Thoughts

Frugal Finds: Candy Edition

When I moved into my first apartment, during college, my parents told me that they would like to help me with my living expenses and generously provided me with $100 each month of the school year. My parents were not poor, but $100 every month was significant for them. I was grateful and quickly learned to make that money stretch. Typically, the $100 was enough to buy an entire month’s groceries, personal care supplies, and sometimes a tank of gas for my battered, bright teal Ford Escort Wagon.

That arrangement lasted for most of my undergraduate college career. I became a connoisseur of cheap food, and I knew which of the local stores usually offered the best price on my favorite foods.

I like chocolate. No. I love chocolate. During my $100-a-month days, chocolate was definitely a luxury. I usually purchased a 10-pack of Fun Size candy bars for $1.00 and rationed them throughout the month. I don’t think I ever bothered to actually do the math, but I remember feeling surprised that I could get 10 candy bars that seemed to be about half the usual size for only twice the price of a standard sized candy bar (which was about $0.50 back then).

In order to gather evidentiary support for my supposition that size matters when it comes to paying for candy, we have gathered some data on candy prices for 4 different standard sizes.

Note: Your actual costs may vary.

As you can see, Fun Size is usually, by far, the best deal. The single/standard size which is usually placed near the checkout counter at stores and gas stations is usually the worst deal. This is a classic case of “The Cost of Convenience.” That last minute grab for a Snickers bar is a bad value. 

Plan ahead. 

Walk the extra mile to the back of the store and buy the Fun Size. 

The smaller size is probably better for you anyway.

It’s okay to treat yourself, occasionally. In fact, this data could indicate that, if you are in a pinch at the checkout, you should go for the King Size…

-James

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