This Little-Used FREE APP Can Save You Money


Hint #1: Most cell phones manufactured in the last 10 years support it…

Hint #2: No phone upgrade is required (software or hardware)…

Hint #3: It’s FREE and doesn’t even require downloading…

Bonus Hint: It’s not your phone’s alarm clock!  That helps with time (not money, arguably), plus we’d have to rule it out due to iPhone 4 seeming to not support its alarm app!

Surprise – it’s your *calculator*!  Before you feel let down and consider sending an agry mob, think about it for a minute.  This freebie “app” WILL keep you from throwing away countless dollars over time.


Instead of making phone calls when shopping, use your phone’s calculator to make sure you are getting the best deal on your purchases.

Of course we all know the basics: generics cost less than name brands, buy on sale or with coupons, and even that small packages of the same thing tend to cost more than larger packages.  Calculators aren’t usually needed for that… especially when unit prices are conveniently displayed on the shelf label.

But guess what, your retailer knows you know this!  They shop too, and they are in business to make money.  So what happens when they up their game and throw you a curveball?

Unit prices aren’t always displayed in superstores.  Further, packages featuring multiples of ten and common units aren’t always prominent either. And what about coupons?  Add in a few manufacturer and/or store coupons and suddenly smaller packages become fair game…

Just try to figure out the better deal from each of these real examples in your head (and add a couple of screaming kids in the cart for fun).  Which should you choose?

  • Pepsi: 12-packs of Pepsi are 3 for $11, but the 20-packs are on sale for $6
  • Tide Laundry Detergent: The 2x (concentrated) 150oz bottle does 96 loads of laundry and is on sale for $14, vs. Original (not concentrated) 100oz that does 32 loads a bottle for $8 with BOGO (buy one get one free)
  • Up & Up Diapers (Target Brand): Buy the box of 144 on clearance for $20.49, vs. 36-count package for $6.29 before $1 in-store coupon

All handy uses for that little lonely app on your phone.  These are simple division, one-step comparisons that are perfectly suited to pecking away on your phone’s calculator – no unit conversion necessary!  Here are the answers (in order):

  • Get the 20-packs.  30.0 cents a can vs. 30.6 cents a can.  Your calculator just saved you 12 cents.  If it’s me, I would have saved 60 cents (I live on Diet Mountain Dew and likely would have bought 5 20-packs).
  • Go for the original Tide (non-concentrated).  12.5 cents per load vs. 14.6 per load.  Your calculator just helped you avoid a “greenwashed” product.
  • For the diapers, get the box. 14.2 cents each vs. 14.7 cents.  Assuming, of course, that your kid won’t outgrow them before they all get used.


Great – here’s a bonus tip: use the camera app when considering larger purchases or comparing across stores – simply take a picture of the label and do the math at home!

Next post, I’m going to show you how to hit home runs on these and even more complex unit pricing situations!

Yours for great deals,

– Nathan

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4 Responses to “This Little-Used FREE APP Can Save You Money”

  1. […] FREE Apps that Save You Money […]

  2. Sheri says:

    Hey Nathan,
    Read your ‘Little-Used Free App…, and I have to thank you. I am constantly comparing the cost of soda for my vending business. Not being a math wizard (or even an apprentice) I use my rusty long division with my trusty pen and pad, parked at the side of the store aisle. Eventually I do figure out that the 36 pack is a better price than the 24 or 12 pack. Now I’ll get out of the store faster by using my phone calculator while boosting my mathmatical confidence. Seriously, thanks for the reminder & I will be using calculator for more than buying the 36 pack of pepsi…

  3. Nathan says:

    Thanks Sheri for the kind words – I’m happy to have helped! Best of luck to you with your business 🙂

  4. […] time we break out the envelope and pen (or cell phone calculator) to determine the best unit price, the first thing you need to remember is this: DO NOT LET the […]