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Ramen Economics at the Kroger

Inexplicably, people just aren’t buying anti-Bush bumper stickers like they used to, and with my budget pretty tight lately my menu has shifted toward ramen noodles. Last week at my neighborhood Kroger grocery here in Columbus, I noticed an “everyday low price” of 15 cents for one packet of Maruchan ramen noodles:

15 cents for one packet of Maruchan Ramen at the High Street Kroger in Columbus, Ohio

Usually, when a person buys something like ramen in bulk, they get a discount, but at this Kroger you pay a penny more to get a six-pack of the exact same noodles:

91 cents for a six-pack of Maruchan Ramen at the High Street Kroger in Columbus, Ohio

As Ben used to say, a penny saved is a penny earned, so I picked up individual packs and walked down to the end of the aisle, where I saw the following “special”:

$2.89 for a 12-pack of Maruchan Ramen at the High Street Kroger in Columbus, Ohio

Oh, darn, I left my plus card at home! $2.89 for a 12-pack of ramen? That’s 24 cents a package. Is this Kroger’s idea of a stupid tax?

This week, the same Kroger grocery has a big sign offering discounts on individual packages of Ramen:

Sale?  17 cents for a package of Maruchan Ramen at the High Street Kroger in Columbus, Ohio.  It was 15 cents last week.

I guess I’ll have to wait to stock up until after the sale is over and the price has dropped back down to 15 cents.

11 thoughts on “Ramen Economics at the Kroger”

  1. Bob S-K says:

    Yummy Ramen noodles! Are there any Asian grocery stores near you? They always have seriously cheap noodles and noodle-like products.

    1. Jim says:

      Oh, yeah… there sure are, or at least a couple of miles up the street. Those stores also have seriously yummy sesame oil. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  2. Jon says:

    Public schools! What else can you say…the dumming of America.

  3. J. Clifford says:

    What do public schools have to do with it? Public schools on the whole outperform private schools on the whole.

  4. Jon says:

    “On a Whole?” What does that mean…? Public schools in what neighborhood, what State, Per capita? On average? Based on which ethnic group? Based on student performance in tests or college admission? At this time I think it would be disingenuous at best to say that public schools in the United States are top notch, and perform at a competitive level with other countries with even less per capita income. What I suspect is that studies like the “Sarah Thuele Lubienski and Christopher Lubienski, research at the University of Illinois-Champaign are driven more by a desire to keep the Teachers unions flush than real science.

    Yes, though I am sure you are correct, that’s why the rich send their children to Private schools, to be out performed. That why our current President went to public schools, all the way to Harvard. Yeph!

  5. Jim says:

    Controlling for student characteristics, public schools do a better job of educating in math and reading than charter schools, do just as well as private schools in reading education, do mildly worse than private schools in math education at the middle school level, but do mildly better than private schools in math education at the elementary school level.

    The very rich send their children to exclusive private schools to learn upper-class social graces, get into the right social circles and earn the right letters for admissions officers. They also spend $20,000 a year on private tutors and another $10,000 a year on life coaches.

  6. Jon says:

    These result are based on the “mean”:

    The mean may often be confused with the median, mode or range. The mean is the arithmetic average of a set of values, or distribution; however, for skewed distributions, the mean is not necessarily the same as the middle value (median), or the most likely (mode). For example, mean income is skewed upwards by a small number of people with very large incomes, so that the majority have an income lower than the mean.

    They are also from the US dept. Of Ed, what do you think they are going to say.

  7. Jim says:

    I know what the median, mode and range are. The mean is the value that minimizes prediction error, which is why it is appropriate in simple linear models. Are you familiar with hierarchical linear modeling, which is the method used in the studies? Are you aware of what hierarchical linear modeling in particular (and multilevel modeling in general) does?

    You do not seem to be familiar with the ideology of the Department of Education in the Bush era of Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings. Regardless, you are not capable of being convinced by anything on the subject, since any data that contradicts your pre-existing belief simply must be biased.

  8. Tom says:

    Hey Jim, Jon is just following the previous 8 year example of “ignore the data and follow your beliefs” (right into the quagmire), so you can’t really blame him. i noticed that Israel has just jumped on the right wing band wagon by electing NO POSSIBLE peace candidate(s).

    The dire situation the world finds itself in is a testament to the stupidity, arrogance, selfishness, greed and denial of its inhabitants. The rich want it to continue this way, since the status quo is what’s best for them (and they have HUGE influence over governments and policies), while the rest of us are just trying to survive by doing what is best for us, even if it means breaking the law at this point (see piracy, theft, etc.).

  9. Jon says:


    “Regardless, you are not capable of being convinced by anything on the subject, since any data that contradicts your pre-existing belief simply must be biased.”

    You’ve got to be kidding! You give me two examples of studies and and you think it’s a problem that I won’t concede?
    The reading that I have done on public school focuses on the problems that are created by the Teachers unions and tenure. I am not disparaging all teachers nor all public schools. However I think that when a union uses it’s power to protect an incompetent teacher at the expense of the students……we have a problem. In small rural areas I don’t see this problem. In large metropolitan areas like Chicago however, entrenchment can poise a serious obstacle for those students that really want to learn. I understand that in areas like Chicago the Teachers as well as the students battle many fronts at the same time. But as adults the Teachers and their unions need to put the students first.

    The little time that I’ve spent at this site tells me that there are many individuals with ideological inflexibility. Many of the posters believe that there is only one view of the world that matters and they have that view, period. Every one else is stupid. There is trending toward that kind of belief system in most people. You yourself trust what’s in the Dept.Of Ed. reports, yet are skeptical of a need for surveillance to protect us from terrorism. I admire you for the thought and conviction you bring to the table. It is not just hateful rambling, cursing everyone else for their incompetence. I think if everyone in this country were as passionate and knowledgably about the Government, this country wouldn’t be where it is today. Waiting for a bailout check from a newly elected President that promised change.

    Ideology is a two edged sword, it can provide a firm reference for comparing other ideas, or it can become so overarching that it excludes any other opinion and is blind to reason.

    1. Jim says:

      “You’ve got to be kidding! You give me two examples of studies and and you think it’s a problem that I won’t concede?”

      No, I think it’s a problem that you don’t understand their methodologies or data, don’t look at their findings, and simply say, “Ah, who gives a shit, it’s just the Department of Education, they must all be public school ass-kissers.”

      First, you ignore that the Department of Education under the Bush administration was pro-“school choice,” which was about moving kids away from public schools. This study was conducted and published under the Bush administration. That undercuts your assumption that anything associated with the Department of Education must somehow be biased in favor of public schools. Second, you haven’t engaged at all with the substance of the studies.

      I don’t care what you think of me personally. But don’t assume that I’m simply “trusting in the Dept. of Ed. reports.” The reports are trustworthy for a reason: they’re careful in what they measure and have a well-designed methodology. If you’re going to disagree with two empirical studies, have a good reason besides, “Ah, it’s just the fucking Department of Education.” Look at the studies. Read them. Understand what they are doing. Your lack of willingness to do so tells me that you’re not interested in the subject matter.

      I, on the other hand, am perfectly open to changing my mind when confronted with well-done empirical research. If you want to convince me that controlling for student demographics, private schools are actually better than public schools, then show me some good statistical analyses on the subject that support your contention. I fully commit to reading and commenting on their substance, not dismissing them because the identity of the authors somehow bothers me. That would be ideologically inflexible.

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