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Deal or No Deal? How brushing up on your maths can help bag a Black Friday bargain

24 Nov 2022

There's only one way to know if a Black Friday or Cyber Monday offer is a genuine bargain, and that's to check the numbers. 

But what if you don't feel confident comparing prices? How can you stop yourself getting sucked in by the hype?

It can be tricky to know if an item marked with a discount, really is a great deal.

Black Friday Balloons

Take ten minutes to do a quick maths check

National Numeracy can help! By doing a quick check on the National Numeracy Challenge, you could soon be in a much better position to know if it's a deal, or no deal! It only takes 10 minutes, and you can go at your own pace, whenever and wherever you like. There’s no pressure or time limit – unlike a lot of Black Friday deals!

Improving your numeracy is great first step to understanding the offers you’ll see today and every day on the shop shelves. But don’t take our word for it! Have a listen to Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, an Ambassador for our charity.

Have a go at Martin Lewis' 'baked bean bargain' question

Martin always has fantastic advice about making the most of your money. Earlier this week, he tweeted some wise words about Black Friday: “My Black Friday shopping memo...If you were going to buy it anyway and it's half price, you've saved 50%. If you weren't going to buy it, but do because it's half price you've wasted 100%."

He recorded a great video for us, posing a question about deals on baked beans. It could be useful for any offer you might see during Black Friday, whatever you're thinking about buying.

Martin asks us to try and work out which is the worst offer. Is it ‘buy two cans, get one free’? Or ‘get a third off’? Or maybe it’s ‘get 40% extra free’?

Watch the short video, recorded as part of National Numeracy Day 2020, to find out which is the worst deal.

Don't get ripped off - Martin Lewis recommends brushing up on your maths

In the video, Martin goes on to explains how helpful improving your numeracy can be when it comes to bagging a bargain.

“A huge part of dealing with money is mathematical, is numerical, it does need that skill to be able to easily deal with numbers. And I would encourage you to do so [ improve your numeracy], because people who are numerate - and also devious and have no morals - will try and rip you off! 

“We have an epidemic of scams going on in this country at the moment. Being good with numbers and being able to work out what’s happening really will help you in your life. From the obvious going to the shops and making decisions, to calculating your finances, working out which product is good or bad…all of these things are good, and I’d really encourage you to get better at maths.”

He ends by urging viewers to try the National Numeracy Challenge“If you’re not good at maths, give it a go, try and learn the skills we do need maths in everyday life,” he said.

More people are getting to grips with maths to help manage their money

New data from National Numeracy reveals that the number of people wanting to improve their numeracy specifically to deal with managing their money increased by 29% from May to September this year, compared to the same period last year.

The increase in people getting to grips with their numbers using our free numeracy improvement website, the National Numeracy Challenge, comes as rising prices and inflation have alarmed UK households. 

While improving numeracy won’t stop the bills from climbing, it can help everyone make better decisions about their money. Which is exactly what is needed in the face of today’s barrage of Black Friday ads.

If you’d like to get started on improving your own numeracy skills, then head to the National Numeracy Challenge now! 

Try the National Numeracy Challenge

However you feel about maths, you’re not alone. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free and easy-to-use website you can use to improve your confidence with numbers, in your own time and at your own pace.

It’s ideal for brushing up, checking your level, or for catching up on learning you missed, and it’s all about the maths you need in daily life and at work – no algebra or trigonometry.

Image showing the Challenge on a computer monitor

Feeling confident with numbers can really pay off!

Numeracy can help us take control of how we spend, save and plan for the future. We have a wide range of free, helpful resources and videos that can help you build the confidence and skills you need to get on top of everything from budgeting and bills to credit cards and cash. 

Managing money with maths

Number Confidence Week