|Foods Differ Greatly in Cost
One pound of rice costs much less than one pound of beefsteak. One
cut of meat may cost less per pound than another. Twenty-five cents
buys much less in weight of sweetbreads than of beefsteak.
Many factors other than difference in cost must, however, be taken
into consideration when determining the value of foods.
Cost of Food in Relation to Nutritive Value
Foods differ in nutritive value per pound. One pound of dried split
peas contains more than three times as much nutriment as one pound
of fresh peas. The nutritive value of a pound of sweetbreads is much
less than that of a pound of beefsteak.
Cost of Food in Relation to Refuse
Although one cut of meat may sell for more than another, the higher
priced one may be cheaper because there is less waste. In most
localities flank steak costs more per pound than shoulder steak; yet
flank steak is the cheaper meat because it is all edible, while
there is about one fifth waste in most shoulder steak. One pays for
some refuse even when purchasing eggs.
Cost of Food in Relation to Season
Most foods are higher in price when out of season. Strawberries may
cost seventy-five cents per quart in February and twenty-five cents
in the spring or summer months. An unseasonable food is invariably
Cost of Food in Relation to Weight
Food labels often contain valuable information. The weight of the
contents of a package, can, or bottle, and sometimes the composition
of food appears on them.
Packages, bottles, and cans of equal size do not always contain the
same quantity of foods. The shape or thickness of a container also
affects the quantity of its contents. By examining labels and noting
weight and composition, the price and quality of one brand of foods
may be compared with another.
Household scales are useful in checking up the weight of foods, such
as meats, fats, and vegetables. By weighing foods after they have
been purchased, a housekeeper can determine if a dealer is giving
her that for which she pays.
Lessening The Cost of Foods
There are many things, then, that the thrifty buyer should take into
consideration when purchasing foods. It is one of the obligations of
a woman who purchases and plans the foods for a family to be careful
of expense. The following statement concerning thrift is both
forceful and true:
"It is not beneath the dignity of any family to avoid useless
expenditure no matter how generous its income, and the intelligent
housekeeper should take as much pride in setting a good table, at a
low price, as the manufacturer does in lessening the cost of
production in his factory." United States Department of Agriculture
Calculation of the Cost of Food
In counting the cost of foods, it is necessary to know not only the
price per pound, quart, dozen, or package, but the measurement in
cupfuls of the given weight.