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Decimals and Percents

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Figuring Out Percentages and Sale Prices

How often have you seen items on sale in a store for 10 % or 15% off? Learn about percentages so you'll be able to quickly figure out potential savings on merchandise.

A percentage is a given percent of another number. For example, 50 percent of 40 is 20. The percentage is 20.

To calculate a percentage:
• Change the percent to a decimal. (Since 50 percent equals .50 you can drop the zero: .5)
• Multiply the decimal by the whole number you are dealing with. (.5 X 40)
• Remember, when multiplying by a decimal count over the same number of decimal places in your answer. (.5 X 40 = 20.0 or 20.)
• So, 50% of a \$40 is \$20.

Knowing how to calculate percentages can be helpful when you are trying to determine the sale price of an item. For example, Lynn found a suit on sale for 30% off. The suit regularly costs \$50. What is the sale price?

To find the sale price of an item:
• First, find out what the percentage is by changing the percent into a decimal and multiplying: (.3 X 50 = 15.)
• To find the sale price of an item, subtract the percentage. (50 - 15 = 35).
• The \$50 suit, at discount, is \$35.

You can also think of it this way: The suit is 30% off. This means Lynn can pay 70% of the total \$50 cost: \$35.