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Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:12 PM

Grocers They Think Us Stupid Perhaps

I put this on Facebook and would like to see if any of you feel as concerned as I do about this.

I would like to know if anyone on here is upset at what they see at the grocery store? I went to Safeway today (but could be any grocery store here). I'm in So. Oregon. Everything is smaller in size. I purchased those Jello pudding cups that always came in six portions but now 4. The Ritz cracker box is at least a 1/3 smaller. The barbeque bottle is at least a 1/3 smaller. Everything now has been affected. Our dollar is going to go far less now. It started with the 1/2 gallon ice cream that isn't any longer. Pretty soon we will not be able to buy groceries as the amount we are getting is much smaller in product but the price we are paying is either the same as the larger size or more. Next the gallon of milk and the loaf of bread will be smaller. We need to go on strike for at least a week or even two. People need to stand outside the stores with signs demanding they stop what they are doing. It's robbery from families mouths. Okay off my soapbox but how do others feel about this? This can and will get serious as they continue to up the prices for fewer and fewer oz. Okay I know lets buy lettuce and other produce but watch the carrots will be shorter and forget the celery there will be only two stalks. I just kept shaking my head and two other shoppers said it is truly crazy at what we are seeing. It is extremely noticeable now. They either think we are just stupid or they don't give a damn. Probably the latter so I say strike. No business...they lose...(stock up on beans and other non perishables before you strike)...oh oh oh....it is getting scary out there.

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Arrow 171 replies Author Time Post
Reply Grocers They Think Us Stupid Perhaps (Original post)
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 OP
Still Sensible Jan 2013 #1
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #73
elleng Jan 2013 #2
FrodosPet Jan 2013 #139
elleng Jan 2013 #140
ChazII Jan 2013 #157
FrodosPet Jan 2013 #170
ChazII Jan 2013 #171
DJ13 Jan 2013 #3
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #28
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #30
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #53
Recursion Jan 2013 #56
Jackpine Radical Jan 2013 #152
maggiesfarmer Jan 2013 #57
Recursion Jan 2013 #62
maggiesfarmer Jan 2013 #70
Recursion Jan 2013 #71
maggiesfarmer Jan 2013 #74
Recursion Jan 2013 #75
Recursion Jan 2013 #64
Bay Boy Jan 2013 #87
bighart Jan 2013 #129
2pooped2pop Jan 2013 #4
ProdigalJunkMail Jan 2013 #40
2pooped2pop Jan 2013 #45
exboyfil Jan 2013 #63
2pooped2pop Jan 2013 #66
exboyfil Jan 2013 #69
nc4bo Jan 2013 #5
inanna Jan 2013 #6
southerncrone Jan 2013 #34
NickB79 Jan 2013 #160
inanna Jan 2013 #161
southerncrone Jan 2013 #164
inanna Jan 2013 #165
kittykitty Jan 2013 #168
DollarBillHines Jan 2013 #151
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #7
yawnmaster Jan 2013 #14
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #149
yawnmaster Jan 2013 #159
pscot Jan 2013 #148
2naSalit Jan 2013 #8
LiberalFighter Jan 2013 #24
Sheldon Cooper Jan 2013 #55
4_TN_TITANS Jan 2013 #154
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #78
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #79
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #80
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #82
bigtree Jan 2013 #86
SheilaT Jan 2013 #9
FSogol Jan 2013 #44
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #84
SheilaT Jan 2013 #127
frazzled Jan 2013 #158
mrsadm Jan 2013 #10
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #81
customerserviceguy Jan 2013 #130
Incitatus Jan 2013 #11
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #12
maggiesfarmer Jan 2013 #51
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #83
onyourleft Jan 2013 #13
2naSalit Jan 2013 #27
TroubleMan Jan 2013 #15
Snarkoleptic Jan 2013 #20
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #85
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Leslie Valley Jan 2013 #21
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ErikJ Jan 2013 #18
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tantric calvinist Jan 2013 #136
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Walk away Jan 2013 #54
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socialindependocrat Jan 2013 #19
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alarimer Jan 2013 #22
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Science Geek Jan 2013 #32
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #95
Kali Jan 2013 #29
southerncrone Jan 2013 #31
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #97
littlemissmartypants Jan 2013 #33
KurtNYC Jan 2013 #60
99Forever Jan 2013 #35
nc4bo Jan 2013 #38
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #42
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tama Jan 2013 #46
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #98
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #47
no_hypocrisy Jan 2013 #48
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phylny Jan 2013 #147
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bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #107
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Nay Jan 2013 #99
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bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #108
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #101
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #117
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #112
tjwash Jan 2013 #96
WinkyDink Jan 2013 #104
Codeine Jan 2013 #146
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #109
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #118
Gormy Cuss Jan 2013 #133
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #141
nolabels Jan 2013 #162
SoCalDem Jan 2013 #111
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #119
lonestarnot Jan 2013 #113
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #120
MADem Jan 2013 #114
L0oniX Jan 2013 #116
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #122
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beveeheart Jan 2013 #121
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FreeJoe Jan 2013 #126
Historic NY Jan 2013 #128
SoCalDem Jan 2013 #131
global1 Jan 2013 #132
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #144
Codeine Jan 2013 #134
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Codeine Jan 2013 #145
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bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #153
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #137
bkkyosemite Jan 2013 #143
Kalidurga Jan 2013 #156
seabeyond Jan 2013 #163

Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:20 PM

1. And many juice cans are 11.5 oz instead of 12

IMO, it isn't something to boycott over, just companies trying to maintain market share and profit margins as their costs go up. You obviously are paying attention--certainly more than most--and can continue to be a discerning shopper.

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Response to Still Sensible (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:28 AM

73. How do you know they are needing to maintain market share?

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:21 PM

2. They think we can't/won't do anything about it.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 03:40 PM

139. What about nationalizing the food industry?

If the food industry (agriculture, distribution, and retail) was nationalized, perhaps then prices and quantities produced can be based on scientifically determined human needs for healthy and environmentally sound food production instead of a need for profit.

Perhaps under socialism, the government can even eliminate cash sales for food. EVERYONE gets a WIC style card detailing how much rice, beans, fruits and vegetables that people can purchase every month. All the garbage food, all the nutritionally empty junk food, bleached flour deserts, etc. gone from the shelves, replaced by healthy whole grain snacks. Bye bye Little Debbie and Domino sugar, hello organic oat bran muffins.

This would also make it easier to eliminate meat and non-local-sourced products, thereby cutting down on greenhouse emissions.

As for farm workers, launch a WPA / CCC program to staff the farms and start eliminating all the fossil fuel powered farm equipment. Think how many jobs that can be created by eliminating one tractor or mechanized harvester.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #139)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 03:54 PM

140. MAYBE, under some sort of 'socialism,'

but rather difficult to attain, dontcha think? Imagine a U.S. government doing all that regulating and planning? Know what happened in USSR?

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #139)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:17 AM

157. I am a bit confused.

You want to do away with tractors and other farm vehicles and have people do the harvesting. planting, etc...

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Response to ChazII (Reply #157)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 08:15 AM

170. Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

People first. If one machine can steal the jobs of 10 workers, than we don't need the machines.

Automation and increased productivity are job killers.

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #170)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:54 AM

171. Thanks for your reply.

I thought that is want you meant.

The auto industry should look at replacing any robots that are doing work that people used to do.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:23 PM

3. What pisses me off about the smaller sizes is that

I doubt its accounted for in the government inflation numbers.

It cant be, as some products are now 25% smaller, but the price has "only" risen by 5%, but no where do we ever see any inflation numbers reflecting the lost product for the increase.

Wages and Social Security are stagnant, and every day prices rise.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:24 AM

28. +++ 1,000,000 +++ n/t

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:36 AM

30. I love smart people. n/t

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:41 AM

53. If you can document that,

you should send it to Obama or perhaps Biden...or both.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:48 AM

56. I'm not sure about juices, but meats are considered at price per ounce

So, even when meat package size shrink, the CPI catches the per-ounce cost increase. It would surprise me if juice were different.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #56)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:47 PM

152. Yes, but the missing meat is made up for by equivalently nutritious

pink slime.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:51 AM

57. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that CPI considers 'expenditure', not 'costs'

in CPI calculations from which SS payments are derived. If my understanding is correct (I don't claim to be an expert, this is based on < 10 mins of research), then CPI would reflect the smaller portion size, if consumers consequently buy more of the item. If consumers don't buy more, simply eat less, then it wouldn't show up.

if by "government inflation numbers" you mean something other than CPI then we're probably talking about something different.

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Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #57)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:06 AM

62. Here's BLS's description

http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_8

Each month, BLS data collectors called economic assistants visit or call thousands of retail stores, service establishments, rental units, and doctors' offices, all over the United States, to obtain information on the prices of the thousands of items used to track and measure price changes in the CPI. These economic assistants record the prices of about 80,000 items each month, representing a scientifically selected sample of the prices paid by consumers for goods and services purchased.

During each call or visit, the economic assistant collects price data on a specific good or service that was precisely defined during an earlier visit. If the selected item is available, the economic assistant records its price. If the selected item is no longer available, or if there have been changes in the quality or quantity (for example, eggs sold in packages of ten when they previously were sold by the dozen) of the good or service since the last time prices were collected, the economic assistant selects a new item or records the quality change in the current item.

The recorded information is sent to the national office of BLS, where commodity specialists who have detailed knowledge about the particular goods or services priced review the data. These specialists check the data for accuracy and consistency and make any necessary corrections or adjustments, which can range from an adjustment for a change in the size or quantity of a packaged item to more complex adjustments based upon statistical analysis of the value of an item's features or quality. Thus, commodity specialists strive to prevent changes in the quality of items from affecting the CPI's measurement of price change.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #62)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:21 AM

70. good info, thanks. I believe the diaries, reflecting actual expenditures, play a role also, but it

appears to be in how items are weighted in the CPI calculations. The cost models are based on price, not expenditure.

I learned something today!

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Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #70)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:22 AM

71. yw. One of my friends does that for BLS

He's probably the most wonkish person I know.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #71)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:28 AM

74. I guess if your handle is 'recursion' you're qualified to call someone wonkish

I'm a software engineer -- I take it you have a similar background?

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Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #74)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:29 AM

75. Back in the day. I'm a sysadmin now (nt)

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:08 AM

64. It's accounted for in CPI-U

It's not accounted for in CPI-U Less Food and Energy (at least, not for groceries) or the Fed's Core Inflation Rate. But CPI-U is what's used to calculate benefits.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:11 AM

87. Never thought about that...

...good point.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:46 PM

129. Food prices aren't part of the inflation numbers we see, they are left out.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:23 PM

4. It is very irritating

And mostly because they seem to think we are too stupid to notice. I hate the bubble bottoms. You know, where the bottom of the plastic bottle is concave so it looks bigger than it is. But the whole bottom is basically empty.

ANd I hate when the grocers purposely put a price label under the wrong item. This is so you will grab the wrong and higher priced item thinking it is the lower price. They know that most people won't notice when it rings up higher and most won't bother to return it for the difference. It is obviously not a mistake but done on purpose. It is far too wide of a problem to be just an error.

Another thing to watch out for is % off items. I remember years ago shopping at a JC Penny 25% off sale. But I had already calculated an approx cost and it did not come near it. They did not take off the correct percentage. I got mine fixed and made a stink about it. I was told it wan an error and they were correcting it. But when I came back two days later....same thing.

Most people only look to see that it was discounted and don't figure in their heads how much it should cost with the correct discount.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:56 AM

40. i watch the price of every item that goes across

and nicely enough, our grocery will make the item free if the price is mislabeled.

sP

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Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:58 AM

45. yes, sadly you gotta watch every item.

I am usually pretty good at standing there and watching and catching any errors. But last week the clerk was talking to me and she scanned a 10 dollar item in twice and I didn't catch it.

Now, I got to go all the way back and try to convince them I did not get two of it. I don't think they will believe me.

also got me one discounted cookies that rang up full price. Unfortunately someone threw my packaging away so I know I won't win that one.

No more talking to store clerk during check out. lol

That is cool that your store has that policy. Funny, I have jokingly tried to convince the clerks that that is the policy when it really isn't.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #45)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:06 AM

63. One grocer had no problems

replacing items that were moved from one cash register to another because of an issue, but had been left behind. I was a little surprised but since I spent over $100 and was looking to get about $8 of stuff replaced they did not give me any static.

I can usually estimate to a couple of dollars what the total bill should be. I also watch the ring up process. I finally review the bill after ring up (people think I am weird). Our primary grocery (employee owned) does a pretty good job. The other one mentioned above not so good.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #63)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:11 AM

66. I do the same thing

as far as watching, having an approx. in mind and then checking receipt afterwords. I think it irritates my hubby sometimes but it is so much easier to catch it when it happens than to have to go back and argue the case.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #66)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:16 AM

69. My wife does the bulk of the grocery shopping

and I don't think she ever checks the receipt. I probably should get off of DU more and do more grocery shopping myself.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:24 PM

5. I think there's another ounce or two missing from the coffee cans too.

Eventually we'll all get tired of trying to keep up and eat alot of rice and beans, raise our chickens, have backyard gardens and do lots of trading of goods and services with our friends and neighbors who are doing the same.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:30 PM

6. It's quickly getting to the point

where I can no longer afford to buy coffee.

If and when I do, it's used very sparingly.

Ridiculously over priced. And I think you are correct, there is less coffee in the can.

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Response to inanna (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:47 AM

34. Coffee use to be sold in pound (16 oz.) bags or cans.

Since the early '80's this has gradually shrunk to 11 & now 10.5 oz!!! That's 1/3 less.
Same w/canned fruits & vegetables. Many recipes from a few yrs ago will call for a 32 oz can of vegetables, which are now 28 oz.

Gotta watch 'em.

Another problem w/this type of marketing sneakiness is we are consuming more trash this way. To get the same amount of coffee, we must now buy 3 containers to trash/recycle as opposed to 2 for basically the same amount of product.

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Response to inanna (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:32 AM

160. Chicory root is often mixed with coffee as a substitute

I'm gonna look for some of this (or something similar) next time I go grocery shopping: http://www.walmart.com/ip/19276070?adid=22222222227015529187&wmlspartner=wlpa&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=&wl3=18153101710&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem

Premium Quality Arabic Coffe And Chicory.


I was planning on growing chicory in my garden anyway as a green manure and bee plant, so I plan on trying to roast the roots myself and see if I can't make something similar at home.

Unfortunately, it doesn't have caffeine, and caffeine-free coffee is the Piss of the Devil himself, a vile creation no man should willingly drink.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #160)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:43 AM

161. My Gramma used to buy a brand

of instant coffee that was blended with chicory - and though I can't remember the actual name of it, I have seen it on the shelves and it's definitely cheaper than most other kinds.

It didn't taste too bad. Haven't had it in a long time though. Might be time to try it again.

I like your idea of growing the chicory though...

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Response to inanna (Reply #161)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:18 PM

164. Was it Chockful O'nuts?

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Response to southerncrone (Reply #164)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:11 PM

165. Yeah!

That's the one.

Thanks for that.

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Response to inanna (Reply #161)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:17 PM

168. Luzianne Coffee?

It was a staple on supermarket shelves until 5-10 years ago. You can still buy it on-line.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:45 PM

151. And then there is Subway

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:58 PM

7. Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that

-- George Carlin

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:28 PM

14. Only in the case where the average is equal to the median. eom

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Response to yawnmaster (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:44 PM

149. Intelligence has limits where stupidity doesn't

I'm thinking more than half might be stupider than the average. At any rate it's too late to get Carlin to correct the quote.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #149)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:17 AM

159. I think the reverse. Intelligence has no limit, but stupidity limits at zero...

this would explain the average being above the median.
A few of higher intelligence are skewing the mean high!

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:41 PM

148. But the bulk of the population

is clustered around the mean.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 09:59 PM

8. But it's not the grocers

It's the Food Incs who are doing this. Not so much the grocers, at least the small franchised ones like in my tiny nearby town, (otherwise I have to go 100 miles one-way to shop). Yes they already gouge us but the suppliers are doing what the OP is complaining about. The grocers don't package all that stuff, but they either put it on their shelves for us or it's not available. So a boycott of the greatest offenders is a good start but you also have to realize that if you are going to buy food at the grocery store, there are only a few companies who actually produce all those items so you have to make a choice about what you are willing to buy, use and how you are going to send a message to those major Monsanto and Simplot types. That's the reality. They know they can get away with this, just like the oil companies and the price of gas.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:16 AM

24. You are right that the grocers are not the culprit.

It is the food producers that package their products that are at fault.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:44 AM

55. Thanks. Grocers have nothing to do with this.

Picketing a store won't change anything, and will hurt the grocer. Complain to the manufacturers.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:07 PM

154. Exactly. The grocers had nothing to do

with the package size changes. That's all the manufacturers.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:41 AM

78. But if we don't buy, it affects the whole chain...and perhaps

they will be a little more attentive to the consumer before they do the sneaky stuff they are doing. If it affects the Grocer it affects the Suppliers.. they all become aware of what we want. It's in our hands! This will cause me to buy less and less and so will many others as we cannot afford to buy two packages over one.

I may be nieve but I think if we yell they will listen or they don't get the profit margin. This has gone on for too long. The consumer is the one who buys they are the ones who should make the point.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:44 AM

79. Affecting the bottom of the chain (the Grocers where consumers affect) will affect the

top of the chain the suppliers.

It's time we start buying much less processed food. It will make a difference. We the consumers are the buyers who can definitely affect the Suppliers. It's time we did something about this cheating, scheming and sneakiness towards the comsumers.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:46 AM

80. To get to the Food Inc's the only way

for the consumer is to affect the Grocer...the chain will go up the ladder that way. We must do something. Sitting around will continue their theft.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #80)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:50 AM

82. Sorry. I was trying to reply to 3 posts and I replied to #8 only :(

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #80)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:07 AM

86. there are production costs and interests built into produce, dairy, and meat

which are more effectively addressed at the source. Farmers, for instance, always insist their items are undersold. In many instances, I'd agree. I think there are a whole load of folks in retail (like me) who would be negatively affected by some hit on 'grocers' before you ever got to the root of the price increases and the manipulation of portions and such by manufacturers and producers.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:07 PM

9. Unfortunately, one of the very most expensive ways to buy food

is to purchase individual portions. That someone else has fixed. It's a lot cheaper to make the pudding yourself, I'm sure. Maybe even from scratch and not a little box of powder which is going to contain all manner of chemicals and crud.

However, I have to say that I have not noticed the things I buy suddenly being smaller. Not the crackers I buy, nor whatever sauces I purchase. Haven't bought ice cream in forever, although I keep on thinking I might buy an ice cream maker for myself.

I bought loose carrots the other day, and they were so humongous that I actually rejected a couple of them because they were far larger than I could use.

I do sort of notice prices going up, but somehow it doesn't seem to be as bad for me as so many are complaining about.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:41 AM

44. I started making my own ice cream a couple of years ago.

Go for it, it is awesome and doesn't contain the preservatives that store bought contains.

I got one of these for a gift:
http://www.cuisinart.com/products/ice_cream/ice-21.html
and also have an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aide mixer.

I have the Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
and a couple other titles. I'll never go back to store bought.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:00 AM

84. They were a treat for my grandchildren who I watch and I do make it occasionally.

If you have not noticed perhaps you will now the next time you go shopping. Of course you would have to be aware of the size of the package before they cut it a third. If one has the money to shop and does not worry about it I think they would not notice. Or perhaps they do not buy a lot of processed food as that is where it is most obvious.

Those struggling to make ends meet absolutely notice as it's less for the table for more money which many live paycheck to paycheck or Social Security check to SS check.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #84)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:56 PM

127. I live on a very limited budget, especially my food budget.

I give myself a fixed sum of money at the beginning of every week to grocery shop. My concern is to buy enough food for the week, and it can be challenging. However, I simply must not be purchasing entire categories of food that are being down-sized. And yes, I buy as little processed foods as possible. I make a lot of stuff from scratch, especially things like cookies and cakes, as well as soups and stews and so on. Sometimes I'll hold back a few dollars a week for a while so that I can pay for a ham, which is good for quite a few meals, especially once I start making scallopped ham and potatoes or bean with ham soup. With dried beans.

For quite a while my one indulgence was carbonated water. I've stopped buying it because I can no longer squeeze it into my budget. I drink plain tap water instead.

I certainly did notice what happened to candy bars over 40 years ago, when they got smaller and more expensive.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:32 AM

158. Exactly ... I buy so few packaged foods, I haven't really noticed it

I purchase mostly meats, fish, vegetables and fruits, and staples like rice or pasta at the store. I bake myself, so don't often buy prepackaged sweets either (though we do pick up those orange and hazelnut Lindt chocolate bars and nurse them a square at a time!). I don't do this because of cost so much, but because I prefer to make the food myself: it tastes better and is healthier.

But don't fool yourself about ice cream being cheaper to make (if you make it well). I occasionally make ice cream myself, and the costs are not cheap: ten eggs, two cups each of heavy cream and whole milk, a half cup of honey. And that makes a quart at most. But it's delicious, especially when you steep lavender or rosemary or even just vanilla bean (it's really expensive!) in the simmering milk and cream.

What is cheaper is baked goods. I can bake a blueberry or apple pie for one-third of the cost of the store-bought kind, and it is a lot better! Learning to cook from scratch is a good skill to acquire, not just to save money but to eat better.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:15 PM

10. I have a grocery spreadsheet where

I figure the per-unit pricIng for items I buy frequently. Helps me comparison shoP. And yes the shrinking package sizing has been going on for years.

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Response to mrsadm (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:48 AM

81. Much more so in the last few months not years. It really shows in the last

6 months.

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Response to mrsadm (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:03 PM

130. Many, many years

I remember people complaining about this back in the most inflationary parts of the 60's and the 70's. Then, when things get slow, they come out with the new super-duper size, and the whole thing starts all over again.

I noticed bags of sugar shrinking from 5 lbs to 4, but they fit better in my cabinet.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:17 PM

11. Are they really gouging?

If their costs are going up because inflation or the speculators have moved into the commodities and driven up prices then they have only two options, increase package price, or decrease package size.

Many store brand generics are produced by name brand manufacturers, they just put the stores label on their product. That could explain why the store products are doing the same thing as name brands.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:18 PM

12. It's not the grocery stores, it's the food manufacturers.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:37 AM

51. good point. too many people eager to jump on the stakeholder they see, not think it through

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Response to maggiesfarmer (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:52 AM

83. Consumers cannot get to the top they have to affect the bottom to affect the top.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:26 PM

13. Did anyone mention...

...sugar? Four pounds now instead of five.

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Response to onyourleft (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:23 AM

27. That happened about fifteen years ago.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:44 PM

15. Mouseprint.org (which I was linked to on DU many, many years ago), has been tracking this forever.

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Response to Snarkoleptic (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:04 AM

85. Thank you for these links and the post above you I wasn't aware of them.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:44 PM

16. Toilet paper is absolutely the worst

Some brands there is only 20 sheets in the entire roll but they put a huge tube in the middle and roll it so loose to disguise the fact.

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Response to arikara (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:06 AM

21. And the rolls have shrunk from 4.5 to 4 in wide

 

And just try and find a Monkey Wards catalog for the outhouse anymore.

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Response to Leslie Valley (Reply #21)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:52 AM

36. Yes! The rolls no longer fit on my 15 yr old toilet paper holder!

The rolls fall off! They have gradually made them narrower, until just in the last 2 months they no long stay on my holder. Sneaky, sneaky.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:46 PM

17. Safeway owns the Domick's Finer Foods stores in the Chicago area.

Not only are they the priciest store in my area, but I've been burned a couple of times after purchasing items past their x-date.
My bad for not checking, but I never had this problem in the past. Fridays they have some spotty nice prices on five-dollar-Friday, but I steer clear other days of the week.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:46 PM

18. Americans are too fat anyway.

I shop at TJ's where cereal is $2 a box and most everything is reasonably priced because its their own product. And much of it organic. Around the corner is a Whole Foods where an organic apple is $3 bucks almost! Incredible difference. But Ritza crackers and Jello cups are carb-rich processed junk foods that pack on the pounds so its good the portions are reduced. One of America's biggest problems right now is obesity and related diabetes epidemic. So I cant feel sorry for you.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:53 AM

37. It's wonderful that the higher prices and lower quantity of products isn't a problem for you.

or your family, if you have one.

Many people don't have a TJ's, many only have supermarket brands, none of which is close to $2 a box. You are also fortunate that the products you buy are organic, again, many people must pay a premium for organic products or grow or make it themselves.

I'd have thought that with saving so much and getting better quality products, you'd have at least an ounce of empathy for other people who are not as fortunate as you to not only purchase cheaper than average products but also that the majority of it is organic.





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Response to nc4bo (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:23 AM

39. Sorry. No sympathy for obesity here

I cut out the expensive fattening processed foods and put some olive oil on my dishes instead. When I go to McD's occasionally for lunch I'll get a single dollar burger and a cup of coffee. Small portions and less carbs have kept me at my high school weight my whole life. Just common sense stuff. Americans are grossly overweight thanks to the corporate junk food racket.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:59 AM

41. wait... no sympathy for fat folk

and then you acknowledge that it isn't their fault but due to the corporate junk food racket... interesting.

sP

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Response to ProdigalJunkMail (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:31 AM

77. .

One track mind. Nothing else is important, nothing else matters.

mememememememememe

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:30 AM

76. A little judgemental, aren't you?

I am not overweight and I do eat healthy food, but it costs me quite a bit to eat healthily.

I shop at Whole Foods (I know, not popular, but it is my closest grocery store and I am on foot). I buy vegetables, fruit, lean meat and some dairy. Also I cook only w/ EVOO. I never eat at fast food stores.

However, I realize that it is difficult for most people to afford to eat like I can. The cheapest food is often the most fattening food and people should not be blamed because they can not afford expensive heatlhy food.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #76)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:32 AM

94. super judgmental people

 

are usually hollowed out husks on the inside.

they usually hate themselves more than anybody.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #76)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:15 PM

115. You shouldn't cook with EVOO. Use it only for

non-cooking applications, ie., salad dressing, bread dipping. For cooking, use extra light olive oil. It has a higher smoke temperature and besides keeping your kitchen less smokey, it has fewer breakdown products. It used to be less expensive than evoo, but now that people are learning to cook wiht it, it's just about expensive, but worth keeping both on hand, imho.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #115)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:05 PM

166. Thank you for the tip!

I usually just saute with it, but I will make a point to use extra light olive oil in the future. It is certainly much cheaper.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #115)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:44 PM

169. or, extra virgin coconut oil. n/t

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #76)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:28 PM

136. Try NOT using dairy and meat and you will save more money.

 

And it's healthier. Ain't that a blip?

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Response to tantric calvinist (Reply #136)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:08 PM

167. I'm trying to cut down, but it's hard.

I really have a terrible cheese addiction.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:19 AM

91. Sorry ErikJ my grandchildren and I are not overweight and

when a family is living paycheck to paycheck and the elderly living on a very fixed income it's very hard to live the way you have stated you do.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:27 PM

135. Okay, so you don't have a TJs...

 

So you could buy old-fashioned oatmeal, right? You could buy dried beans in a BAG and not a can, right? Ditto brown rice. You can buy fresh produce.

Anything with a bunch of crap ingredients in it is gonna be over-processed and thereby leave you HUNGRIER than before! Also more expensive.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:42 AM

54. They are building a TJs in my neighborhood. It should be openes next year...

and that will be great but...I make almost everything from scratch and basic ingredients have gone through the roof as well. Eggs, grains, vegetables and fruit are going up every day.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:13 AM

88. These pudding cups were a treat for my

grandchildren who eat healthy most of the time because I make sure they do. I haven't made (yes I can make it from the box as someone else mentioned) or bought pudding cups in 6 months. An occasional treat is fine with grandma. I just noticed the packaging of the other things I stated like crackers bottles etc. They are point blank staring at you now. I did not say I bought them.

We just got a TJ's just about 3 months ago. Live in a small town. Yesterday was my second visit to the store. I do see that there are things there cheaper as you have stated. Safeway is literally across the street from me and when I go to Safeway it is just for a few things. I usually purchase my main groceries at Food for Less which is much cheaper. I was just trying to say after shopping for 50 years I really notice a huge difference in packaging in the last 6 months and even more so in the last month or so.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #18)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:17 AM

90. And I am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:52 PM

19. A way to tell they're making too much money...

This is off the grocery example (yes I don't go with my wife to shop because I get so pissed at the prices)

Here's two ways to tell....

1) When a business tears down a perfectly good building and then puts up a new building just so they look like all the rest (all the burger joints and chains)

2) Think of every high rise in every major city as just a corporate middle finger saying to the general public - Look, we overcharge you people by soooo much that we can afford to put up tis massive high rise skyscraper and you're too stupid to complain!

I'd rather get my insurance from a local guy in a strip mall (even though he pays for the guy in the skyscraper).

We certainly need consumer protection!

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Response to socialindependocrat (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:29 AM

92. Yes we do!!!

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:10 AM

22. The Consumerist calls this the "grocery store shrink ray."

They change the packaging so you can't tell, but keep the price the same.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:32 AM

93. Well it's time for the comsumer ray to shrink the shrinkers ;-)

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:10 AM

23. Red Stripe Beer went from 12oz bottles to 11oz without mention

But on the positive side, I can't drink beer anymore do I'm saving a ton of cash.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:26 PM

155. Now I'm really pissed!!!

Shrinking beer? Those bastards!

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:21 AM

25. Watch produce take a sharp hike very soon

Climate change is affecting crops.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:21 AM

26. Several months ago Dole changed how they package their juice.

They use to be in the wax carton quart containers. Now in plastic. Instead of 64 oz it is now 59 oz.

In addition to the size reduction the shape makes it more difficult to hold while pouring with one hand. What a bunch of dumb asses for whoever designed the package.

Since they won't change I now buy the store brand.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:42 AM

32. Zest soap got smaller and tapered...

It used to be a big flat bar of soap with rounded edges, now the entire bar is smaller and curved and tapered like a banana and is impossible to hold onto in the shower -- the harder you grip it, the more likely it is to be propelled from your hand. I think it is on purpose, because each time you drop it in the water, it melts a bit.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:34 AM

95. Same with apple juice the container is ridiculous to hold and yes is smaller.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:35 AM

29. big ole box of cereal - maybe 12 x 14 inches -

about a quarter pound and half an inch thick

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:40 AM

31. It's been going on for decades.

They have just sped up the cycle where we now notice it.
They go up on price first, often followed by a special sale price or B1G1.
Next they reduce the size & keep the product at its price for the previously larger product.
Often they will redesign the package as a diversion, too.

Our best defense is to NOT buy these products & contact the companies (both store & producers) & tell they WHY. You'll probably receive a form letter & perhaps coupons, but they will get the message if enough of us do this. BUT, this takes time & action, most of us won't bother because of that.

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Response to southerncrone (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:38 AM

97. Yes I bought a Charmin package that said

these rolls are FREE.....but then you looked at the new packages next to this one and you saw that they were much smaller. Those free ones were the end of the bigger package that used to be the regular size. Very much noticeable now.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:47 AM

33. And yet...

Americans Throw Away Nearly Half Their Food, $165 Billion Annually, Study Says
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/food-waste-americans-throw-away-food-study_n_1819340.html

and


What are the environmental implications of all the food we throw away here in the United States?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=earth-talk-waste-land

What's up with that?

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:56 AM

60. the RETAILER is throwing much of that away

"unsold food is the biggest contributor"

" evidence that there has been a 50 percent jump in U.S. food waste since the 1970s. Unsold fruits and vegetables in grocery stores account for a big part of the wasted food."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/food-waste-americans-throw-away-food-study_n_1819340.html

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:51 AM

35. Got two words for you:

Aldi Foods

http://aldi.us/index_ENU_HTML.htm

Saves us a buttload. They aren't everywhere, but well worth a reasonable drive.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #35)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:00 AM

38. Yep and Save-A-Lot is another one.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:17 AM

42. Yes they do and they take advantange of it too

 


If one is not shopping by the price per quantity ($0.50 per oz, etc..) then you are really not shopping nor being an informed consumer.

Because of America's obsession with size, now many larger sized items cost MORE in the larger size then smaller size.

Sales is about the perception of getting a good deal, not actually getting one.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:36 AM

43. This has been going on for years.

Ever see a one pound can of coffee anymore.

What are you going to eat when you go on strike against a grocery? And the grocery doesn't do the packaging on these items.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:40 AM

46. Don't blame "grocers"

 

Small family business vegetable shops and farmer markets, which what the word means to me.

It's the big capital and profit logic that knows just how stupid consumers are.

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Response to tama (Reply #46)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:42 AM

98. Our farmers market sucks and we don't have a small family business vegetable shop here.

and I'm not a "stupid" consumer. It's time consumer's started to revolt against these crimes. Profit margins that are great is what they have hardship is what many consumers have.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:48 AM

47. It has always been this way. I'm used to it. It's the way it's done in the food biz.

It was that way in my mom's generation, and it is that way for my generation (I'm "mature"), and it will be that way for the younger generation.

It's not a big deal, esp considering we consume oversized portions to begin with.

Compared with some other countries, the choices in teh stores are mind boggling. As a person who feels compelled to be frugal, cost compare, and read labels to a fault....all the choices make deciding WHICH one to buy a truly anguishing experience for me. Sometimes I wish there were only five breads, five kinds of coffee, etc.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:56 AM

48. Your post is timely. Last week I taught unit price to a class of sixth graders

and used the grocery store as a model and even used the phrase, "They must think you're stupid."

I used orange juice as a model. First I conducted a survey: how many kids drank orange juice. Nearly 100%. Next, I drew on the board two vertical rectangles, equal in dimensions. On the left rectangle, I wrote 64 oz and on the right one, 59 oz.

I then wrote under each one $3.00.

Then I asked if both cartons were the same price. They cost the same amount of money. Same box.

I'm proud to tell you they *got it*. Hands shot in the air, eager to tell me that the right OJ carton cost more because the unit price changed and gave me the math to prove it.

I then charged them to look in their supermarkets when with their parents, to look at coffee, ice cream, OJ and ask about their original sizes and their reductions.

And the kids agreed that it would be more honest to keep the original sizes/weights and just raise the prices.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #48)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:49 AM

103. Wonderful and observant teacher you are. Thank you for what you do!

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:24 AM

49. On the plus side..

.. it might help curb obesity.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:26 AM

50. Either that, or raise the price.

It's disturbing, but food is costing more in general. I prefer actually being able to buy a smaller container, rather than not buying at all because it's too expensive.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:40 AM

52. My oatmeal canister never held all of a large sized cardboard canister. One of those

old Tupperware ones from a set. Last time I bought the big can of old fashioned oats, it all fit! Bastards!

L.A. Looks hair jell. I only have to buy a big one of those every few years. Last time, it was all bubbly. Tiny little bubbles all through it. Coincidence? I think not. The mixed it somehow to intentionally do that.

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Response to brewens (Reply #52)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:55 AM

59. Yes, it's everything.

Although some seem to only be concerned with portions in edible items. It's happening with nonfood items used everyday. Sometimes they just jack up the price, other times they lower the quantity or dilute the product.

Soap (laundry, bath, dish detergent (weaker), bleach, feminine hygiene products, diapers, toothbrushes.....

The bottom line is - your dollar is not going as far as it should, neither are our wages/income and to me, that's the most important takeaway from all of this. Even the small time farmers are hurting, those price hikes and less product quantity packaging bonus points aren't going to them either. It's not America's obesity problem. Not the fact Americans waste so much of what they buy. Although those things can be true, it's the war of the have's vs. the have nots that is most obvious.

The rich are getting richer, everyone else gets poorer.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #59)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:53 AM

105. You said it so well, thank you!

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #59)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 05:33 PM

147. For the past 6 months, I've made our own laundry powder.

It works *very* well:

2 cups finely grated soap (I use Fels Naphtha which you can find in the laundry aisle, and I grate it with my rotary cheese grater - grate it finely.)
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda, but washing soda)
1 cup borax

Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.

I use two tablespoons of it in my front loading machine. You can look online for different recipes of homemade laundry soap, and adjust according to the type of machine you have. My clothes come out clean and fresh, and it is very inexpensive.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:52 AM

58. Grocers aren't the ones doing this -- why blame them?

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #58)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:08 AM

65. They are part of it. Everything you buy in a grocery is $3 (on average)

They have target prices based on tons of consumer behavior data. They know how every price change will affect sales and profits. The personal discount cards (aka loyalty cards) track what you buy and trigger the coupons (for stuff you didn't buy) at the register.

Groceries subsidize the price of milk because it is a price that everyone remembers. Whatever the actual cost, they make milk just under $3 a gallon because the consumer thinks that is a good price and it creates a halo effect for other prices in the store. They can lose a little on milk because they make up for it elsewhere, the in-store bakery for example.

Groceries also decide what to shelve and what the range of options will be and most of them have a house brand which is made to their specifications by their major suppliers. Ice cream is a common item for grocers to offer in a house branded package and the ones in my area were right there with 1-1/2 quart packages (down from half gallon) when Friendly's and Breyer's cut theirs.

But I don't think it is greed so much as just trying to soften the relentless rise of prices as food supply is affected by drought, transportation cost and a rising population with less land and soil and less predictable weather.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #65)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:16 AM

68. No, the grocers are not part of this

They are not the ones changing container and serving sizes.

It is Food, Inc.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #68)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 03:11 PM

138. They have their own brands -- made and packaged to the Grocers specifications

Upthread there is praise for Trader Joe's and ALDI. Everything on the shelf at TJ's has their brand on it. They picked it. They design the packaging, the size, the price of each individual product to be part of their limited mix of products and targeted price points.

ALDI is large German grocery that owns Trader Joe's and an ALDI store is similar but much more cost conscious. TJ's and ALDI have only 1200 to 1400 SKUs, a very limited selection compared to your average Safeway which likely shelves more than 50,000 SKUs. ALDI/TJ's is an extreme example of grocers designing and pricing the products they offer but all the major grocery chains have some version of this (eg. Great Value, Central Market).

The consumer has influence also. Bacon is almost always 1 pound. Eggs in dozens. But we also accept pricing which ends in .99 (?)



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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #65)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:57 AM

107. We have tons of land. Just Monsanto and the Gang controlling our food supply!

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #58)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:55 AM

106. How do you get to the suppliers without not buying the food...

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #106)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:00 PM

110. You are attacking the wrong people

Why rail against and picket the grocers? Pointless and actually can hurt innocent people (grocery employees).

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:03 AM

61. a recipe can change

like chili
a can of this
2 cans of that

hate it

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:14 AM

67. Local KeyFood Supermarket ...

2 boneless and skinless chicken breast $4.99 a pound!!!!!! THATS STUPID! !!!

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 10:27 AM

72. This reminds me of Subways 11" "footlong"

It's not just grocers doing it.

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #72)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:48 AM

102. Except grocers aren't doing this

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:13 AM

89. It's not the grocery chains

The producers are doing this, and they are doing it for a good reason. People can only buy things with the money they have, and if their money doesn't stretch to an item, they simply don't buy it. So making the packages smaller is a way to continue selling more goods.

What you are seeing is the result of the declining real incomes that can be spent on food, not some vast conspiracy.

If the food producers could sell as much by putting items in larger containers, they would do so. But if the person looks at a juice container's price and cannot afford it, the only way to pick up that sale is to put less juice in a container so that the price will be cheaper, and the item marked "orange juice" on the consumer's shopping list gets checked off.

Further, people will cut on quantity more to buy stuff they want, and with smaller households, for many the larger containers common a generation ago make less sense now.

You do get less food for your money net, because the cost of the container/processing changes little with the decreased sizings, but producers will always package foods to maximize sales.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #89)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:44 AM

99. The psychology of smaller packaging/same price is deceptive, and so it should be illegal,

IMHO. This is where government needs to step in, because no one corporation will keep 1 lb. containers if all the other corps. are using them.

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Response to Nay (Reply #99)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:45 AM

100. There is an equivalent shift to larger packaging as well

It is a little cheaper to buy in bulk. Those who have the money will do so.

The reason for the smaller packaging is just to get the money of those who can't afford to buy the large containers. The government banning this isn't going to put more money in people's pockets, is it?

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Response to Nay (Reply #99)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:59 AM

108. Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to the word deceptive!

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #89)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:47 AM

101. I've noticed that the package is the exact same size but there's less product inside.

Coffee, oatmeal, cereal, raisins etc - once you see it, it becomes impossible to NOT see it. Anything in a container these days seems to be much less "full" when you open up a brand new box.

So you check the weight on the item and discover it actually IS 2 oz less. But you paid the same and never spent a lot of time examining the product carefully because the product is still being sold in the exact same size container.

Maddening.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #101)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:27 PM

117. Yes that too!

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #89)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:02 PM

112. The problem is the packages are smaller but the price is the same as for

the smaller package or higher in price. Some one here said deceptive and that is what it is.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:35 AM

96. I guess making stuff from scratch has become a lost art in this country.

Everybody loves their pre-packaged already made stuff now. It's cheaper and better for us to make meals from scratch.

To be honest with you, I don't think I have bought pre-made BBQ sauce in 20 years. Once you get used to the taste of real home cooking you can not go back to processed food.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:51 AM

104. You do know that "grocers" just sell? Their profit margin is miniscule.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #104)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:34 PM

146. Less than miniscule.

The margins after labor and overhead are so tiny as to be silly. It's honestly kind of depressing to do the quarterly paperwork anymore.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 11:59 AM

109. Smaller packages can mean less gets thrown away

Maybe they got feedback saying some people found the products were going off before they'd finished them.

I can't see a 'strike' (I guess you mean boycott) helping you, though. Why not do what a sensible shopper does, and look at the relative value of the products on offer? Choose the best value, given your own requirements, and ignore the others. If that's because they've made the package smaller without lowering the price, they'll see it in their sales. And you won't have to go hungry or subsist on beans, while you realise that very few people are joining your boycott.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #109)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:32 PM

118. My thoughts are of a boycott and yes thank you that is what I meant.

Also it is because I know what it will do for families trying to buy what they need and not having enough to buy two instead of one because of the drastic reduction in the food per unit and the price rising. My son is a single parent of two young children. It's tough enough without less food for more money. What they the suppliers are doing is just plain wrong but the grocer is involved in the play too.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #109)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:21 PM

133. Interesting theory, but food producers have shown a clear pattern of shrinking items when costs rise

which suggests that the motivation is profit, not waste reduction.

Their market research probably shows that consumers are more sensitive to shelf price increases than small quantity adjustments.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #133)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 03:55 PM

141. That's where they think we are stupid....not

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #109)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:26 AM

162. Smaller packages makes more garbage

The smaller sizes are more convenient for us single folks but they are a waste in many ways. The US food distribution system is so unhealthful, wasteful and labor intense that a change the other way is going to be inevitable

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:01 PM

111. "They" don't care what we think

"They" know that we will still buy what we need, and even if we notice the difference we will still buy it/pay more for it/or stop buying it.

Stores actually have LESS variety now that they once did, if you consider groups of foods..

What was once a few feet of shelf space on ONE aisle has now morphed into a whole row front-to-back of store..bottom -to-top of chips...and another one of sodas..and another one of candies..and another one of cookies..etc..


All the pricey "ends" are dominated by Frito-Lay/Pepsi/Coke/etc

Freezer space is almost entirely processed/prepped "tv-dinners", desserts & ice creams.

The stores are BIGGER, but the selection of real food is less than ever..no matter how the mess around with sizes of individual containers..

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #111)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:37 PM

119. Yes you are so right and said it better than I could. That is what is happening.!

Our food supply is not what the stores make it out to be. It is deceptive. Someone said we have much choice but in reality we do not. Monsanto and the gang want to sell their soy and corn. That is what is produced now the most in our Country. What happened to the food basket of CA...paved over so we could get cheaper and unhealthier product from overseas including China for our vegetables. Yes even China is suppling some of our food but you would never know it as it only says distributed by but if you call them they will say they don't know the location of where the food came from. Pathetic and I think deceptive and in some cases illegally against the consumer. If we just stand still they will wipe us out (so to speak).

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:03 PM

113. Are you sure it's the grocers and not CEO pay?

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #113)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:38 PM

120. They all work as a team but you do have a good point!

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:12 PM

114. It's like shopping in Europe.

They've had the "small size" thing down to a science for a long time....

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:16 PM

116. I'm no longer surprised at anything sociopath CEO's do. There's nothing you can do about it! n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #116)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:41 PM

122. If we have that thinking we are doomed. It's up to us the consumer the one that spends

the money to do something about it. If there were enough of us they would take notice. Even though Occupy were arrested and it's kind of quiet now we cannot say the 99% and not know what we are talking about.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #122)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:43 PM

123. LMAO ...yea they'd take notice and pay off some more politicians. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #123)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:45 PM

124. It's not funny but you do have a point.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:41 PM

121. This explains why I sometimes wonder

how it is that something my mother served for a family of 5 hardly serves a family of 4 today.

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Response to beveeheart (Reply #121)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:45 PM

125. It doesn't serve a family of four.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:54 PM

126. they do it to help you

They know their products are crap for you, so they are trying to get you to eat less.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:39 PM

128. 4 jello snacks for the price of 6....

I buy the 60 calorie ones...

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #128)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:06 PM

131. You can make your own for pennies ..in small containers

add some cottage cheese , celery, pineapple, bananas,nuts..whatever

When Jello came up with those snack-y things, I refused to buy them. With 3 boys, I would have gone broke..

I always bought store brand "jello" & made my own.. It takes very little time, and saves a BUNCH of money..

I used to buy the bagged cereals too.. Unless we got a coupon for a free box, they ate oatmeal, cream of wheat or bagged cereals (as an occasional treat)..

Sodas....never..we served unsweetened iced tea, water or cocoa
packaged cookies..rarely
fast foods...rarely
cakes..baked for them on their birthday
pies..thanksgiving & Xmas
My 3 sons learned to cook..and their wives thank me
They grew into active, healthy, athletic adults..no allergies..no diabetes (knock wood)..all are thin like their Dad


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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:16 PM

132. Watch Your Favorite Shampoo....

they've been putting less sudsing agent in it so you use more to get the same sudsing action. Use more of the shampoo. Run out sooner and you need to go out and buy another bottle.

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Response to global1 (Reply #132)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:11 PM

144. So deceitful and it should be regulated or we will be buying

an inch of shampoo in a very tiny bottle like in the motels you go to. And paying the same amount as we used to in the larger container. Disgusting.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:23 PM

134. Grocers? Buddy, that's what I do for a living.

I don't set sizes. I don't make the product, and I don't make the product smaller later on. In fact, the first I know about a smaller size can or jar is when I'm stocking the new stuff and see that it's fractionally smaller than the existing shelf stock.

The manufacturers and distributors sell us the product at the same price when they drop the size; there's no gouging on our part. We exist in a market category so ruthlessly competitive that we clear a few pennies on every dollar if we're lucky, and we're getting undercut by WalMart every day.

Don't blame us; we're lucky we manage to make payroll every week.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #134)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:05 PM

142. "that it's fractionally smaller than the existing shelf stock." I disagree it is not a small change.

I'm not blaming the workers I'm blaming the game they the Grocers play with the Suppliers. If the Grocers did not go along with the Suppliers the Suppliers would not have anyone to carry their product and the deceit on the public. Perhaps with no where to put their products because all Grocers said no as a group perhaps they would change their ways. I know it must be very competitive. Look at our politics and how money does the talking so I understand your view. But I feel they all work in unison they are all to blame. But as a consumer I look at where I'm affected and that is at my grocery store. The checkers totally agree with me and are consumers themselves and are disgusted as I am as they everyday see the drastic change in size. Btw the way I'm not a buddy I'm a Grandmother.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #142)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:29 PM

145. Grocers don't work as a group. The idea that we do is laughable.

We can't. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more cutthroat industry than grocery retail, and the notion that we do anything in unison is ridiculous. In my part of California there are an enormous number of choices for the grocery consumer, and I'm fighting for every customer possible.

There will always be businesses willing to carry the product whether it loses an ounce or a serving every few years or not, so if I tell my distributor (I get most grocery product from a large co-op that operates on the West Coast) I'm not going to carry their product if the manufacturer makes it smaller the only impact that will have is assuring that me, my other managers, my boxboys, and my cashiers become unemployed and a family-owned store in business since 1959 ceases to operate.

Stater Brothers, Ralph's, Von's, and Wallyworld and the new powerful Hispanic chains are all within a mile or so of my store -- if customers can't get baking powder or Cheerios or frozen pizzas at my store they'll get all of it at a competing store and we're left without jobs.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #145)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:34 PM

150. I'm not against you! But if ALL Grocers stuck together with the consumer

we would have a better chance at stopping the insanity. I will have to disagree with you on that one portion or an ounce that is not the case. You make it sound like what they are doing to the product is so small that you would not even notice. It is much more that is missing from the product at the same or a larger price. The competition is big but if you ALL as a group of Grocers go along with what is happening to the public in the end the Grocers along with the Suppliers will lose. What is happening to the public will eventually be that the public will have had enough of being pushed around. No one including me wants a business to fail. It is just that the consumer who is the reason why you and others have a store is being treated in a dishonest and deceitful way in all this. If your customers have a problem don't you address it? I'm sure you do because you know that is where your business comes from.

I do however wish you well with your Grocery store. This is just my opinion and my concern as a consumer and I wanted to see who else had something to say and you were one of them. I thank all of you for your contribution. Much of it was very informative indeed.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Reply #150)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:51 PM

153. And realistically I do understand that all Grocers would not want to do this.

Especially because of companies like Walmart taking over whole communities, closing our small businesses. I just wish it could happen that we had those that care about our business fight along with us. I know as one Grocer it is not feasible but if there ever comes a time when we are so fed up that we do boycott or get the government involved that you Grocers at that point stand up for the customer. It cannot continue this way for the average family trying to feed their children or the elderly trying to get by with enough to eat on a very fixed income. Most Americans buying dollar as you know has plumented over the years to nothing in buying power. What next when we cannot afford food.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 02:31 PM

137. I don't buy much in the way of processed foods.

It's aggravating enough that plain brown onions and russet potatoes are $1 a pound now. And that I can't seem to buy staples in larger bulk quantities anymore to save money.

We are all being forced to buy tiny amounts of stuff for overinflated prices.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #137)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 04:08 PM

143. That is true. This will get people to buy less in processed foods which is good

but with so many people working so many hours and raising children at the same time some times it is very hard to make from scratch when you feel like you just want to go to bed after working all day. And many can't afford all the ingredients. I bought just spices for pumpkin pie at Christmas and could not believe the cost in staples.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:33 PM

156. Here is my shopping list...

I am doing this off the top of my head, not literally. It will probably be incomplete, but you will get the gist of my method.

2 cartons of Old fashioned oatmeal

3 cans of black beans

3 cans of diced tomatoes

2 boxes of small pasta shells

1 box of spaghetti noodles

box of 8 soy burgers

box of 8 black bean burgers

2 boxes of 4 Chic'n patties

1 box of Chic'n

1 carton of almond milk (vanilla)

1 carton of soy milk (plain)

1 package of margarine

1 head of broccoli

1 head of califlower

1 bag of spinach

2 small bags of carrots

a huge bag of baby carrots

5 lb bag of red potatoes

darn forgot to get leeks

1 package of sun dried tomatoes

1 package of kaiser rolls

1 package of tortillas

I think that is most of it. I spent a little over 80 dollars and this will last about 2 weeks, a little longer, I will have some left overs. I am still transitioning, meaning I haven't cooked from scratch for most of my life, so I still rely on processed vegan burgers and things like that. But, most my meals are from scratch over 2/3. I will have a bowl of savory oatmeal for breakfast, make a pasta for lunch, and have soup and maybe a sandwich or potato on the side for dinner.

This all sort of started by accident. But, that is a long story. I look at it this way I am on a journey to try to make my diet as healthy as possible and that means no meat for me, that isn't for everyone, but people should eat less regardless. It means no eggs. I still eat some dairy, but less and less eventually I will consider myself vegan. It means having very little processed food. For one thing most processed food contains highly processed corn which is very bad and the other many contain dairy and other things I am trying to cut back on.

So, the upside is I feel a lot better, I am spending a whole lot less. I was spending about 20 dollars a day on food and this was pretty recently. Now, I am spending 4-6 dollars a day on food and that is going down the more I avoid processed food. When I am able to ween myself off of my soy burgers and Chic'n patties, I expect my grocery costs will go down. Oh yeah, I might be losing some weight, which I desperately need to do, but that was never my goal. I am trying to recover from an auto immune disorder and that is my first priority. The fact these other things are happening makes me happy, but a full recovery would make me happier even if I was still overweight and still paid 20 dollars a day for food. A lot of my autoimmune symptoms are getting better, but full recovery is still not certain.

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Response to bkkyosemite (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:51 AM

163. i made rum cake this xmas. recipe cake 18.5 oz. what i buy now? 16.5 oz. the whole recipe

that has been for years has to be adjusted for lesser amount. i was seeing it in the cakes, but now i have the numbers.

just charge a fuck nickel more.

mac and cheese? the noodles are now so small and thin in the box it is not the same product.

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