The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many families to resort to pizza nights more often than not, and there's no shame in that. This last year has been rough on everyone, and pizza is the perfect comfort food.
In order to help you save money and get the best value out of your meal, we're here to share why you should always order the large pizza (or any bigger size pizza) instead of multiple smaller pizzas.
No matter if you prefer to get your pizza from Papa John's, Dominos, Pizza Hut or any local pizzeria, you'll get the best value from ordering a larger size. This will most definitely come in handy when you throw your next Super Bowl party or want to save a little extra money on your carryout or delivery order.
Let's break down why getting a bigger pizza is always a better value and how it works with a visual:
Let's Do The Math
Math can be hard — but in this case — it's as easy as pie (pun intended). To find the area of a pizza, you must use this formula: pi times the radius squared (A = π x r²).
The medium pizza is generally a 12-inch pizza, so to get this pizza's area, you would plug the number '12' into the 'r' (or radius), making the formula π x 12². When you take 3.14 multiplied by 144, you will get the pizza's surface area, which equals out to about 452.4.
The large pizza is generally a 14-inch pizza, which would make the surface area about 615.8.
Every pizza place has its own pricing, but in a study done by Groupon comparing the prices from the largest pizza chains in the country, they found that the average price for a medium, 12-inch pizza in the USA is around $14.47, and a large, 14-inch pizza is about $15.40.
So, for an average of $0.93 more, you can get 2 extra inches of pizza.
If you are really looking for the best value, a 16-inch pizza is almost double the size of a 12-inch pizza, with a surface area of 804.3 (compared to the 12-inch pizza's 452.4 surface area). The average price for a 16-inch pizza is $19.23, so you can get almost double the amount of pizza for roughly an extra $4.76.
Needless to say: the bigger the pizza, the better the value.
Little Caesars, the third-largest pizza chain by total sales in the USA, embraces this theory by only offering a 14-inch pizza on their menu. This makes it so that customers never have to do the math to find the best value.
Note: this article is comparing pizzas solely based on their surface area size. Getting topping pizzas or purchasing frozen pizzas from stores such as Costco might influence the price and value of your pizza for better or worse.
One common counterclaim to the 'large pizza is the best value' idea is the law of diminishing returns. This term is used when discussing economic concepts and argues that you won't get the same results for putting in the same effort.
A common, real-life example outside of pizza that demonstrates the law of diminishing returns is called 'The Farmer.' If a farmer owns a certain amount of land, they can plant seeds on that land to create crops. To yield even more crops, they can add fertilizer to the soil so that the seeds grow at a more rapid rate. The law of diminishing returns comes into play with the fertilizer. The farmer can add as much fertilizer to the soil as they want, however, there is a point in which adding more of the fertilizer will not yield the same increase in crops as it did before, and too much fertilizer can actually end up harming the seeds.
Another real-world example can be seen in buying supplies at the store. Most people tend not to buy the absolute biggest pack of paper towel rolls every single time they go to the store, even though it's generally the best value per roll. There is a point in which you either can't store all of the paper towel rolls in your home, or you will become unhappy with the same product after continual use. This is not the case for every family or individual, but this helps explain the thought process behind the law of diminishing returns in an everyday life scenario.
Now Put It In Pizza Terms
Essentially, if you aren't able to consume the whole pizza nor store the large pizza leftovers in your refrigerator and you plan on throwing out what you don't eat, there is no point in getting a bigger pizza. You're throwing away money at that point.
Go with the small pizza or medium pizza instead if that's all you plan on consuming or storing in your home after your meal.
If you consider the law of diminishing returns when you order your next pizza, you'll be sure to save a little extra cash that you can put towards your delivery tip or back in your own pocket.
Make Healthy Choices
Another rebuttal that tends to be brought up with pizza is health. Even though you can get more value in a larger pizza, eating pizza for multiple days or with every meal doesn't fall into the World Health Organization's definition of a healthy diet. Read more here about how you can follow the WHO's definition of a healthy diet and how industrially-produced trans-fats play a role in any diet.
Pizza For Dinner Tonight?
So, no matter your preferred pizza place, you'll be sure to get the best value by ordering a larger-sized pizza (extra-large included). Just make sure that you and your crew are ready to chow down on all the extra pizza you'll be getting, even if that's spread out over multiple meals.
If you are interested in seeing more data and learning more about why larger pizza sizes are a better value, check out this article from NPR.
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