Monday, January 5, 2015

Algebra 1 and pencils

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The New York State Common Core Sample Questions for the Regents exam in Algebra 1 (Common Core) from fall 2013 (see it here) includes the following situation in question 12:

At an office supply store, if a customer purchases fewer than 10 pencils, the cost of each pencil is $1.75. If a customer purchases 10 or more pencils, the cost of each pencil is $1.25.

I find this question to be a microcosm of our society in the new millennium.  Overlooking the fact that a dozen pencils should cost less than two bucks, let's let the costs be as stated.

I need 9 pencils. Do I overspend and pay out $15.75 (eight times $1.75) or do I buy 10 for $12.50 and just toss the one I do not need?  Do I waste money or waste product? (I use those last two words wisely.)

Which is the intelligent choice?

1 comment:

(x, why?) said...

Product that doesn't go to waste, I'll buy and take the savings. Perishable items, a pound of ham, 10 lbs of potatoes, I'll skip the bulk sale price and buy the lesser amount. There's no savings if it goes bad. However, if it turned out that a pound was cheaper than what I needed, I'd likely buy the extra, save the money and try to give the rest away.