Consumer Promotions Lesson

Consumer PromotionsIf you’re like me you’ve been at the cash register ready to check out when the clerk tells you about some new rewards card or store credit card offer that may sound appealing. To make matters worse you may have rewards credit cards that beg you to use them to earn points towards your next airfare, or cash back. You may have thrown up your hands and declared I’ll take no special offers or you may be one to take most special offers. How do you navigate in the world full of offers for EVERYTHING? Which deal is the best? This lesson gives students an opportunity to look at specific scenarios with REAL companies’ offers and do the math.

Time Frame: 1 block + homework


  • 2.1.2 Analyze how individuals and families make choices to satisfy needs and wants.
  • 2.4.1 Summarize types of technology that affect family and consumer decision-making.
  • 2.4.2 Analyze how media and technological advances affect family and consumer decisions.
  • 2.6 Demonstrate management of financial resources to meet the goals of individuals and families across the life span.


  • Can anyone tell me about a time when you or your parents were at a store and offered a special promotion if you signed up for a credit card or rewards program?
  • Which rewards programs are you part of? Did it cost money to join? Have you seen any real benefits to joining the rewards program? Explain.


  • SMART Board (good to have but not essential)
  • Computer
  • Projector


  • My preference is to go through this lesson as a class via a PowerPoint presentation that is interactive. This is a great lesson for the SMART board as you can do the math on the board for each consumer scenario.
  • To make it interactive you can either present the “problem” and ask the class to break down the problem and come up with the solution by calling on different students, or you can present the “problem” as a class and have pairs silently try to come up with the answers then regroup and talk about what each group came up with. I will use both strategies depending on how engaged the class is or isn’t. Some students struggle with practical application of math like problem solving skills so you may need to break out the steps for them as to how to solve each problem.
  • Some of the “problems” in the slide depend on made up scenarios which allow you to discuss multiple “right” answers. For example should someone buy a TV with cash or with a 0% for 6mths financing offer? For the business school answer, you will need to discuss opportunity cost (part of this lesson’s vocab), however in practice, sometimes opportunity cost alone is not practical because someone may be undisciplined (i.e. spend the money that is in the savings account to pay off the TV), or not want the hassle of having one more financial account to deal with. Pulling these types of answers out of students by asking lots of questions and playing devil’s advocate make the lesson the MOST valuable in my very bias opinion.


  • Can anyone tell me what you should do when faced with consumer offers? Is there a formula?


  • Price comparison tools assignment. This assignment allows students to evaluate online price comparison tools and  price comparison APPS. They will price compare a product and evaluate the helpfulness of different websites and/or APPS.



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