November 1st, 2005

The Final Numbers

The grand experiment is over. My well-worn Barnes & Noble discount card has expired, and my days of getting a discount on hot chocolate are over… until I renew my card, that is.

So here are the numbers:

  • Amount spent on discount card: $25.00
  • Amount of discount per hot chocolate: $0.31
  • Number of hot chocolates I needed to buy to save enough to make the discount card purchase worthwhile: 81
  • Number of hot chocolates I actually bought: 145
  • Amount saved: $44.95
  • Amount spent on hot chocolates: $392.95
  • Number of days I was able to use the discount card: 384
  • Average number of hot chocolates purchased per day: 0.3776
  • Average time between hot chocolate purchases: 2.65 days

These numbers don’t quite match up with projections, but I really didn’t expect them to. These numbers also do not take into consideration the discounts I received on books purchased, which would make the discount card purchase even more worthwhile. I wanted to stick with just the hot chocolate numbers for this experiment.

Some time earlier this month I learned that I could use my discount card until the end of the month I purchased it in a year earlier. That’s why there are 384 days listed above instead of 365 like you might expect. (It’s also why I’m waiting until tomorrow to renew my card.)

Working under that assumption, I went in for my final hot chocolate purchase earlier today. I wanted it to be all dramatic, full of slo-mo and scored by James Horner. Instead, I was told that my card had expired.


It’s the last day of the month! The last day it’s good! This makes no sense! I was actually a little ticked off about it, but it was a pointless rage, as there was nothing I could do about it. Corporations will do whatever arbitrary thing they want to do. Want to fight them over 31 cents? Go ahead, they don’t care.

The nice girl behind the counter (Mindy) went ahead and did some sort of register magic and gave me the discount anyway (saying, “You’re here all the time”) but it wasn’t the same. I was fairly dejected.

I am reminded of “The Hollow Men” by T. S. Eliot:

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Ah, well. It was a good run.

So… what should I count now?

3 Comments on “The Final Numbers”

  1. the obscure says:

    Starting next week I am going to keep a running tally of every last expenditure I make, then compare it against our budget.

  2. Brian Arnold says:

    Renew and start year two! This time, factor in book purchases. It'll be fun!

  3. Angela says:

    Change. Everytime you see change on the ground, etc… keep a tally. See how much you make after a year by picking up pennies and whatnot.

    It's fun AND beneficial!

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