Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hidden Price Increase

When it comes to cruising and flying its easy to see the price increases. They pretty much happen one of two ways. Either the price is just higher which is easy to notice, or as we have all been seeing recently, they tack on these fees that may not affect everyone but still is an increase. But have you noticed the hidden price increases that have been happening closer to home when you are at the grocery store? Next time you are are at the the market looking at some of your favorite packaged goods, take a look at the size. you may notice that the sizes have been shrinking while the prices have not. In essence you have just witnessed a price increase. The new size is on the package, so the company that made it has not really hid it from you but its not like it was widely advertised that there was a change.

Where I first noticed this was in the ice cream isle. Everyone is familiar with the traditional half gallon containers. While they have become easier to work with over the years with lids rather than the flip open boxes, they have still always been half gallon size, until now. I picked up a container of my favorite brand and while it did seem a little different I did not pay to much attention at first. But after getting home and opening the ice cream I noticed that I did not get as many servings as I am used to. So I looked at the box and its now 1.5 quarts. That's half a quart less than I am used to or 25% less ice cream. So being the price was not any lower than before I basically just payed more for my ice cream.

And this is happening in other products as well. Orange juice and large bags of potato chips are also showing up with less. So far I have only noticed this in large quantity units and not single serving sizes although there are some single serving size items that I could benefit from having less in but that's another story. So next time you are grocery shopping, if you know the quantity or size that you are used to getting on items you purchase, pay attention and see if you are not getting what you thought.

More about this can be found over and MSN's Money Central.

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