twonee Time for something silly. This is a wacko variation on Trivial Pursuit . I invented it, but in the interest of making intellectual property available to all that need it (in this case people with too much time on their hands), I hereby place it into the public domain, provided that anyone who tries to make money off it (hah! good luck) will be hunted down and killed. I call it Apples & Oranges.

Here’s how it works: Each team draws a card with the name of some product on it. The team has to guess whether the cost per pound of the item is:

  1. under $0.50
  2. $0.50-$2 
  3. $2-$4 
  4. $4-$6

  1. $6-$12
  2. $12-$50
  3. $50 – $200
  4. over $200

These eight ranges (shown in $U.S.) work very well for a wide variety of items. Those in other countries use your $U.S. exchange rate and favourite weight unit and adjust accordingly.  Your team gets 2 points for correctly picking the cost category, and 1 point if they only miss it by one category. Or you can pick three cards and have your team try to put the items in relative order from most- to least-expensive per pound.

Here are some examples to get you going: All it takes is a catalogue and a scale to get you going, Or, if you pick up one of those monster mail-order catalogues in the plastic envelope with the air-sickness bag on planes, it shows you the shipping weight and the price so all you have to do is divide. For products in a package, the cost-per-pound is excluding the packaging. Write the item name on the front of each card and the cost per pound on the back. You’d be surprised how far off your guesses can be. I’ll post the correct categories and cost per pound data for these 42 examples in a couple of days, so you can practice guessing in the meantime:

Antacid, Tums Tablets
Bathrobe, deluxe
Bread, Texas toast white sliced
Cabinet, Teak Storage
Camcorder, Sony digital
Camera, Canon Sport 35ml
Car, Chevy Venture new
Card Table, 6-sided deluxe with chip holders
Cheese, Havarti, package
Chicken Wings (box, preseasoned)
Chocolates, Pot of Gold box
Coke, large bottle (contents only)
Cordless Phone, Vtech 900MHz
Croissants, Pillsbury
Deodorant, Lady speed stick
Deodorant, Mennen speed stick
Electric Bicycle, Iacocca brand
Gasoline, regular
Grape Juice, reconstituted frozen
Ham, whole
Headache medicine, noname acetaminophen
Headache medicine, Tylenol caplets
Leather Jacket, men’s bomber style
Light Bulbs, no name package
Mouthwash, Scope
Nanaimo Bar (chocolate dessert slice)
Orange Juice, fresh bottled
Perfume, Oscar de la Renta, 30ml bottle
Potato Chips, Lays large bag
Potatoes, large bag
Red peppers, whole
Salmon steak, package
Shark Cartilage, packaged arthritis relief
Slippers, Sheepskin
Soap, Dove bars
Sole fillets, frozen
Tea Caddy, Butcher Block, wheeled
Tool Set, 107 piece Vanadium
Turkey, fresh whole
Watch, Birks ladies chrome/leather
Watch, Swatch waterproof
Water, Perrier bottled

Hint: The number of items in each category is:  a-4, b-3, c-5, d-5, e-8, f-8, g-5, h-4. And of course, there’s some political messages here about the relative cost of no-name versus brand-name, mens’ versus womens’ products, and miracle cures.

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  1. Camilo says:

    It would be interesting to know about the cost per pound, including fabrication costs – or, another twist, with environmental costs included (all externalities estimated, I know).

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    You make an interesting point on actual cost-per-pound to produce these items, compared to what I should more accurately have called retail price-per-pound in my post. Especially on high-markup items like pharmaceuticals and perfumes. BTW, I’ll be doing some posting on ‘true-cost’ accounting and on ecological taxation in the next while.

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