Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Tales of Shrinkage … from the Other Side?

The topic of product shrinkage has long been popular with my readers, and it’s still the topic I receive the most mail about. Overwhelmingly, people state that they’d rather see the price of an item increase a bit versus seeing the product’s size decrease. And, most recently, I’ve received a few notes from readers who actually like product shrinkage:

Hi Jill,

I like the downsizing of products. Ironically, I have three kids, two of whom are teen-agers, and all of which are taller than me *sigh*. Because I tend to cook many small batches of multiple items, instead of really big batches of one or two things, I don’t need warehouse-sized packs of perishables.

I like downsizing because often, there’s too much product to use at once. Then it goes bad, and then I feel bad, and wasteful. I’d rather buy 2 of something because, in effect, I have a longer time to use them.

The only time I don’t like downsizing is for ingredients like chocolate chips. When used as ingredients, chocolate chips should be measured by the bag and not by the cup.

Elizabeth C.”


“Dear Jill,

I like the 8-ounce cans of soda better than 12-ounce cans. Companies are trying to make us healthier and that I do appreciate. So should you. But the one thing I am frustrated with is that the 8-ounce cans cost more than 12-ounce cans. Now I pay more to drink fewer ounces.

James L.”


“Dear Jill,

I’ve seen some of my favorite candies dropping ounces from the bag. Now I love candy but I have come to think this is a good thing for me, as I have to stop eating when the bag is empty. It’s kind of like those ‘100 calorie packs’ of crackers. We all know the boxes of crackers cost less to buy but having the bag be empty tells me it is time to stop eating.

Ace K.”


“Dear Jill,

You’re irresponsible for not seeing health benefits to smaller products. We could all stand to eat less. If I make a cake and it’s smaller than the one I would have made before, my whole family benefits.

Hillary S.”

I have to respectfully disagree with some of the comments here. First, with regard to having too much product to use at once, I can’t say that this has ever been an issue for our family (yet.) When I think about items that I’ve seen downsized over the past few years, boxes of pasta come to mind. A pound of pasta used to feed my family of five, but with the 12-ounce boxes, I find myself opening a second box and tossing a handful from that box into the pot so that I’ll have the same quantity I used to put on the table.

I, too, have seen the 8-ounce soda cans, and while they’re very cute, ounce for ounce, they’re not the least expensive ways to buy beverages. I’ve seen eight packs of 8-ounce cans sell for more than $3, while 12-packs of 12-ounce cans often go on sale for $2.50 in my area. You know me – I’m always concerned with the bottom-line, ounce-per-ounce end cost of an item.

I’ve also never viewed product downsizing as being “healthier” for my family – we’re responsible about our eating habits and certainly aren’t relying on product manufacturers to determine how much of something we consume. Perhaps it’s just me, but I prefer to have our family determine the quantities of foods we’re eating.

Smart Living Tip: Several readers wrote over the past month to point out that cooking from scratch, versus consuming pre-packed foods, allows you to create meals, baked goods and other foods that are the right size for your family’s needs. That said … the downsizing of raw ingredients (bags of sugar, flour and the like) still affects those who cook most of their meals from scratch.

Next week, we’ll continue talking shrinkage, as we revisit the topic of shrinking bathroom tissue.

© CTW Features

Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, Email your own couponing victories and questions to



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