Most of the time, when i talk about maths to anyone, i hear the same chat:

Maths is hard

You either get it or you don’t

Maths is not for everyone

Rather you than me

Oooo. Maths. Eish.

And so on… Well, maybe true but maybe not true at all. Regardless of how you feel about it, there are times when it’s very practical, almost *fun*, to know just a little about it. And you don’t need first year university maths to work some things out.

Butlers Pizza (arguably the best pizza in Cape Town) have a deal where you can buy 2 large pizzas or get a 3 for the price of 2- for roughly the same price if you get 3 mediums. Which is more pizza? Which is better value for money? And more serious questions like: how much cold pizza will i have left over for lunch/breakfast tomorrow?

A medium is 26cm, a large, 32cm in diameter. Assuming the bases and toppings are all mostly equal, you can simplify your calculations to work on the surface area of pizza presented. And given pizzas are more or less round, you use the formula for the area of a circle (π r^{2}). Once you’ve established the area for a medium, multiply the result by 3 to get a combined pizza surface area. For the larges, repeat the exercise and multiply by 2.

You can judge at this stage which deal is going to give you more pizza. But what about best value? Well, take the total amount of pizza and divide it by the cost. Your answer is pizza/rand. So go for the deal that has the highest number. So the “Big Deal” will cost you 98.95, the 3 pizzas will cost you 2×49.95 (assuming simplest case) . You should know pretty soon which you want: more pizza or best value for money?

Of course, it gets so-called “complicated” when you start adding extra toppings and wheat-free bases. But all those “complications” are just little additions to the same steps. It’s actually not complicated at all- it’s methodical. And all the information is there, you just need a simple calculator.

Of course, some might say: why bother? Indeed. Why bother at all? Well, why not? It’ll take you less than 5 minutes to arrive at an answer which maximises your utility- which is economic speak for: get the best bang for buck. And especially when it’s close to the end of the month. But there’s also a deeper truth which you start to uncover… just how “special” is a special really? And even more grave, what’s breakfast going to be like?