Three Digit Multiplication Word Problems

Instructor: Nola Bridgens

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

Do you ever wonder why on earth you need to learn multiplication? Do you think math class is the only place to use your multiplication skills? This lesson will give you real life examples of when you will need to know how to use three-digit multiplication.

Three-Digit Multiplication

We see multiplication problems all over the world around us. Would you believe that a grocery store, skyscraper, McDonald's, a jewelry store and a pizza place all provide opportunities to use our three-digit multiplication skills? Well, it is true! First, let's take a trip to the grocery store.

Grocery Store

A grocery store sells apples in 5 pound bags for $3.50. In July they sold 234 bags of apples. How many pounds of apples did the grocery store sell in July?


Pay close attention to word problems like this because it has extra information. Extra information is information in a word problem that you do NOT need to solve the problem. Read what the question is asking for twice before you start calculating anything. This problem is asking about the pounds of apples sold, not the cost, so we do not need to know that a bag of apples costs $3.50.

We know they sold 234 bags of apples at 5 pounds per bag, so we need to multiply 234 x 5.

234 x 5 = 1,170

The grocery store sold 1,170 pounds of apples. That's a lot of apples!

After a hard day's work solving problems for the grocery store, a cheeseburger from McDonald's sure sounds good!


McDonald's sells a combo with 3 cheeseburgers, a medium fry, and a drink for $6.50. On Saturday they sold 176 of these combos. How many cheeseburgers did they make for these combos?

Make sure you really understand what the question is asking before you begin. This question is asking for the number of cheeseburgers made, not the price, so the price is extra information.

They made 176 combos of 3 cheeseburgers each, so we need to multiply 176 x 3.

176 x 3 = 528

McDonald's made 528 cheeseburgers for the combo meal. Wow!

Let's head on down to the jewelry store and see how they use multiplication.


Tamara makes and sells beautiful bracelets. Each bracelet is made of 24 beads. Last month she sold 208 bracelets. How many beads did she use?

This question is asking for the number of beads used. She made 208 bracelets with 24 beads each, so we need to multiply 208 x 24.

3 digit multiplication

Tamara used 4,992 beads last month. Wow!

The pizza shop next door smells delicious, so let's stop on in and see if they need help solving any problems.


Pizza Palace cuts their pizzas into 12 pieces and sells them for $15. On Friday they sold 529 pizzas. How much money did they make on pizzas?


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