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Did you work it out?

Faggots

Yesterday, the Money Advice Service challenged us to work out what the best deals were from a selection of typical examples. I’m not bad at mental arithmetic, but I needed to resort to my calculator several times to get the price per 100g, or for each egg. If the supermarkets don’t show the price per 100g, it is difficult to see which is the best option if you want the cheapest. It won’t necessarily be the item on offer either, oftentimes, the item on offer is actually more expensive than the usual price. You really have to keep your wits about you when grocery shopping!

How did you do?

with the use of my trusty calculator, and I needed it, this is what I came up with

1. Of the following options for milk, which represents the best deal? Please select one option
– Six pints of milk for £1.80 – 30p a pint
– Four pints of milk for £1.40 – 35p a pint
– Two six-pint cartons of milk on offer for £3.50 – 29p a pint
Two four-pint cartons of milk on offer for £225p a pint

so Two four-pint cartons of milk on offer for £2 is the cheapest at 25p a pint

2. Of the following options for buying 500g of lemons, which is the most cost effective way to buy lemons? Please select one option
– One 500g pack of lemons costing £1.20 – 24p/100g
– 500g of loose lemons at £2.50 per kilo – 25p/100g
– Buy two get the third free deal on 200g packs of lemons costing 70p each – 23p/100g
Buy one get one half-price deal on 250g packs of lemons costing 70p each21p/100g

so Buy one get one half-price deal on 250g packs of lemons costing 70p each is the cheapest at 21p/100g

3. Of the following options for buying tomato ketchup, which option is the best value? Please select one option
– One 460g bottle on offer at £1.50 – 32p/100g
– One 910g bottle costing £2.49 – 27p/100g
Buy one get one half-price deal on 700g bottles costing £2.29 each24p/100g
– One 1.35kg bottle costing £3.50 – 25p/100g

making Buy one get one half-price deal on 700g bottles costing £2.29 each the cheapest option at 24p/100g

4. Of the following options for buying eggs, which is the best deal? Please select one option
– Six medium eggs for £1.10 – 18p per egg
– Ten medium eggs on offer for £1.50 – 15p per egg
– Fifteen medium eggs for £2.10 – 14p per egg
– Two packs of six medium eggs on offer for £2.00 – 16p per egg
Buy one get one free offer on packs of ten medium eggs priced at £2.2011p per egg

so the Buy one get one free offer on packs of ten medium eggs priced at £2.20 offer is cheapest at 11p per egg

It was not an easy exercise to do, and if I was standing in the supermarket, it would have been very difficult to find the best value, the offers would not be all in the same place either. You might have the managers special at the end of the aisle, the offer of the week on one shelf, a special offer on another aisle. It isn’t easy to find the information out that you need. I often use mySupermarket to find the cheapest deal, a lot easier than standing in the supermarket with a calculator and a cross expression!

Faggots & Gravy

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Lesley

    Well done for working it out!

  2. Sarah

    I finally got round to reading this post, I know nearly 6 months late. I am pleased to say I got them all right and only used my calculator for the ketchup question. I agree though with what others have said it is only a bargain if you will use it before it goes off.

  3. Lesley

    yes, you’re right. There’s no same size fits all solution to getting the best deal.
    the supermarkets are so clever at getting us to spend more than we intend, I find a shopping list essential, and even then, I can get easily side tracked if I’m not careful

  4. Lesley

    Yes, good point.
    If I find a massive bag of carrots or onions in the Indian shop, I’ll make lots of different things and stash lots away in the freezer. But as you say, it’s not a bargain if you don’t use it

  5. misspiggy

    These tests are a great reminder to get out your phone and use the calculator in the supermarket. But while I often manage to work out the best deals, I can get stung by buying in bulk and not being able to lift the container, or forgetting I’ve stocked up on something and buying more. Sometimes best value means keeping it simple!

  6. Claudia

    I would argue, though, that if you buy a perishable item in larger quantity than you need, it ends up being a false economy because it winds up wasted so it’s not always a matter of choosing the cheapest per unit price. (Not everyone has a big freezer, etc.)

    That said, it’s definitely worth whipping out a calculator (or calculator app on your phone!

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