Weights & Measures

Getting what you pay for

It’s hard to be a smart consumer today; when you think about the products you buy and the amount you can spend. Can I afford this? Is this the best buy? Am I getting my money’s worth?

Almost everything we buy is sold by weight, volume, length, count, or measure. For example — a dozen eggs, a gallon of milk, a liter of wine, a yard of cloth, a pound of hamburger.

Without standard measurements, it would be difficult to do even simple things, like use cookbooks or buy carpet, laundry detergent and fabric.

Read the Labels

Package Labels give consumers helpful information. The amount of the product of the net quantity in the package is marked on the label.

The quantity is shown as a weigh, measure, or count, such as ounces, ponds, quarts, liters, or square feet.

Pay only for the Product NOT THE Packaging

When you buy apples in a plastic bag, you should pay only for the weight of the apples, not for the weight of the container.

In many stores, the electronic and computerized scales used at the check-out are set to automatically deduct the weight of the packaging. On other scales, the sales clerk must adjust the scale to deduct the packaging materials.

Scales must be placed so you can see the weight. If you doubt the package contains the weight labeled on the package, ask to have the package weighed again before you buy the product

What can you do?:
  • Watch the scale and the amount registered. The scale should be placed so you can see the weight, price and other information displayed.
  • Make sure the scale shows a zero or minus sign before anything is weighed. Pay ONLY for the product, NOT for the packaging.
  • Look for unit price labels on the shelves or signs near the items.
  • Compare the unit prices of similar products to find the best buy.
  • If the unit price is incorrect or missing , report it to the supermarket manager. Ask the manager to post or correct the unit price information.

When buying GASOLINE

Good measurement is also important when buying gasoline and motor fuel. The fuels are sold by volume in gallons or liters.

The price you pay for gasoline will depend upon:

  • The octane level which may affect the performance of your car;
  • The distance and how fast you drive and ;
  • The time of day it is purchased. It is best to buy gasoline during coolest time of day – early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest.

Be sure the attendant at the pump is using the correct pump and the octane rating and the price per gallon or liter is clear on each pump. It is also important that you check the price by multiplying the number of gallons or liters by the unit price.