How to Find a Unit Rate

Find a Unit Rate

How to Find a Unit Rate. Knowing how to determine a unit rate comes in handy in everyday life and in business. The unit rate is a way to compare prices of different sized packages to see which price is really the best deal. The directions below are for finding the unit rate using cheese as an example. The mathematical functions can be applied to any items.

Step 1

Look at the overall size of the packages you are considering buying.

Step 2

Determine a small increment that you can use to measure your unit price. Following the cheese example, it may be ounces. However you can use whatever measure makes sense to you if you can follow the math to reach that unit.

Step 3

Make note of the price of the packaging for which you are determining a unit rate. Also note the size of the package. For the sake of example, you are looking at a 5 oz. bag of cheese for $2.50.

Step 4

Divide the price of the total package by the total number of units in the package. Following the example you divide two and a half by five, which equals $0.50. This is your unit price. Each ounce of cheese in that particular package costs 50 cents.


Compare the unit prices of several different package sizes and brands to find the best value. Many grocery stores list the unit price for you in fine print on the price tag displayed on the shelf in front of the item.


Keep in mind that more is not always better. Buying large lots of any item that can expire or otherwise become outdated before you use it all can be a bad idea. The cheaper unit price is not helpful if you end up wasting some of the product because it was not fully used.