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In Your Head!

In Your Head!
by Gary Woods

When I'm standing in line watching the items I've purchased being rung up I'm adding up the figures in my head. This will undoubtedly be a shock for anybody under 30 but in the olden days a lot of us would do math in our heads. I've had checkers be shocked when I've come up with the total amount of the purchase before they hit the total button.

Adding up columns of numbers is one thing but when I'm out in the store it would be nice to know whether a certain size of a product really is a good deal or whether I'm better off buying the smaller size. To aid me in my search for the ideal purchase I found an App for the iPhone and iPod Touch called Frugal from Tidal Pool Software. Most retailers provide helpful price breakdowns on their store shelves (per ounce, per pound, per item and so on) which can help you with your purchase.

But if your retailer doesn't provide this information this $1 piece of software allows you to compare two or more items at a time, plus it converts and shows quantities in both imperial and metric units. It also keeps a history for checking or modifying your past price comparisons.

To make this software work all you do is enter the price of a product, the quantity and units using big calculator style keys. Frugal then shows the price breakdown and picks the best value. If you are squeezing your pennies this could be a cool app to help you a lot.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc