Wed February 26, 2014
Planet Money

74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:28 pm

One day last year, an engineer and I went to a pizza place for lunch. The engineer told me he wasn't very hungry, but he said he was going to get the 12-inch medium instead of the 8-inch small — because the medium was more than twice as big as the small, and it cost only a little bit more. This sort of blew my mind.

So I went big on the pizza-value question. The graph below is based on 74,476 prices from 3,678 pizza places around the country. To see how the price of pizzas changes with size — and how much more pizza you get when you get a large — drag the slider at the bottom the graph.

The math of why bigger pizzas are such a good deal is simple: A pizza is a circle, and the area of a circle increases with the square of the radius.

So, for example, a 16-inch pizza is actually four times as big as an 8-inch pizza.

And when you look at thousands of pizza prices from around the U.S., you see that you almost always get a much, much better deal when you buy a bigger pizza.

The data in the graph were provided by Grubhub Seamless.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.