Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Marissa:

I was sent home with a guess and check work sheet. i am not sure how i am sopouse to do this. plese tell me is my question

a sleeping bag and 2 mess kits costs $37.00.A mess kit and two sleeping bags cost $56.00
what is the cost of one sleeping bag.

Hi Marissa.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Guess at the price of the sleeping bag: I will start by guessing it is $15.
  2. Calculate how much the mess kits cost based on the guess and the first bill. The first bill is $37 and the sleeping bag is $15, so that leaves $22 for the mess kits. That makes each mess kit $11.
  3. Check the costs of the two items with the second bill and see if they add up. The second bill is for one mess kit ($11) and 2 sleeping bags ($15+$15), so that adds up to $41 - much less than the actual cost of $56.
  4. Go back to step 1 and adjust your guess for the cost of the sleeping bag - try to watch to see whether you should go up or down in your guess.

You should eventually find the price of both items.

Stephen La Rocque.

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