Saturday, January 5, 2013

Penny Pinching

In addition to the Little Chrissy dolls she wanted to badly, Diana also received a gumball machine that I filled with her favorite flavors* of Jelly Bellys.

No, she hasn't nearly emptied it since it was received.
I only bought a bit over a pound, and it will hold probably 4.
I didn't set it to free vend, because I wanted her to use her change to buy them, as a learning experience. As far as I can tell, there is not a way to set it to how much a spin of the handle costs, so she can put in any coin up to a quarter to receive about 5 jelly beans. Now I know she's been working on money math at school, and the class goes on community trips to practice that and other skills. I know she knows that a penny is 1 cent and a quarter is 25, and I know that she knows that 1 is less than 25. I did not expect her to be reluctant to put anything but pennies in the "jelly bean machine." It would seem she's a bit of a penny-pinch, which I find admirable! However, this also means it's going to be really hard to refill the machine with the change inside when Jelly Bellys are nearly $20/pound at the candy store... Ah well, that will be a learning experience, too.

*How to determine the favorite flavors of Jelly Bellys with a communication-impaired person:
1. Buy a box of Jelly Bellys in a 50-flavor, compartmentalized box.
2. Let the person pick freely from the box, until they stop choosing any more candy. (This could take a while. With Diana, I think it took her about a week of grazing before she ate all she intended to.)
3. When they're finished, note which flavors they ate, based on the flavor guide/map on the inside of the box's lid.
4. Keep the list handy so you can buy just those flavors from a bulk candy store.

It may seem silly to go to this much trouble, but of those 50 flavors, she only likes 10 -- 20% of the box. In a bag of 30 flavors, or the little boxes of 20 assorted, she likes 7 and 6 respectively (and since the assortments are random, there's no guarantee that each flavor will be in the package). That's a lot of wasted jelly beans, or jelly beans that her father and I end up eating so they don't go in the trash. It's much more economical to buy only the flavors we know she likes.

And in case you're curious: A&W Cream Soda, Bubble Gum, Coconut, Cotton Candy, French Vanilla, Island Punch, Peach, Strawberry Daiquiri, Toasted Marshmallow and Very Cherry. Interestingly, with the exception of Peach, the rest of Diana's Assortment is very Valentine-y - white/pink/red/purple.

No comments: