Food & Drink

Math proves it: You save money by ordering the larger pizza

Have some pizza mind.
Have some pizza mind.

When you sidle up to the table at your favorite pizza establishment, perhaps you have that little annoying voice in your head that tries to argue issues of diet and financial restraint with you as you consider which pizza to get. “Oh sure, you could neck a whole pie, but maybe the cheaper personal pizza makes more sense?” Well, since a pizza is a circle and a circle is made of math, Planet Money actually sat down to figure out the economics of pizza value per square inch. The answer? Tell that voice in your head to cram it, because you’re ordering the large.

Planet Money made a whole complicated chart where you can see the exact exact math breakdown of pizza value per square inch, but here’s the gist:

“The math of why bigger pizzas are such a good deal is simple,” Quoctrung Bui (those NPR names!) writes. “A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the diameter.”

So your 16-inch pizza is actually four times bigger than an 8-inch, and so forth. To break down the price, a 30-inch pizza has the same area as 14.1 eight-inch pizzas; which means you’d have to spend an extra $84.78 (!!) on 8″ inch pizzas to match the price of a 30-inch. Plus, the 30 inch probably will end up with some leftovers. Or at the very least, more pizza.

This isn’t quite the famed pizza principle/subway fare economic indicator, but it should be an important indicator in your own life. Namely, it should indicate that you should order more pizza.

Follow Tim (to Vinnie’s Pizza): @timdonnelly.

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