quality detergents or you use a good quality detergent but skimp and use less than necessary.

The end result is that you'll probably have to rewash at least some clothes. Either because they don't smell nice or you start itching when you wear them. Which actually happened to us, while testing some of the most reasonably priced detergents. We opted for the second-best price, because it smelled just as nice as the pricier brands.

To compute for the cost per use, just divide the price by the numebr of times you use it. Or, if it's easier, the days (or whatever length of time) it takes before you need to replace it or use a new one.

Of course, the downside is that you'll need to experiment a little and buy a few different brands. But you don't need to buy them all at once and you can try them one at a time, starting from the lowest-priced choice - or the one you know/feel is the great choice.

How about you? What products did you discover are cheaper to use than the most lower-priced alternative?

If you liked this article, please subscribe to my feed, like me on Facebook, circle me on Google+, or follow me Twitter @thePFApprentice. It's free, you won't miss new articles, and you'll also get my free ebook: the Super Savings Guide.

Enter your email address for your free subscription

photo credit: Andormix - Isaac Torrontera via photopin cc


  1. Hi,
    I have subscribed already but didn't received an email about your free ebook.
    I am interested to read it :)


    1. Hi Angelie, did you subscribe via email? If yes, it's near the bottom of the confirmation email.

      If you subscribed some other way, you'll have to tell me where to send it to. Facebook and RSS doesn't really allow me to contact you directly.

      (I sent you an email through the contact form in your blog. you can just tell me there.)

  2. Hi Carlos,
    I had received the contact form you send me about the Ebook. Thanks for sending it :)
    Yes I have subscribed via email but I don't remember when I did subscribed to it so i can't find that email anymore. Glad you sent the ebook via my contact form of my blog.

    Thank You and For sure I will read your Ebook :)