When Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates stopped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the host surprised him with a quiz to see if he could guess the price of some basic grocery items.
And “guess” would be appropriate, because, apparently, being a multi-billionaire means not having to do your own shopping. That said, the results were actually not bad for Gates, who got within a dollar on three of the five items he was quizzed on (with a lot of help from the audience).
But how do you compare with Bill Gates when it comes to knowing the cost of basic items at the supermarket? Are you savvier about what it costs to get bananas, milk, eggs and the rest of a typical grocery cart? Click through to find out.
How Much Does a 12-Pack of Coca-Cola Cost?
There are few American brands as iconic as Coca-Cola, which can be traced all the way back to Atlanta pharmacist John S. Pemberton in 1886. Today, nearly 2 billion servings are enjoyed worldwide each day. How much does it cost to buy a 12-pack, though?
A 12-Pack of Coca-Cola Costs $4.68
This is one to keep an eye on, though, as the recently announced tariff on aluminum could drive up the cost of canned drinks like cola and beer.
How Much Does a Box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Cost?
Kraft’s famous boxed macaroni and cheese burst onto the scene during the Great Depression in 1937. Back then, the fact that you could feed a family of four for just 19 cents made it an instant hit, and it sold 8 million boxes in its first year. Today, Kraft is part of a large multinational corporation. How much does a box cost 80 years later?
A Box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Costs $1.48
It might not be under a quarter anymore, but Kraft’s macaroni and cheese is still a bargain at under $1.50. In fact, the cost of a box has increased slower than the rate of inflation — 19 cents in 1937 is worth $3.36 today. Now the recipe features no artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives.
How Much Does a Bucket of Tide Pods Cost?
Tide Pods are self-contained laundry detergent dispensers that have risen to notoriety status in recent months after a bizarre internet trend challenged people to try and eat them. Spoiler alert: They’re highly toxic and you definitely should not eat them.
A Bucket of Tide Pods Costs $19.97
In addition to being stupid and leading to a series of poisonings, the Tide Pod Challenge was also, apparently, not cheap. A single bucket of the pods will put you out nearly $20. You can find the best prices for name-brand laundry detergent at Target and Walmart.
How Much Does a Banana Cost?
Bananas were once an exotic import that most Americans couldn’t afford, but since being popularized in the early 20th century, they’ve quickly grown into the most popular fruit in America. So, how much does one banana cost you at the grocery store?
A Banana Costs $0.49
Easy, portable, healthy and best of all cheap, you can get a banana for under a dollar. Just be careful where you’re discarding those peels…
How Much Does a Gallon of Milk Cost?
The United States is the world’s largest producer of cows’ milk, to the tune of over 200 billion pounds a year. So how much does a gallon of vitamin D whole milk put you out in the dairy capital of the world?
A Gallon of Milk Costs $2.69
Americans drink about 18 gallons of milk per person each year.
How Much Does a Box of Rice-a-Roni Cost?
The San Francisco Treat has been a staple of American dinners since its introduction in 1958, but how much are families shelling out for a single, 6.9-ounce box of the original chicken flavor?
Rice-a-Roni Costs a Dollar
A single box contains two and a half servings, making this a pretty inexpensive option for a dinner side. There are ways to make this cheap food look more impressive, too.
How Much Does a Dozen Eggs Cost?
America’s poultry farmers have 320 million chickens laying 7.67 billion eggs a year. But plentiful as they are, what will it cost you to buy a dozen eggs?
A Dozen Eggs Cost $2.67
Americans love eggs — a cheap, nutritious source of protein and an easy way to spice up a boring meal. Enough so that they eat an average of 275 of them a year.
How Much Does Dental Floss Cost?
Dental floss might or might not actually do anything for your gum health, but it remains a regular part of many people’s days. But how much are you paying for 55 yards of floss?
Dental Floss Costs $1.48
This is one where even Ellen could be overpaying. While Ellen had the price at $3.78 a roll, you can get floss for under $1.50.
Learn More: 35 Ways to Save Hundreds on Groceries
How Much Does a Box of Cheerios Cost?
Americans buy more than 2.5 billion boxes of cereal a year, nearly 90 million of which are Cheerios, the most popular cereal brand in the country. So how much does it cost for one 21-ounce box?
A Box of Cheerios Costs $3.64
Cheerios were invented in 1941 by Lester Borchardt. Thank goodness they changed their name from the original choice: Cheerioats.
How Much Does a Bag of Potato Chips Cost?
Potato chips are the most popular entrant into the salty snacks category, clocking $7.35 billion in sales in America in 2017. They’re an inspiration to gourmet chefs, too. So what will you have to pay to get a 15.25-ounce bag of Lay’s classics?
A Bag of Potato Chips Costs $3.48
PepsiCo subsidiary Lay’s is the most popular chip brand in the country with over $2 billion in sales and nearly 60 percent of the total market share.
How Much Does a Case of Beer Cost?
Americans love their beer, spending $37 billion on it last year, a little less than three times as much as they spend on water. But what does it cost to grab a 24-pack of Bud Light, the nation’s most popular brand, in bottles?
A Case of Beer Costs $16.87
Bud Light has been the most popular brand of beer since knocking its sister brand, Budweiser, out of the top spot in 2001. If you want to branch out beyond Budweiser, check out the best craft breweries in every state.
How Much do Totino’s Pizza Rolls Cost?
General Mills subsidiary Totino’s sells the pizza roll, originally invented by Jeno Paulucci as a way to use the egg roll shells he was familiar with from his Chun King egg rolls to make a bite-sized take on the calzone. But what will it cost you to get a bag of 120?
Totino’s Pizza Rolls Cost $8.98
This versatile party snack can be made in the oven, toaster oven or microwave.
How Much Does a Loaf of Bread Cost?
Bread, in some form or another, has been around for at least 30,000 years, and Americans buy more than $30 billion worth of commercial bakery products a year. But how much “dough” do you have to shell out for a single loaf of Nature’s Own Sliced Honey Wheat Bread?
A Loaf of Bread Costs $2.78
If you’ve ever heard the term “the greatest thing since sliced bread,” that’s a lot more recent. The first mechanized bread slicer was invented by Otto Rohwedder in 1917.
How Much Does TGI Fridays Frozen Spinach and Artichoke Dip Cost?
Founded in New York City in 1965, the TGI Fridays chain has since expanded to 931 locations across 60 countries, with a robust happy hour menu that changes every day of the week. The restaurant even offers frozen foods available in supermarkets — what will the 8-ounce package of its frozen spinach and artichoke dip run you?
TGI Fridays Frozen Spinach and Artichoke Dip Costs $3.66
Bill Gates was surprised to discover that the branding didn’t push the price of this higher, but at less than $4, it’s fairly affordable.
How Much Does Peanut Butter and Jelly Cost?
Peanut butter was introduced to the world at the Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1893, and it wasn’t long after that the first references to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches start to appear in cookbooks. So, what will it cost you to get an 18-ounce jar of Smucker’s Strawberry Jelly and a 40-ounce jar of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter?
Peanut Butter and Jelly Costs $8.62
It’s the peanut butter that’s driving the cost of this classic combo, with the jar of jelly only accounting for $2.84 of the cost.
Click through to learn more shopping tricks to get the most bang for your buck.
About the Author
Joel Anderson is a business and finance writer with over a decade of experience writing about the wide world of finance. Based in Los Angeles, he specializes in writing about the financial markets, stocks, macroeconomic concepts and focuses on helping make complex financial concepts digestible for the retail investor.