It seems that nothing is straightforward anymore. In much the same way as I read the cereal box because there is nothing else available, while I was sitting at Sam’s snack bar, I was reading their menu and pricing chart.

Each item is featured in its own display panel, so a side-by-side comparison doesn’t come naturally. I am sure that is by design.

If you just buy a drink, it is 89 cents.

> A hotdog alone is $1.30. A hotdog and drink is $1.70 — so the drink is an additional 20 cents.
> A slice of pizza is $1.98, but a pizza and drink is $2.49 — so the drink is an additional 51 cents.
> A pretzel is 99 cents, but a pretzel and drink is $1.78 — so the drink is an additional 79 cents.
> A pork sandwich is $2.99, but the sandwich, chips and drink combo costs an additional $1.78 — so the drink and chips are actually full price at 89 cents each.

The drink as an add-on ranges from a 77% discount to none. People inherently think that “a combo” price affords them a better deal, but I doubt many take the time to discern the variances. The same is true of sale shopping — as in Kmart’s going-out-of-business sale where the discounted price was still more than the everyday price at other retailers, but people were walking out with a cart full.

With pricing as well as what you read on the internet, a second look often makes sense — or cents, depending.

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