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Oct 12, 2009 12:03 AM

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Why do people usually buy eggs that cost the most?

Efficient market theory and classical economics sometimes seems bogus. What's that got to do with the price of eggs? An awful lot -- if people always acted rationally, they would buy eggs that cost the least per ounce, but people hardly ever do that. I know I do so, but I don't know of anyone else who does.

Does anybody here buy eggs the way I do? I always buy the eggs that are cheapest per ounce. A dozen small eggs weigh 18 ounces, medium -- 21, large --24, extra-large -- 27, jumbo --30. Usually at Trade Fair here in Queens, small eggs are cheapest, but sometimes Jumbo eggs cost less per ounce, and once a month, medium eggs are cheapest during a weekly sale.

BUT large eggs are the most popular, even though large eggs are usually the most expensive per ounce and NEVER on sale. If people act rationally, why do they usually buy the eggs that cost the most per ounce?

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  1. Most recipes call for number of large eggs. For many of us, it is more trouble than it is worth to try to calculate the equivalence. And it really gets difficult when eggs are separated into yolks and whites. Where I live, the sale is always on "large" eggs and I've never seen small and rarely medium size being sold.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PBSF

      eggs-actly. I first look for the cheapest brand of no hormone, no antibiotic eggs, then get the "large" size so it works properly in recipes for baked goods.

    2. I buy eggs on sale, except for the ones from my local farmer. The farm eggs I pay whatever he wants, and use those only for breakfast. Grocery eggs are mostly for baking and breading and the like, and standard procedure calls for large. Luckily large are the ones usually on sale around here. However when medium or extra large are on sale, I'll buy them instead. The cost of eggs is usually calculated per unit, not per ounce, at least in the restaurant world if not by everyone else, I'd say.

      1. I usually pick the eggs that have the most recent pack date on the carton; sometimes these are the most expensive, but more often they are not, suggesting (to me at least) that the less expensive eggs have a faster turnover in the store. These are also the large size about 50% of the time.

        1. I buy extra large eggs and try to get them on sale. I don't buy anything smaller, because if I want to bake something it's a pain to decide on how many extra eggs I'll need.

          My daughter in law buys Egg Land Best eggs because they are hormone free. There was a study done about hormones and young girls coming into puberty before their normal time and she wants to prevent that from happening. I am not sure if it's a marketing ploy or not, but they are much more expensive.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mcel215

            No eggs in the USA are produced using added hormones. Hormone use for poultry, fowl or hogs is not permitted by the FDA. If the Eggland's Best package does say "Raised without added hormones" then it will have a little asterisk after that leading you to the statement "Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones."

            1. re: mcel215

              Milk is where you need to worry about the hormones, not eggs.

            2. Wouldn't I need more eggs to make the same amount of omelette, etc? That probably means more space in my fridge.

              Plus, it means more eggs to crack and more waste. All in all, it seems like a bad idea for me.