The Little Caesar’s Principle

Technically the Little Caesar’s Principle is a budgetary term, as in, “Little Caesar’s completely ruined Papa John’s pizza for me. Even though I like Papa John’s better, now that I know I can get a decent $5 takeout pizza, I can no longer bring myself to spend $10 on any other pizza in that genre. Papa John’s may have a better image, and it may even have, as its ads, suggest, ‘better ingredients,’ but I sincerely doubt its ingredients are twice as good as Little Caesar’s. It certainly doesn’t taste twice as good. So from here on out, if I’m going to spend more than $5 on a takeout pizza, it better darn well be worth it.”

It’s the Little Caesar’s principle that keeps me from buying a $2 soft serve vanilla cone at Dairy Queen now that both McDonald‘s and Burger King are selling theirs for around 50 cents. The same principle also prevents me from buying a Peanut Buster Parfait — but in that case it’s the calorie cost rather than the economic jolt that comes into play.

My homely but tasty "diet peanut buster parfait"

My homely but tasty “diet peanut buster parfait”

I wasn’t too far into my weight loss journey before I decided that a concoction of low-fat ice cream, chunky peanut butter, a scoop of raw oats and fat-free chocolate syrup pushed all my buttons in nearly the same way as a Peanut Buster Parfait. Knowing I could assemble one of those guys at home for far fewer Weight Watchers points than the real deal at Dairy Queen was extremely liberating. I’ve never again been tempted by that particular “Royal Treat.” Why “spend” that many points when I can get something similar for less than “half price”?

We all make our own decisions about when something is worth devoting extra resources to attain. If it‘s really important to us — if it makes us feel bad to go without it — then maybe it is worth the extra expense.

But if it‘s just a different version of something you can get for less, why bother?

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2 Responses to The Little Caesar’s Principle

  1. I definitely understand your reasoning here.. the only small problem is that you make it more accessible by making it at home.. but still.. it has less calories so good for you. BTW.. I devote my site to making papa johns cheaper by always using a coupon because I avoid at all cost eathing Little Caesar’s 🙂

    • tischcaylor says:

      If Little Ceasar’s and Papa John’s cost the same, I would get Papa John’s every single time. In fact, I would pay just a bit more — maybe $1 — for Papa John’s. I know PJ’s has all kinds of deals that bring down the price, but I don’t like to do the work involved — downloading coupons, monitoring points, etc. At LC’s, uninspiring as it may be, I just show up and hand them $5, no work involved. BTW, I will pay more for an interesting pizza at dining establishment with good ambiance. (And no, Pizza HUt doesn’t count!)

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