A certain grocery store charges $5 per pound for chicken and $8 per pound for steak. If a customer bought equal amounts of chicken and steak and spent a total of $91, how many pounds of each did the customer buy?

A) 11

B) 10

C) 7

D) 6

E) 5

**STEP 1:** Select Choice (B) or (D) and plug this value into the question stem. Read the question stem carefully to find out what the answer choice is supposed to represent. Determine which choice, (B) or (D), seems easier to work with. Then plug the chosen value into the problem. If this value satisfies the conditions in the problem, it is the correct choice; if not, move on to Step 2.

**STEP 2:** Eliminate answer choices. If the first choice is too small or too large, eliminate it and all smaller or larger choices. If only one choice remains, that will be the correct choice; if not, move on to Step 3.

**STEP 3: **Test one more choice and then identify the correct choice. If we started with (B), we now move to (D) or vice-versa. After testing one more choice, we will know the correct choice. Either the second choice we test will itself be correct or, if it is too small or too large, we will be able to select the correct choice from the remaining possibilities.

**STEP 1: **Select Choice (B) or (D) and plug this value into the question stem.

Each choice represents a possible value for the number of pounds of chicken and the number of pounds of steak purchased. We need to find the value that results in total cost of $91 dollars. Choices (B) and (D) seem equally easy to work with, so let’ s start with (B).

If the customer buys 10 pounds of chicken and 10 pounds of steak, the cost will be $5 × 10 = $50 for the chicken and $8 × 10 = $80 for the steak. The total cost will be $50 + $80 = $130.

**STEP 2: **Eliminate answer choices.

In Step 1, we tested Choice (B), 10 pounds, and found a total cost of $130. That’ s too high (we need $91), so we can eliminate Choices (A) and (B).

(A) 11 INCORRECT: Too High

(B) 10 INCORRECT: Too High

(C) 7

(D) 6

(E) 5

**STEP 3: **Test one more choice and then identify the correct choice.

Since (B) was too large, we now test Choice (D), 6 pounds. The cost of the chicken will be $5 × 6 = $30, and the cost of the steak will be $8 × 6 = $48. The total cost is $30 + $48 = $78. This is too low; we need a total cost of $91.

Although (D) is not correct, we can now determine the correct choice without testing any more choices. In Step 2, we eliminated (A) and (B) because they were too high. Now we’ ve found that (D) is too low, which means that (E) must also be too low. The only thing left is Choice (C), so it must be correct.

(A) 11 INCORRECT: Too High

(B) 10 INCORRECT: Too High

(C) 7 CORRECT!

(D) 6 INCORRECT: Too Low

(E) 5 INCORRECT: Too Low