Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Then Guess the Price of This.

Last week while we were shopping for groceries in a Hawaii supermarket, I was reminded of why folks should always be vigilant when it comes to finding the best deals.

The supermarket was offering two sizes of All Stainlifter laundry detergent as you can see here:

No, we didn’t buy both of them. One of the bottles was in our condo when we arrived   — and it was empty.

Anyway, the bottle on the left contains enough soap to wash 32 loads of laundry; the one on the right, 12 loads.

The grocery store was selling the 12-load bottle for $4.69.

With only that information at your disposal … Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

What do you think the supermarket’s shelf price was for the 32-load bottle?

If you’re up to the challenge, leave your best guess below and I’ll post the answer later this week in the comments section. Don’t be shy; this is not an easy question.

The lucky guy or gal who comes closest to guessing the actual price will officially be crowned the “Smartest Person in the Room” — well, at least until my next “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” post.   ;-)

Good luck!


  1. 14

    dan says

    if the price per load is equal it should cost @12.51 but why should logic enter into it , probably 14.99 lol

  2. 25

    Oscar says

    We all know that, typically, unit cost goes down in larger quantities, meaning the price would likely be lower than the $12.51 that is the unit cost of the smaller bottle extrapolated to the larger bottle.

    Of course, I doubt such a situation would have even been worth your time to notice or care about, so that warrants a guess in the opposite direction, and probably extremely so: $21.99

  3. 27

    Allyn says

    Well, I know groceries are usually more expensive in Hawaii because nothing can be trucked overland, so I’d initally guess high; but logic tells me you wouldn’t be making a big deal about it if the price was predictable.

    So let’s use logic. According to the weekly specials, a 50 oz bottle of All Oxi-Active Stainlifter is $5.99 (club price) at Safeway on Keahole St and a 50 oz bottle of Tide is $6.99 (with the Maika’i card) this week at the Foodland Ala Moana on Ala Moana Blvd, both in Honolulu.

    So I’m going to split the difference and guess $6.49.

  4. 32


    I am going to assume you are in a prime “touristy” area which would mean that they probably sell a lot more of the smaller bottles than they do the larger bottles, so naturally they would jack up the price of the smaller ones. That being said, I think the larger bottle is probably about 20 cents more…or $4.89.

  5. 34


    Assumption: The price given in the article is the Hawaiian price, so no issues about mainland vs island pricing.

    The unit cost for the 12-load bottle extrapolates to $12.51 for 32 loads. IF (a big if) pricing is rational, the 32-load bottle should be less. However, I’m guessing it was more; otherwise you have nothing to write about. :)

    How about $12.99?

  6. 37

    Mindimoo says

    Well I’m with Tricia, if it was in a touristy place then it’s probably ridiculously overpriced. My guess is $18.50.

    • 43

      Len Penzo says

      Ha ha ha!

      That’s a switch, Dr. Dean; a doctor (instead of his patients) complaining about waiting! ;-)

  7. 45

    Len Penzo says

    Believe it or not, the store was selling the 32-load detergent for … wait for it …


    I know. It is absolutely unbelievable — but true. That’s why we bought the 32-load size even though we were only washing a few loads of clothes.

    It makes me wonder how many people who were staying in the area on vacation failed to observe the price tags and bought the 12-load package anyway.

    Congratulations are in order to Deb, who is officially “The Smartest Person in the Room” — at least until the next edition of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. She hit the price on the button; great job, Deb! :-)

    Thanks to everyone who participated!

  8. 47

    Jd says

    Makes sense in a perverted way. The store assumes a lot of folks are tourists who don’t need the larger bottle and arent paying attention. Thus they drastically increase the price on smaller quantity items. Their regular customers don’t care because they buy the larger quantity products.

  9. 48

    C.A. Burns says

    I would have guessed correctly b/c *I’ve* seen the same exact thing in stores and have bought the larger quantity for the same price as the lower quantity.
    Cathy in New Hampshire

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