Egg Pricing At Target Doesn’t Even Pretend To Make Sense

Reader Daniel sent us what looked like a straightforward case of fuzzy math. At his local Target, a half-dozen eggs cost 99¢, while a dozen of the same exact eggs cost \$2.09. Or do they? [More]

Fuzzy Math At Work: Dog Food, Towels, Bagels, Muffins

Fuzzy math: it’s not cuddly numbers, but what happens when you add up bulk pricing at a major retailer and things just don’t add up. Buying things in bulk is supposed to make things cheaper. Putting things on sale is supposed to make them cheaper, too. In the real world, that isn’t always the case. [More]

This Walgreens Math Is So Fuzzy, Maybe Someone’s Messing With Customers

Kenny noticed this bit of fuzzy math while shopping at Walgreens. We know that buying in bulk can save you money, but this looks like some kind of experiment designed to test customers’ powers of observation, or possibly their desire not to buy extra drugs they won’t need and waste them. [More]

How Stupid Does Bed Bath & Beyond Think We Are?

“How dumb does Bed Bath & Beyond think we are?” writes reader Kristina. Well…maybe they’re just working from assumptions about the average American consumer’s math skills. This coupon offers \$25 off a \$125 purchase, which is great if and only if you want to spend exactly \$125 at the store. [More]

Buttery Math At Kroger: Double The Biscuits For 10 Cents More

Every day, as we go through our regular errands, we are being tested. A math test, that is. Reader Denis was amused when he noticed that a sale made canned biscuits the same price for five biscuits as for ten of them. [More]

Fuzzy Math At The Amusement Park And The Grocery Store

Look, Six Flags, it’s summer vacation. We’re here to eat terrible food and be hurled around at high speeds on rides. We’re not here to do math, and we’re really not here to figure out why your “family meal deal” for 4 costs a few cents more than four chicken dinners purchased separately. [More]

Consumer Reports Learns All About Target’s Fuzzy Unit Pricing Math

I don’t know how we could have been so naive, but we thought that we could trust the unit prices on shelf tags in stores, including Target. If this site has taught us anything, it’s that labels can be inaccurate, and that Target may not even be part of our present reality at all. [More]

Target’s Battery Prices Prove That Buying In Bulk Isn’t Always Cheaper

One might think that there would be some end to Target’s fuzzy, crazy or just nonsensical math. But then who would we poke fun at? Just so long as you remember to read all the labels before you buy, it’s an amusing experience for customers and whatever the opposite of a learning experience is for Target. [More]

QFC Applies Target Math, Rewards Customers For Buying Less Sour Cream

Sarah tried. Really, she did. She wanted to save money and packaging by purchasing a larger quantity of her preferred brand of sour cream, Alpenrose but her local grocer and their Target math stood in her way. What’s Target math? That’s when it costs you more per unit to buy something when you buy a larger quantity, despite the normal rules of commerce. [More]

Hey, Target: Good Luck Selling 2-Packs For \$9.99 When Single Shampoos Cost \$4.49 Each

There comes a time in life when you just can’t muster the strength or willpower to get your hair wet, slather it in shampoo, and then rinse it out. I know, it’s exhausting to even think about. But because cleanliness is next to studliness/loveliness, there’s a little product called dry shampoo that takes most of that effort out of the equation. Speaking of equations, Target might want to do some of those when pricing its dry shampoo offerings. [More]

Fred Meyer Not Sure How Unit Pricing Works

Customers at a Fred Meyer store were left scratching their heads as well as clutching their bellies in pain if they happened to notice this really bad deal on Pepto-Bismol at a Fred Meyer store. Tipster Scott took a photo of the items on the shelf. Somehow, buying a two-pack leads to the per-ounce price doubling, even when the price for that package is less than double the price of a single bottle. [More]

Neighborhood Vons Store, I’m Really Worried About You

David’s family are the very definition of loyal customers: they have shopped at the same Vons store for 50 years now. Not just “at Vons”: at the same location all that time. They know the layout of the store well. Now, David is worried. He’s worried that this venerable store has forgotten how prices work. [More]

Dick’s Sporting Goods Sale Makes A Mockery Of The Buy One Get One Free Concept

If you don’t have room in your budget for discounted fitness equipment from Dick’s Sporting Goods, maybe you could use a fabric folding chair. Dick’s Sporting Goods has a pretty good deal on chairs bearing their logo, at only \$7.50 each if you buy two. The problem, reader Peter points out, is that the “regular” price is \$12. [More]

Too Bad You Missed This Amazing Members-Only Sale At Safeway

“Man oh man, I’m sure glad that we have a Safeway Club Member loyalty card!” writes reader Richard. Even if you have a card, dearest readers, you’re going to miss out: the sale ended on Saturday. [More]

Fuzzy Math: Why You Should Always Check Unit Prices

Most of the time, when a vendor understands retail logic and basic math, an item costs less per unit when you buy more of it. Sometimes, due to errors or sale prices, things cost more per unit when you buy more. We call this phenomenon “Fuzzy Math,” and laugh at it. Reader K. found this great example of such fuzziness at a Harris Teeter store, where customers who buy the larger box are seriously missing out. [More]

How Much Does A Free Pair Of Gloves Cost? 60 Cents

Walgreens, it’s great that you’re trying to encourage sales of your “Nice!” house brand by giving away free coordinating stuff with, say, a bottle of dish soap. It’s the part where you’re underestimating their intelligence that’s kind of bad. For example, charging an extra 60 cents, then saying that something is on “sale” and comes with free stuff. [More]

Too Bad You Missed The -51% Off Sale At Harbor Freight

Flickr user classmanager snapped this picture last week at Harbor Freight, a discount hardware store. It’s a beautiful and confusing example of fuzzy math because it isn’t just a few cents more expensive than the regular price of the item: they went ahead and put it on -51% sale, and brag about it. [More]

Target Still Struggles With Reality, Thinks ‘More Than’ Is A Meaningless Marketing Phrase

It’s kind of confusing when phrases like “more than” and “over” have become nothing more than meaningless marketing buzzwords. Three and a half years ago, we brought you a set of light-blocking curtains that block more than 100% of light. It sounds nice, but is physically impossible. Reader Liz found a similar marketing oddity at Target, where a sign brags about a discount of “more than” \$20 when the discount is, in fact, exactly \$20. [More]