I was browsing around my local supermarket the other day – shout out to New World Thorndon for it’s excellent craft beer selection – and realised that most of the math I’ve had to do outside of school has been in this place.
It’s a context ripe for real-world mathematical investigation – maths which will be helpful IRL (especially if you’re on tight budget).
I’ve jotted down a few rough ideas for a ‘Supermarket Maths’ unit for school. The prompts for these questions could be photos or videos you’ve taken.
There are a few here, but I’m sure there are more options… do you have any more ideas I can add? Leave a comment!
– servings per item (as per the serving size suggestions)
– calories per item and total calories per meal
– total price for a meal
– price per serving
– compare the price of items to other similar items
– price per ml or kg
– buying in bulk V buying single items
– buying little chippie packets V a big pack
– pre-cut items (ie, carrots, celery, apple slices) V normal
– working within a budget, making choices
– discounts and sales, coupons
– Fly Buys / loyalty programs – is it worth it?
– calculating GST
– cost of import items v local
– cost between different supermarket chains V cost of fuel (the cheapest, the most expensive)
– online shopping – is it cheaper?
– going to the local farmers market (+petrol) – is it cheaper?
– charting the cost of fruit / vegetables through the seasons
– Christmas Club, how much do you save?
– What % do farmers make / distributors etc.
– could you grow it for cheaper?
– the cost of plastic bags V buying reusable
– cheapest / healthiest meals you can make for a day / week
– fuel vouchers – how much can you save?
Supermarket Maths – Statistics:
– What’s the best checkout to choose?
– How much time do you save by going through the self-checkout?
– What is the busiest time for supermarkets?
– Price according to position on the shelf (more expensive at eye level?)
– Average distance to the bread / milk (why is the bread always at the back?)
– Time in supermarket V total purchase cost (ever noticed how there are very few windows and clocks in supermarkets?)
– Do you save money by using a shopping list?
And a few more IRL math contexts to think about:
Video Game Maths