Become a Better Shopper
Reported June 2007
BALTIMORE (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Think you're a frugal shopper? A bargain-bin consumer, deal finder? Harvey Cohen might have you beat! "Always look for my two favorite labels, sale and clearance, when I go into a store," Cohen says.
Consumers are always looking for a good deal when shopping, but no one likes being taken for a ride by false ads. In any store, there's always an ad promising a great deal. But buyers beware, many ads are misleading! Joseph Ganem, Ph.D., a physicist at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, says, "A lot of the real facts are buried in the small print."
Now, Dr. Ganem unburies the facts and offers tips and tools to getting the best deal -- just by doing a little math. America online offered 1,000 free Internet hours for 45 days. Do the math, and there are 1,080 hours in 45 days. Consumers would have to be online all day, everyday to get full use of the offer. "What the ad really means is a 45 day free trial period, but they don't phrase it that way; they make you do some multiplication to find that out."
A fruit drink might seem healthier than soda. But a 12 oz. serving of soda has 140 calories and an 8 oz. fruit drink serving has 120 calories. Ounce for ounce a soda actually has fewer calories and less sugar than a fruit drink!
"If you have a calculator and can do some basic arithmetic, that's all you really need to do to make your own purchasing decisions," Dr. Ganem says. A tip to help you get the best deals and put money back in your pocket.
The American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Joseph Ganem, Ph.D., Physicist
For more tricks with math (and how to avoid them):
American Mathematical Society
Providence, RI 02904-2294
Mathematical Association of America
Washington, DC 20036-1358
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