Ho, Ho, Hmmm…

As the holiday season draws near, and the radio stations are playing Christmas music well before Thanksgiving and stores are already filled with holiday decorations and pre-Black Friday sales, I am thinking about… how to put this politely, um… poop.

It all started with Fig Newtons.

Now, don’t go there.

It was the package of Fig Newtons. It used to be that when you opened a new package of Newtons, you had a hard time getting the first one out because they were packed in so tightly. Inevitably, the first Newton (notice I’m not calling it a cookie, because… well, you know) came out mangled, but from that point on, you could get the others out. Recently, I noticed that the Newtons were a little loose, and I could get the first one out without a struggle. Then I realized that they were putting two to three fewer Newtons in the package, while keeping the package the same size.

Those sneaky buggers!

Because, of course we would notice either higher prices or smaller packaging, but, if they just sneakily neglect to put in those last two or three Newtons, who would notice?

But it didn’t stop at Newtons. I noticed the same thing was happening to my Oreos. And my Folger’s coffee. I know it’s not fashionable in this day of a coffee shop every block, but I like Folger’s better than the bitter expensive coffee. Anyway, the large can used to be 39 ounces of coffee. Now, it’s 33.6 ounces. Same-sized can, same price, but less coffee.

Which brings me back to my original topic.

Have you noticed how, even as the rolls of toilet paper have become fatter in circumference, they’re not as wide? It used to be that a roll of toilet paper pretty much filled the standard width of a toilet paper holder, but no longer. There’s all this extra room on either side of the roll.

I’m not anal about too many things (and yes, that was deliberate), but getting ripped off is one thing that gets my goat. It started with them making toilet paper rolls “softer” which was code for “we’re not winding them as tightly so they’re fluffier”, but that means you get 162 squares of toilet paper on a roll instead of 368. I first noticed this well over a year ago, and have been scrupulously reading the fine print on my packages of toilet paper when shopping, to make sure I get full rolls. But just recently, having noticed the extra room on the paper holder, I checked the fine print again. They’ve decreased the width by almost half an inch! The squares aren’t square any longer.

Goodness knows, I can get by with a couple fewer cookies in the package, and I can even accept a little bit less coffee in the container, but let’s face it, there are some tasks that simply require a minimal amount of material to do the job properly. What’s next, making us use wads of toilet ribbon? It’s an outrage!  

If this trend continues, my Christmas list might be looking a little different in future. And I’ll be keeping an eye on that bag of discarded Christmas wrapping paper…

How about you? Have you noticed a trend toward getting less for your money? Let us know what bothers you.





7 thoughts on “Ho, Ho, Hmmm…

  1. I’m particularly aware of the bogroll syndrome, Caren. My favourite type (really soft, quilted, suits the sensitive gut) has a cardboard core with an enormous diameter. Unfortunately, I won’t compromise on gentility in the tender-bits area, so Asda (son of Walmart) has me there. However, my revenge is to read every unit price on the shelf-edges. It’s amazing how often two 100g sizes are cheaper than the “economy” 200g! And the price per dishwasher tablet can vary from 11p to over 20p per, even with the attractive red blob in the middle. I’ll get those bastards. It’s bad enough having to buy from them in the first place.

    • I know, Suzanne! I frequently have my cell phone out while shopping, not for calling anyone (though I would like to call and complain), but to use the calculator function to check the per item price, and you’re right. Very often, the smaller package is the same per unit price as the larger “bargain” size. We’re conditioned to think they’re giving us a break on price if we buy big. Remember WALL-E? “Buy-N-Large” wasn’t it? We’re living it now!

  2. I’ve noticed the same thing with dog food. Bag looks the same and price is the same, but the poundage is less. And you are so right about the toilet paper. I started noticing how it is a tight fit against the wall, but sways freely from end to end.

    • Oh, Brandi, I’m going to have to pay closer attention to the dog food! I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel today – didn’t plan well enough in my attempts to be nowhere near stores yesterday or today! The dogs were NOT happy with their supper. I’m getting guilt-inducing canine stares!

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