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This is how the prices look like:

I steal a furtive glance behind me. The coast is no clear – no impatient customers peeping over my shoulder. I make it My mission in life, at least for the next 5 minutes, to find the most cost-efficient way to place my order. Punching numbers into my phone calculator is not an option; it’s not cool.

The most direct approach involves listing all the order permutations. In Primary Maths Heuristics, this bulldozer approach is known as (unsurprisingly) ‘Making a List’. The computation required will look like this:

1. McChicken ‘n’ Cheese a la carte (\$2.60) + Filet-O-Fish with Medium French Fries and Small Coke (\$5.00) + 6-piece Chicken McNuggets with Potato Wedges and Small Coke (\$6.80) = ?
2. McChicken ‘n’ Cheese a la carte (\$2.60) + Filet-O-Fish with Potato Wedges and Small Coke (\$5.80) + 6-piece Chicken McNuggets with Medium French Fries and Small Coke (\$6.00) = ?
3. Filet-O-Fish (\$2.50) + McChicken ‘n’ Cheese with Medium French Fries and Small Coke (\$5.60) + 6-piece Chicken McNuggets with Potato Wedges and Small Coke (\$6.80) = ?

In Maths, three consecutive ellipses means ‘and so the list goes on’. For those who are still with me, you’ve probably figured out that there are 6 possible ways to place my order. Even if I had enough RAM in my brain to perform the necessary computations and store all the intermediate results, it doesn’t seem like an efficient method.

Read part 1

Read final part 3