I’m a geek; a real number-loving kind of girl. I even have a degree in mathematics. I don’t think my professors would be too impressed with how I’ve been applying my higher education but it works for me. If you’ve seen a weirdo muttering calculations under her breath like a demented mathematician in the aisles of any grocery store in the Greater Toronto area, then you’ve encountered the Canadian Cheapo. Yup, I’m THAT person. I divide all prices by unit. Some stores give me a break by doing the division and posting it on the item’s pricing sticker. Look carefully on the shelving the next time you’re out shopping in a grocery store if you haven’t noticed it before. You will find the price of the item as well as the price per unit. This calculation will show how much each “unit” costs. A unit could refer to an ounce, mL or individual item. This method applies to any packaged merchandise, such as cereal, cheese strings, waffles, and my favourite item, toilet paper. Here is an example of how I can quickly calculate if a sale price is truly cheap or not. This week, No Frills was advertising 24 double rolls (equivalent to 48 single rolls) of Royale toilet paper for $7.77. Okay, I could start churning out the numbers in my head or whip out a calculator. But I don’t have to. I know that the sale price that I usually pay (without using coupons) is $3.99 for 24 single rolls. So as long as I’m paying $7.98 or less for 48 rolls, I know that I’m getting a good deal. You may have noticed recently that prices are staying the same or seem cheaper for staple grocery items but the package itself is shrinking. Coffee tins used to be over 900 grams, but now the size of the tins have been reduced to approximately 600 grams. By comparing prices by unit, you can’t get fooled by the sale price.