Write an equation and figure out how much cheese she can purchase.Ham costs $2.59 per pound and Swiss Cheese costs $3.79 a pound. The customer has $9.50 to spend on 2 pounds of ham and some cheese.

Expert Answers
hustoncmk eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first step in solving any word problem is to figure out exactly what is being asked for.  You need to be very careful that you do not get confused if extra information is thrown into the problem. For example, if the cost per pound of roast beef had been included it would have been extra information.

The next step is to write a  "let statement." The let statement is almost always set up so that x = the answer you are looking for.

In this problem the let statement should be:

Let x = the amount of cheese purchased

The next step is to write out the equation using words. In this case your equation would be:

total cost of ham + total cost of cheese = total spent

This can be further broken down:

cost/ pound of ham x pounds of ham + cost /pound of cheese x pounds of cheese = total spent

Next you want to substitute in the numbers and variables that have been given to you.

cost/pound of ham = $2.59

pounds of ham = 2

Cost/ pound of cheese = $3.79

pounds of cheese = x

total cost = $9.50

When you do the substitution, your equation becomes

2.59(2) + 3.79(x) = 9.50                 substitution

5.18 + 3.79x = 9.50                        simplify

3.79x = 4.32                                   subtract 5.18 from each side

x = 4.32/3.79 = 1.14                      solve for x

The customer would be able to purchase approximately 1.14 pounds.

I hope this helps you with the procedure for additional problems.