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At the time a buyer was ordering his goods, tea was quoted at 1.20 dollars per lb. and coffee at 4 dollars per lb. He decided to buy a certain amount of each. In all, 104 lb. were bought, at a total cost of $248. How much of each commodity did he buy? Use only one variable.

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  • $\begingroup$ We use dollar signs to set off math formulas, which is why you get the italics. You should put a backslash before the dollar signs, or delete them as the currency does not matter. $\endgroup$ – Ross Millikan Oct 20 '16 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ When they say "use only one variable" I often find it easier to write the equations using more than one. One of the equations should be rather simple, so you can us it for a substitution to get down to one variable. Here I would follow Peter's suggestion. The equation for total weight provides the substitution you want. $\endgroup$ – Ross Millikan Oct 20 '16 at 22:04
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Let's see...if $x$ is the number of pounds of tea, then $104 - x$ is the number of pounds of coffee. That means he spent \$1.2$x$ dollars on tea and\$ $4(104-x)$ dollars on coffee.

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Let $x$ be the number of pounds of tea bought.

Then the number of pounds of coffee bought must be $104 - x$.

The cost of the tea is $1.2x$ and the cost of the coffee is $4(104-x)$.

Can you create an equation for the total cost? If so, then solve it to find the number of pounds of tea.

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