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One of my very favorite breakfast cereals is Quaker Oatmeal Squares. They’re more expensive than your run of the mill cornflakes or store brand of raisin bran, so I don’t get them often. I have, however, bought them on my last two trips to the grocery store. The last time I bought them, I didn’t pay close attention to the box, although I noted that the usual price tag was on the shelf: $3.38 per box. I threw a box into my cart and home it went with me. (Of course, I paid for it first.)

It wasn’t until I got home and saw the new box next to the partially empty old box that I saw the size difference.

Quaker Oatmeal Squares - 2 box sizes, May 2011

Quaker Oatmeal Squares - 2 box sizes, May 2011

Major bummer to find that I hadn’t gotten as many as I’ve gotten before.

Quaker Oatmeal Squares - 24 oz. box, May 2011

Quaker Oatmeal Squares - 16 oz. box, May 2011

Versus …

Quaker Oatmeal Squares - 24 oz. box, May 2011

Quaker Oatmeal Squares - 24 oz. box, May 2011

What irked me, though, was that I had paid the same price for the small box as I had for the larger one. Or had I? Just because the label was identical on the store shelf, I hadn’t actually watched the cashier ring up the purchase, so I went back to my receipts. I had paid $3.00 for the small box and $3.38 for the large box.

It was a relief to know that I hadn’t paid as much, but in doing a couple of quick calculations, I found that the larger box is a better deal. $3.00 divided by 16 ounces equals .1875 cents per ounce. $3.38 divided by 24 ounces equals .140833 per ounce. It’s 4-5 cents more per ounce for the small box.

I do hope the grocery store gets the bigger boxes back in stock. In the meantime, I may have to switch back to cornflakes or raisin bran.