In adult life there are many practical questions that require problem solving skills and a little math. This lesson has students figure out the benefits and costs to joining a shopping club like Sam’s Club. Guide your students through a real life case study that requires lots of critical thinking, a little math and the chance to use Excel!
Time Frame: 1 block + homework or 2 blocks
- 2.6 Demonstrate management of financial resources to meet the goals of individuals and families across the life span.
- How many of your families shop at wholesale clubs?
- Do you think wholesale clubs save your family money?
- How much does it cost to join a club?
- Computer Lab
- SMART Board is helpful for instruction & teaching Excel
Background for Teachers:
- The Smith Case Study is complete in itself with prices already figured out and a simple assumption that each item was purchased 12 times a year.
- The Bradford Case Study is more complex in that students need to look through the receipts of the family from the past year and create a spreadsheet. They need to actually look up the prices from the internet since they are not given in the worksheet.
- Depending how bright your students are you can give a lot or a little instruction. I like to have the whole class come up with the generic steps to solving this problem as a group before I send students off in pairs to actually solve the problem.
- Problem Solving Steps
- Figure out what the Smith’s purchase at Sam’s (for the purpose of the analysis only choose items they purchase regularly)
- Figure out the quantities of the each item & the unit price (go to SamsClub.com to find the items)
- Figure out the price of a similar item as Stop & Shop (go to Peapod.com to find items/prices/qty)
- Create a spreadsheet (there is one below you can give them as a template)
- Get every item in to price per unit subtract the difference (Stop & Shop Unit Price – Sam’s Club Unit Price)
- Add the total savings
- Multiply by the number of times each item was purchased over the year
- Problem Solving Steps
- Demonstrate how to add and multiply in Excel (Again I suggest using a SMART Board)
- Case Study: The Smiths or harder Case Study: The Bradfords
- An additional activity you can have your students do is a shopping test where they choose 20 items and “shop” (compare prices/qty) at three different stores.
- Is Sams Club Worth It -Smith Case Study (Word)
- Is Sams Club Worth it Analysis- Smith Case Study (Excel)
- Is Sams Club Worth It -Bradford Case (Word)
- Is Sams Club Worth it- Bradford Case (Excel)
- Sam’s Club Receipts-Bradford Case Study (Pdf)
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