July 10, 2008

$4.25 For A Bottle Of Water

The tag on the bottle of water in my hotel room encouraged me to "refresh" myself.

Cost to refresh myself = $4.25 per 20oz bottle of water.

In algebra class, we learned that we can determine the cost per gallon, using the following equation:
  • $4.25 / 20 = "x" / 128 (equation corrected from earlier error!)
Solving for "x", we learn that the cost of this refreshing bottle of water is actually $27.20 per gallon.

These are the luxuries we'll forgo as we adapt to $5.00 gasoline.


  1. Forget the water. I'll refresh myself with the airline-size bottles of ethanol in the minibar. :-)

    Seriously, though, the outrageous waters and even pricier drinks and snacks in the mini bar have helped keep hotel prices overall from creeping even higher than they are today. If the pain of dropping an extra chunk of change on these amenities is too great, we'll likely see higher hotel prices.

  2. Anonymous6:22 PM

    Well, it would be interesting to find out if there is any statistics available on what % of guests in hotel rooms consume those water bottles or for that matter anything else from that minibar.

    During my 1000+ nights in hotel rooms, I do not recall heading to the minibar, except on a few occasions after missing dinner due to flight delays.

  3. Anonymous4:06 AM

    I'm not sure what the numbers are Sanjay, but I first started thinking about this after reading Tim Hartford, "the Undercover Economist:


    In this piece on the topic, he states, "Perhaps, however, these hidden extras aren't quite so bad. In fact, I think the world might be more expensive - and more unfair - without them. If that seems counterintuitive, it's because we tend to assume that the alternative to hidden charges is no charges at all.

    "That seems unlikely. The hotel room is fairly cheap because the hotel wants to get me through the door, hoping that I’ll spend more on the phone and the minibar than I will on the room itself. The more incontinent my spending habits, the more it is worth having me as a guest and the lower the advertised price will fall."

    Time will tell if he is correct, I suppose!

  4. Anonymous6:03 AM

    Kevin: Not too split hairs. Using your calculation as written $4.25 * 20 = $85.00 * 128 = $10,880.00. Very expensive indeed.

  5. That's what happens when you state the algebra incorrectly!

    I corrected the post.

  6. Anonymous9:19 AM

    There was something in German TV recently about the oil price rise.

    Apparently oil isn't that expensive anymore if you compare it to milk, beer, wisky, and most expensively perfum.

    Your gallon of water will be somewhere in the middle. You better drink it slowly.


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