Who else out there walks into a grocery store and without question buys the gigantic jar of mayonnaise, knowing well that you only need a small amount, because obviously it's a better deal?! I do. I always have. My wonderful mother taught me the beauty of a Sam's Club and a pantry at an early age. Even though I really don't like stockpiling food and such as home, I'll buy the extra-wholesale-super-big jar of pretzels to save 2 cents per every pound of pretzel, and then just eat nothing but pretzels for two weeks. Maybe that's my way of sticking it to the man.
So, I've always enjoyed watching prices of stuff, and anomalies amuse me. Take for instance, White Castle: Have you ever walked up and thought, "I really want 3 of those delectable delights with some fries and a drink... but the 'value meal' has 4 with fries and a drink. Oh well, it's a better deal. I'll take a #1 please!" Unless they've changed their menu in the last year, it's not a better deal! Add up the cost of 4 burgers, fries, and a drink, and you'll find the cost of the meal down to the penny. But we assume it's a 'value'. In their defense, White Castle calls them "Combo Meals" and not "Value Meals." Maybe genius on their part.
An example of how my patheticness helped humanity: One day in college, I was standing in the Long John Silvers line at the food court and I watched my friend Nick order a 2 chicken meal add a fish (his usual). I pointed out to him that if he would instead order a 1 chicken 1 fish meal, add a chicken, he would save 10 cents. I think if you ask him today, he will tell you I forever changed his life.
Anyhow, I've strayed. So we assume that bigger is [relatively] cheaper right? Why else would we buy the jumbo tub? Well, since I left home and moved to Tanzania, I've had to learn a whole new process of assumptions! It's not true here. My ethnocentricity wants me to believe that store managers here are missing something and have made a mistake. But I'm still not sure. Last week, we wanted some Orange Juice. Naturally, we grabbed the biggest one, a 1.5 liter jug for 3000 shillings. Then I noticed that the individual serving 250ml juices cost 450 shillings. That means we'd save 300 shillings by getting 6 little boxes instead of one big one!! A whole 23 cents (approx)! And you get lots of cool little straws! I then began to fill our cart with little boxes, but JJ removed them and tried to get more of the big ones, insisting on the convenience of having one big bottle to pour from. I kept adding the small ones until we came to a compromise to get both.
Is 23 cents worth the ease of one big bottle in the fridge? Help, save our marriage!!
[JJ the hippie wants to add in her thoughts that we are responsible to the environment and the 6 little boxes do much more damage than the 1 big one... juice for thought]
Watch the bottom line shoppers!
Swahili word for the day is hisabati which means 'mathematics'.