If you recently went grocery shopping in Nigeria, you will be amazed at how expensive things are. When you hear the new prices of commodities, you are first in shock, hoping it is a joke or a bad dream.
Unfortunately, the rise in food prices is a sad reality we all must deal with.
Families react to these price changes in interesting mathematical ways. Initially, people resort to the substitution method of problem-solving. They seek out alternatives.
If beef is expensive, they buy chicken; and when chicken is expensive, they buy fish. Then when the prices of these foods rise further, they use the elimination method.
This is when certain foods disappear from the breakfast or dinner table. For instance, butter, milk, and eggs may disappear from the breakfast table. In other words, people redefine what is necessary and what is “nice to have”.
Sometimes, it is impossible for families to use the elimination or substitution strategies as coping mechanisms for the rising costs of food especially for staple foods like rice, beans, and bread.
In this case, they continue to buy these foods but reduce the quantity they buy, reduce the portion they consume, and reduce the number of meals they have per day.