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Frugal Friday Week 41

A minor shopping rant – “Shrinkage”

To the store manager, shrinkage refers to loss of inventory due to theft. To the consumer, it’s the reduction in product size over the years. I love Friendly’s Ice Cream. Some flavors more than others, of course, with pistachio being my favorite.

friendlys

But when it’s not available Cookie Dough is a close second. For most of my life the standard container was 1/2 gallon, otherwise known as 2 quarts. I didn’t notice when the change happened, all I know is that when I took a third serving, the fourth one didn’t look like much, and it was then that I noticed the container had gone down to 56 oz, 7/8 the half gallon volume. More recently, it’s down to 1.5 quarts as you see above. “Same great taste, now with 25% less ice cream per container!” Great slogan, no?

It’s not just ice cream, pasta is shrinking too. A number of brands of pasta have introduced whole grain wheat as a healthy alternative choice. Instead of a bit of a premium in cost, the package has the same shelf price, but instead of 16 oz they’ve dropped to 13.25 or 12oz  depending on the brand. I’d prefer to see a one pound package stay at one pound, just charge me a bit more. For some recipes, the odd size package means opening another box to get the pound I’m looking to cook.

Last, coffee. I never thought I’d reminisce about cans of coffee. When I was a young boy, coffee came in one pound cans.  Do you even know what a small can of coffee weighs? 11 oz, 12 oz? It’s all over the place depending on the brand. My Maxwell House that I buy at Costco is 42.5 oz. That’s 2.66 lbs. It’s $9.49 last I checked, a reasonable $3.57 per pound, but still the oddest size container I’ve seen in a while.

When you shop and are comparing one brand to another or one size to another, be aware, the standard sizes are gone. I can’t even tell you how much a can of tuna weights. That’s it. My rant is over, thanks for listening. If I’m not the only one, tell me, what product shrinkage bothers you most?

  • Shawnna May 31, 2013, 9:08 am

    I thought I was the only one who noticed. I picked up the world’s smallest box of cereal this month and paid $3.99 for it. Special K just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

  • Joe May 31, 2013, 10:27 am

    Ha! Cereal! I suppose 16oz should be the standard size, but I know it’s come in many. many sizes for a long time now. When you think about it, they do have an excuse – a pound of a puffed cereal will have a much higher volume than a dense, granola-type cereal. So the boxes would be different sizes. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  • Al Brockman May 31, 2013, 10:44 am

    If you’re at Costco, move away from the Maxwell House and try the Kirkland. The can is a REAL 3 pounds (48 ounces) and costs about $10 per can – That’s $3.33 per pound. Where possible, I always try to stick with honest providers. If you’re going to raise prices by 10%, tell me – don’t try to sneak one by.

    PS – Costco is the BEST provider of hearing aids.

  • Honolulu Aunty May 31, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Since my kids are now adults, I haven’t gone to McDonalds for years. However, last week I had a hankering for some chicken mcnuggets and ordered the Happy Meal.

    The serving of french fries in it was like miniature! It was so miniature, it was almost cute!

    Just yesterday I went to Costco, and my favorite cereal “Honey Bunches of Oats” in the 2 pack had shrunk also. Hard to say if I rather have smaller servings at the same price, or the same size servings at a higher price if something had to give.

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