Functional Skills: Best Buys

FS Level 2AQACity & GuildsEdexcelHighfield QualificationsNCFEOpen Awards

Functional Skills: Best Buys Revision

Best Buys

Best buy questions require you to evaluate different offers on products to work out which deal is the best value for money.

Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing.

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Price Per Item

If you buy a pack of items, you can calculate the price per item using:

Price per item = total price \div number of items

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Best Buys Method

When answering best buy questions, to find which deal is the best value for money we have to calculate the value of each product for a common amount.

Example: Three different brands of washing powder are on sale. Their prices are shown below.

Work out which brand provides the best value for money.

To compare the prices of the different brands we will work out how much it costs to buy 100 g of each brand, then we will be able to see which brand is the most cost effective.

Brand A: The price shown is for 400 g, so if we divide the value by 4, we get

\text{\textcolor{blue}{Brand A cost of 100 g }}=2.56\div 4= \textcolor{blue}{\pounds 0.64}

Brand B: The price shown is for 750 g, so this time we want to divide the value by 7.5,

\text{\textcolor{red}{Brand B cost of 100 g }}=5.10\div 7.5= \textcolor{red}{\pounds 0.68}

Brand C: The price shown is for 1.2 kg, which is the same as 1200 g, so we divide by 12,

\text{\textcolor{darkorange}{Brand C cost of 100 g }}=7.38\div 12= \textcolor{darkorange}{\pounds 0.615}

Comparing the 3 values, we can see that the cheapest price per 100 g is Brand C.

Note:  Whilst you can’t actually have £0.615 (because that would involve having half a penny), it’s okay to use that value to compare prices in a best buy questions.

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Example:

A shop sells two different sized cartons of milk. The smaller 300 ml carton currently has an offer that reads,

“Buy TWO get one FREE!”

If someone wants to buy 1.8 litres of milk, what is the most cost effective combination of milk cartons they can purchase?

[4 marks]

To buy 1.8 litres of milk we could either buy 6 small cartons or 3 large cartons and 1 small carton.

Buying 6 smaller cartons:

For every 3 small cartons, one is free. So for every 6 small cartons, 2 are free.

£1.20 \times 4 = \textcolor{blue}{£4.80}

Buying 3 larger cartons and 1 small carton:

£1.40\times 3 +£1.20 = \textcolor{blue}{£5.40}

This means that it is cheaper to buy 6 of the smaller cartons.

FS Level 2AQAEdexcelCity & GuildsNCFEOpen AwardsHighfield Qualifications

Functional Skills: Best Buys Example Questions

Brand B contains 3 times as much tomato purée as brand A. (200\text{ ml} \times 3 = 600\text{ ml}), thus we need to compare the cost if buying 3 containers of brand A with 1 container of brand B.

 

\text{600 ml of brand 1 costs }=\pounds0.80\times 3 = \pounds 2.40

 

This is more than £2.20, so we can see that brand B is better value for money.

Firstly, we  need to calculate how many pencils you would get if you bought a box of pencils from brand A given that their offer states you get 30\% more pencils for free.

 

30\%\text{ of }120 = 0.3\times 120=36\text{ extra pencils}

 

This means that for £4.20 you receive 120+36=156 pencils instead of 120

 

The next step is to calculate how much each pencil costs for each brand.

 

If brand A sells 156 pencils for £4.20, then the price per pencil would be as follows:

 

\pounds4.20 \div 156 = \pounds0.0269……

 

If brand B sells 200 pencils for £6.20, then the price per pencil would be as follows:

 

\pounds6.20 \div 200 = \pounds0.031

 

Therefore, brand A is better value for money as the price per pencil is less.

In this case we will calculate the cost per gram of the strawberries to work out which supermarket offers the best value for money.

 

Supermarket A:

 

2.40\div 215=\pounds 0.0111...\text{ per gram}

 

Supermarket B:

 

4.10\div 403=\pounds 0.0101...\text{ per gram}

 

Supermarket C:

 

\text3.40\div 297=\pounds 0.0114...\text{ per gram}

 

Therefore, supermarket B offers the best value for money.

a) If Lucy is buying 100 g of fizzy cola bottles, then this is one tenth of a kilogram (1000\text{ grams} \div 100\text{ grams} = 10).

 

If fizzy cola bottles costs £8.90 per kilogram, then the cost of 100 g can be calculated as follows:

 

\pounds8.90 \div 10 = \pounds0.89

 

b) In order to compare the prices of both sweets, we need to work out how much each sweet costs per gram.

 

The price of sherbet lemons can be calculated as follows:

 

\pounds1.96 \div 200= \pounds0.0098 \text{ per gram}

 

The price of fizzy cola bottles can be calculated as follows:

 

\pounds8.90 \div1000= \pounds0.0089\text{ per gram}

 

As a result, we can see that the fizzy cola bottles is better value as it costs less.

 

To work out the difference per gram, it might be easier to change the prices in pounds per gram to prices in pence per gram.

 

\text{ Sherbet lemon: }\pounds0.0098 \times 100 = 0.98\text{ pence per gram}

 

\text{ Fizzy cola bottles: }\pounds0.0089 \times 100 = 0.89\text{ pence per gram}

Difference:

0.98 - 0.89= 0.09\text{ pence per gram}

Swift Cabs:

 

The first mile is £3.80 and the remaining 8 miles are charged at £1.60.  The total cost of the journey can be calculated as follows:

 

\pounds3.00 + \pounds 3.80 + (\pounds1.60 \times 8) = \pounds19.60

 

Zoom Taxis:

\pounds3.80 + (9 \times \pounds1.60) = \pounds18.20

 

Relaxi Cabs:

 

9 \times \pounds2.10 = \pounds18.90

 

The best value company is Zoom Taxis, the next best value is Relaxi Cabs, and the worst value is Swift Cabs.

Additional Resources

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Exam Tips Cheat Sheet

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PFS

Formula Booklet

FS Level 2

Functional Skills: Best Buys Worksheet and Example Questions

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Best Buys L2

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