Beware of shrinking everything —?? except prices

The latest shrinking product really got to me.

A five-pound bag of granulated sugar has now shrunk to four pounds.  Not just the off-brands, but the name brands as well.

Those who do a lot of baking, or jelly and jam making, know that one less pound means we have to buy more sugar to make the same amount of cookies or jam.

By now we’re all accustomed to the nonexistent “pound” of coffee that has shrunk from 16 ounces, to 15, to 12, and now, a mere 10 or 11 ounces. Amazing. A pint’s a pound, the world around — that has to be an antiquated colloquialism now.

Where’s the pint?

That trusty can of tuna always kept on hand in the pantry will no longer make two decent-sized sandwiches for lunch. The six-ounce cans that have been with us for decades are now five ounces — too much for one sandwich, and not enough for two. I even saw an off-brand tuna the other day that held just 4.5 ounces.

Pasta of all shapes and varieties had, until recently, come in one-pound packages. No longer. Only a few brands or off-brands are 16 ounces. Most are now 12, 11, or even 10 ounces.

A loaf of regular sliced bread has also lost many slices and costs more at the same time.

Watch out for pet food, too.

The once 20- or 25-pound bag of dry dog food has slowly been reduced to 19 pounds, then 18 pounds, and now, with the latest bag of the usual brand I buy for our dog, Dusty, 16 pounds. A bag that once lasted a month or so is now empty in fewer than three weeks.

Baking soda, baking powder, flavorings and virtually any product stored in your cupboard is more than likely smaller than the same product from just a year or two ago — and it costs more.

And it’s not just food that has shrunk. Think about dish detergent, shampoo and cosmetics. Dish detergent has shrunk from the 16-ounce bottle I always bought to its current 12 or 13 ounces. It shrank in steps, just like everything else, but now, of course, I have to buy it more often.

And that’s most likely the reason why nearly everything is so much smaller than it had once been.

We are a consumer society, for better or worse, and for companies to make more money, they have to sell more product. What better way to increase profits than to brighten up the packaging and reduce the amount of what’s inside so you have to buy it more frequently?

What’s next? A 28-ounce quart of milk? The half-gallon juice cartons have already been reduced to 59 ounces or fewer, and a “half-gallon” of most ice creams is only 48 ounces. I won’t be surprised if either of these decreases again really soon. Oh, yes, and a "pint" of ice cream is now 14 ounces much of the time.

Beware shopper: If the price looks like it has remained pretty much the same as it has always been, check the weight of the product. Unless a particular store is having a real sale, we are getting far less for our money.

Always check not only the fat and salt amounts, but also the weight. If dividing in your head isn’t easy, then carry a small calculator with you. Divide the price by the number of ounces or pounds to learn what you are really paying for something. Chances are, the price has gone up. Shopping for our day-to-day needs has become increasingly more complicated.

So when heading out to the supermarket, take that calculator, a deep breath and a lot of patience — and be ready to search to find the best deal for your money.

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Comments

Susan Cole's picture

Creating Confusion & Bad Mornings!

I really don't see how they can get away with this, especially for things like Orange Juice, when, on the back Nutrition Label it clearly states that a serving size is 8 oz. Want to guarantee that at least one morning every week is disappointing for someone you're close to? Get the 59 oz. OJ & let someone go to work 5 oz. short on their vitamins every 4th day!

There's nothing like the company you might possibly work for undermining their "healthful" message by being stingy w/the nutrients!

Susan Cole's picture

Wide-Eyed Wonder

Actually, this trend has been going on a very long time. Does anyone else remember getting wide-eyed as a child, while their mother, or Grandmother, described the size of the Hershey Bar that THEY could buy w/a nickel?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Welcome to the world of

Welcome to the world of hidden inflation. The people have no one to blame but themselves. They demand more goodies from government, government prints more money to provide those goodies, the value of the dollar decreases.

This phenomenon has been happening for decades and it will continue as long as people think the government needs to provide them with everything.

You asked for it, you got it, so shut up and take it.

Pulling the wool over our eyes..

Anyone who shops has seen this happening for a long time now..coffee started the trend many years ago..and everyone has followed suit..this is really disgusting and I hope the companies don't think they are pulling the wool over our eyes..if there is anyway to make your own products, then this is the only way to save..but everything cost more now..does anyone wonder why everyone is so discouraged???

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Thank You for finally letting the cat out of the bag....

I just hope you realize, that by exposing this cheating behavior, you have caused a marketing consultant out there somewhere, to go out and hurt himself because the secret is finally out.
This practice has been developing as long as the economy has been faltering. Everyone knows that, by some unspoken law, you can not buy the same number of hotdog rolls, as hotdogs. All the years of working on and off for our local large bakery, I would from time to time get someone there pissed off at me, they would scream at me, and I always had the same response for the supervisor. "You start making ten packs of hotdog rolls, I'll try doing this right" or what ever. Of course we all know, that twelve packs of hotdog rolls, and eight packs of hotdog rolls, are the result of a long ago argument between the hotdog makers and the hotdog roll makers. Thus resulting in the rule that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much planning you do, you will inevitably wind up with two extra hotdog rolls.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You have no one but your

You have no one but your trusted government to blame for a devalued dollar. Careful for what you ask for.

 's picture

Dog food

The next to the last bag I bought was 15.5 lbs and then the following was 15 lbs

Sandra Coulombe's picture

I have been noticing this

I have been noticing this trend over the last couple of years now. It is very annoying especially in the case of things that one can/package would make a meal and now you have to use two but then end up with just a bit more than you need but not enough more to really do anything with. It is rather insulting that these companies think we the consumers would not notice.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Don't buy the goods. Simple.

Don't buy the goods. Simple.

Milton Kidd's picture

Not to Mention

that it's impossible to buy a QUART of mayonnaise any longer and more important that old recipes that call for a certain oz can of something (sweetened condensed milk, chicken broth, etc.) are no long valid for the ingredients called for. Everything has to be rewritten. I've always loved CheezIts - but they have finally priced me out of the market with what used to be a lb box which is now not only often 10 oz, but also outrageously priced. Let's not even talk about the reduced size of TOILET PAPER! Capitalism at its finest (and most deceptive).

 's picture

oh good. it's not just me.

oh good. it's not just me.

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