Mathematize Your Home: Shopping Math


All that's left of the scrumptious toasted mamon from the neighborhood bakery

I’ve always maintained that shopping and making change are the most useful (and sneakiest) ways of practicing Math skills.


On a recent trip to Monterey, our local meat shop, we had a few challenges other than what to have for dinner. For example, lean ground pork costs P205 a kilo, while regular ground pork costs P189 a kilo. So I asked the kids what the price difference was (P16 a kilo) and if it was worth it (“Yes, because we should eat healthy!”—Health lessons kicking in. Woohoo!).

Is less fat worth the P16 price difference? The girls say yes

We also discussed the cost of the timplados—meat that was already marinated—compared with plain cuts (P250 vs P215); the price difference of beef and pork tapa (P456 vs P250!); and whether buying regular ground beef was more cost effective than buying brisket and having it ground (forgot the prices).

Last Friday, the shopping Math had additional challenges. I asked the girls to go to the neighborhood bakery and buy something we (the parents) could bring to our small group meeting. Whatever they chose had to be good enough for eight adults, and their budget was P300. Then they could buy a loaf of bread for the house also. And since I gave them a large bill, they had to make sure they got the correct change.

They came back almost half an hour later (because they took the long route) with two tubs of toasted mamon and a loaf of bread, and the correct change. Was it hard? Not really. “I looked for the yummiest, most plentiful-looking thing, then I asked how much it was,” said Raine. “Then I multiplied it by two.” (“And added P60 for the loaf!” said Breeze.)

These little shopping excursions not only develop their independence, but also hone their mental Math skills. Plus it gives them a taste of ‘adulting’ – the new skill set needed to succeed in their adulthood.


Speak your mind