Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tweaking Sizes - Just Another Way To Deceive Shoppers

Remember my previous post about stores being deceptive?  Well, now it looks like the manufacturers are getting into the game too. 

From the NY Times Article titled Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags:   
 With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.

For Lisa Stauber, stretching her budget to feed her nine children in Houston often requires careful monitoring at the store. Recently, when she cooked her usual three boxes of pasta for a big family dinner, she was surprised by a smaller yield, and she began to suspect something was up.

“Whole wheat pasta had gone from 16 ounces to 13.25 ounces,” she said. “I bought three boxes and it wasn’t enough — that was a little embarrassing. I bought the same amount I always buy, I just didn’t realize it, because who reads the sizes all the time?”
Of course, eating a Paleo diet limits our vulnerability to these sorts of marketing schemes, thanks to limiting our intake of processed foods, but it is still something to watch when you're shopping.  Your normal 5 lb bag of chicken from Costco may quietly change to a 4.5 lb bag with no difference in price.  Or that 3 lb bag of prepackaged apples that you always buy the kids might drop to 2 lbs.

It's important to not just look at the size of the package but also the price.  I find myself doing a lot of "price per ounce" or "price for each" sort of calculations while standing in the grocery aisle, so I can compare apples to apples (pun not intended) and ensure that I'm getting the best price.  The calculator on your cell phone is the greatest tool ever for this or you can find apps for your iphone or android that can help you calculate and track these prices.

Remember, it's your job to protect yourself and your wallet from these sorts of "deceptive pricing" methods.  It only take a few seconds to stop and think - "Is this the best price I can get?"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.