Stealth Marketing

It is no secret to anyone that is responsible for feeding their family that the price of everything just keeps going up.  A hurricane, flood, drought, or fire even in remote areas of the world always seems to have an impact on something that I eat. It’s just incomprehensible that, after forking over a hundred dollars, the clerk hands you one bag.  ONE BAG.  And, you even had to supply the bag.  Bummer.

But that, it seems, is just the tip of the iceberg.   As the price goes up, in many cases, the quantity goes down.  I call it stealth marketing.  It started when my wife would send me to the store with a list (so I wouldn’t forget anything), pinned to my shirt (so I wouldn’t lose it).  Often she will review a recipe and add the missing ingredients to the shopping list, in minute detail.  No independent thought required.  However, while looking for that 16 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, I could only find 14.5 oz cans. Further investigation revealed that you can’t buy a 16 oz can of anything anymore.  And, it didn’t end there.  The 5 lb. bag of sugar is now 4 lbs.  The old 16 oz. tin of coffee is now 11 or 12 ozs., depending on brand.  The bag of juice oranges that used to be a dozen is now 11. And that great deal I got on the 2 lb. bags of frozen shrimp turned out not to be quite so good when I realized they are now 1 1/2 lb. bags.  At least a dozen eggs is still a dozen eggs.  Probably because there is no additional profit to be had by raising smaller chickens and a carton on eleven would be pretty obvious.  However, don’t be surprised if today’s large is tomorrows jumbo.

And don’t even get me started on the paper goods.  It seems like we go through a lot of facial tissue, so I looked at the tissue count.  There was a time it was 100.  Our last box said 76.  And yes, their ‘two ply’ is not only smaller, but thinner. And, if they add perfume or lotion, they can get you for a few more cents.  Then there is the toilet tissue, probably the most diabolical of all the products.  I guess most of you know that suddenly, the roll is a lot narrower then the dispenser, by easily an inch or more.  But here is what I would find humorous if it weren’t so sad.  Besides narrowing the roll, they have also increased the girth of the cardboard tube. and decreased the size of the toilet sheets. And you wonder why I collect coupons.

So there you have it savvy shoppers.  Just leave your wallets and purses by the door and plunge right in.  This whole thing is making me cynical.  I was eating a White Castle slider the other day.  If you don’t know what they are, they are burgers about 1/4 inch thick by about 3 inches square and are served on a bun about the size of a Parker house roll.  I noted that every burger has 5 holes in it.  I wondered why so I looked it up.  It says they cook faster and don’t have to be flipped.  They sell over 500 million a year.  So just how much meat do you think they save over time by punching those little holes.  Just sayin:)

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
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3 Responses to Stealth Marketing

  1. splitspeak says:

    Wow that’s a lot of detail you are aware of. I would also become pretty cynical if I thought in great depth at how my money is worth less and less. (I also lose my shopping lists, so frustrating!)

    Love, Mehak


  2. Starralee says:

    I bring my own bags–and they’ve stopped giving the 3-cents credit for them, sheesh!


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