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.

Here’s the “Value Size” of grain-flavored Styrofoam Special K Red Berries cereal, which doesn’t provide much of a value at all.


The “Value Size” costs 33.9 cents per ounce. Not bad.


The “Regular” size costs 31.7 cents per ounce, though, and there’s a coupon on the back that you can use for your next box of cereal. Or this one, if you have some scissors handy.

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