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# Coupon Clipping

## Are coupons always a good deal?

Are coupons always a good deal? Retailers like JCPenney use coupons to offer their shoppers great-looking deals, but there’s a catch: Before putting an item on sale, a store often first raises its price.

In this lesson, students reason with percents and proportions to evaluate enticing coupons and debate whether retailers should be allowed to raise the price of items in order to then put them on sale.

### REAL WORLD TAKEAWAYS

• Stores often inflate sticker prices so that they can offer big discounts to customers.
• People have emotional or gut reactions to special offers; the same price can feel different depending on the “deal.”
• When famous retailer JCPenney implemented a “Fair and Square” pricing policy through which it reduced sticker prices and mostly eliminated coupons, sales plummeted.

### MATH OBJECTIVES

• Use percents to calculate sale prices after a discount
• Given a new price and a percent discount, use proportional reasoning to determine the original price

This complex task is best as a culminating unit activity after students have developed formal knowledge and conceptual understanding.