Is Your Budget Being Hit By Supermarket Downsizing?

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Businesses are in business to make as much money as they can. And one way that food processors and household goods manufacturers can make a little more money is to “downsize” what you are getting. In frugal living circles, downsizing is often thought of as a good thing. You want to downsize your lifestyle and your costs. However, when it comes to what you are buying at the store, downsizing is the antithesis of frugality.

Here are some ways that you might be experiencing downsizing when you go to the store:

  • Keep the same size package, but fill it a little less.
  • Indent the bottom of the package so there is less product.
  • Whip certain products up (such as spread, ice cream and yogurt) so that there is a little more air and less product.
  • Shrink the size of the package (and the amount inside).

Of course, even though you are getting less product, you are still paying the same amount. This means that the processor/manufacturer can make their product go farther without having to pay more.

What Can You Do About It?

Of course, it is difficult to know what to do when you are faced with downsizing. You still need to buy certain products. And, unfortunately, you will be paying the same amount (or more) for less. It’s inflation at its sneakiest. But there are some things you can do to ensure that you are still getting the best possible value for your money:

  • Check unit prices: The first thing you want to do is check the unit prices of different products. Most tags include a unit price for the ounce, or the gallon, or the sheet. You have to be careful, though; sometimes the unit prices are shared in the same units. You might find that one brand is expressed by the ounce, while another is expressed by the pint. Be sure you can convert to the same units (your phone, or a calculator, can usually help).
  • Don’t assume that bigger means better value: We are used to thinking that a big package is a better value. However, the cost per unit may not actually be better when you get a bigger package. I was surprised when I discovered that a smaller package of laundry detergent was actually more cost effective than the big size. As a result, I bought several smaller packages.
  • Look for sales: Sales on items tend to go in cycles. Track the cycles, and watch for sales. When possible, stock up during the sales so that you can get the best prices on staples.
  • Ask for coupons: Look online for coupons, but also ask the company. In some cases, the company or manufacturer will actually send you a coupon if you complain about the smaller sizes. This can be an excellent way to get a little bit better value for your money.

There is no way to completely inure your pocketbook to downszing. There will always be something that gets in the way of your attempts to save money. Living frugal is about paying attention, and doing your best to stretch your dollar as much as you can.

Bonus Tip:

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