Consumer Tips

  • Package labels give consumers helpful information. The amount of the product or the net quantity in the package is marked on the label. The quantity is shown as weight, measure, or count such as ounces, pounds, quarts, liters, or square feet.


  • Regardless of whether a package is packaged prior to the time of sale or at the time of sale the packaging material is call TARE. Shoppers can save money if they understand and use the following "Tare Tips".
  • When you buy apples in a plastic bag, you should pay only for the weight of the apples. If you buy a salad at the deli, you should pay only for the salad, not for the weight of the container.
  • Compare the net weight found on the label of the package to the total weight. The price you pay should reflect the net weight.


  1. Look on the label found on the front of the package and find the net weight.
  2. Take the item to the meat or deli and have the package weighed (these scales are regulated by the Weights and Measures Department). The weight show on the scale is the gross weight and it should exceed the stated net weight. If the gross weight is less than or equal to the net weight, you are paying too much!


  • 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.
  • If you have any questions about how a store weighs products, ask the manager for information first.


  • Food is a large part of a family budget. To make the best choices and to get the most for your money, it is important to compare the price, amount, and quality of similar products.
  • Unit pricing can help. The unit price tell you the cost per "unit" (such as per ounce, per pound, per sheet) to buy the product.
  • Compare the unit price of each package to determine which costs less per unit.


  • If potato salad sells at the deli for $2.78 per pound, you know that 2 pounds will cost $5.56 (2 X $2.78)
  • When you know the unit price, you can compare similar products of different sizes. The larger package is not always the best buy.


  • Look for unit price labels on the item, shelves, or signs near the item.
  • Compare the unit prices of similar products to find the best buy.


  • Many stores use electronic scanners to figure the price at the checkout counter. The scanner is linked with the computer. The scanner reads a code on the product or the tag and the computer reads the price. The computer can read the wrong price and this error can cost you money.


  • Bring ads with you when you shop.
  • Write down prices
  • Watch as the price of the items shows on the checkout register.
  • Ask the clerk to check the price if you think the scanned price is incorrect.
  • If the scanned price does not agree with the posted price, ask the store manager to correct it.
  • Check your receipt before you leave the store.
  • Save the cash register receipt in case you have questions or a problem later on.


  • Good measurement is also important when you buy gasoline and motor fuel. These fuels are sold by volume in gallons or liters. The octane rating and the price per gallon or liters should be clearly marked on each pump.
  • The gasoline tank capacity stated in the vehicle owner's manual is ONLY an estimate. Your gas tank may hold more or less than the stated capacity.
  • The price you pay for gasoline will depend upon:
    1. The Octane Rating which may affect the performance of your vehicle.
    2. The Quantity, the amount you buy
    3. Any Discounts offered


  • Be sure the posted price on the business signs is the same price on the pump.
  • Be sure the attendant or you are using the correct pump.
  • Check the price by multiplying the number of gallons or liters by the unit price. Be sure shows on the pump as the total due.
  • Figure the cash discount, if any.
  • If you are using a credit card, check you receipt to be sure the amount billed is the amount on the pump. Take your card receipt for records.
Terence McBride
Manager, Weights and Measures

2355 Appling City Cove
Memphis, TN 38133
Phone: (901) 636-2947
Fax: (901) 387-2185

Administrative Staff Hours
Monday- Friday
7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Copyright 2017 City of Memphis
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