Eating less and paying more

Posted 4/17/24

Hubby does all of our grocery shopping, (thank you, Dave’s Marketplace!) I am not familiar with the cost of groceries, but news articles tout the fact that prices have increased by almost 6%, …

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Eating less and paying more


Hubby does all of our grocery shopping, (thank you, Dave’s Marketplace!) I am not familiar with the cost of groceries, but news articles tout the fact that prices have increased by almost 6%, although from Hubby’s complaints, that increase seems low.

My expert experience is the price increase of food at fast food restaurants, from which my quick lunch came many a days. It has been reported that the costs have risen 3 times the rate of inflation. At many fast food places, the prices have increased by 200%, but my weekly wages have only risen 5%.

At McDonalds, my unhealthy favorite would have been the Quarter Pounder meal. Ten years ago, the price was $5.99.  This week it is $11.99. Even the price of French fries increased from $1.59 to $3.79. A snack order would have been a large Diet Coke for only a dollar, and some fries for a little snack, but the higher costs cannot be justified. The additional drawback about McDonalds, or any fast food restaurant, is that it is eaten while driving the car. The result is an errant pickle or piece of onion decorating my pants, and ketchup stains on the front of my shirt.  The solution to both the price and the eating on the run is to slow down for lunch and eat in an actual restaurant. One of my current favorites includes getting the $10.99 luncheon meal at Applebees which includes a large hamburger with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion, a soda with unlimited refills, and a large pile of French fries, (half of which are brought home in a doggy bag to reheat in the air fryer later.) Sure, I have to leave a tip which adds to the price, but the seat at the table is comfy and I don’t have to worry about my food flying forward with inertia if I slam on my brakes at a red light. Plus, the extra fries become a bonus snack at night where I can eat them sitting on the couch watching television, trying not to let the ketchup drip.

The food buzzword,  “shrinkflation”, is where certain brands shrink the size of their goods while keeping the price the same, something I  experienced recently.   As usual, we purchased an insane amount of Girl Scout Cookies from our granddaughters, and the children and grandchildren of co-workers, and from the sweet girls selling them outside Walmart. I think of these as donations to a worthy cause that give the added benefit of a little treat to eat. This year, the word “little” aptly describes some of the boxes.  Imagine my surprise when a small box containing my large cookie order was delivered from my granddaughter in California.  I seemed to remember ordering 12 boxes to get her up to her goal, (where she would win a cute Mermaid pen that probably  cost 49 cents,) but there was no way that many boxes would fit in that small box, or would they?  Alas, the box sizes seem to be smaller, especially the thin mints.  While it IS possible that the same number of cookies are in the minuscule boxes and that they have just reduced the extraneous packaging, it does not seem to be geometrically possible. However, I should not complain because the purpose is to support the Girl Scouts, and I DO enjoy the little treat to eat.   

The shrinking ice cream containers had eluded me.  I would ask Hubby to buy some ice cream when he goes grocery shopping. Being non-observant for a while, I would delight when he came home with a half gallon of Cookie Dough or Black Cherry ice cream. However, it was startling to notice that the 2 quart containers had shrunk to 1.5 quarts for the same price.  Becoming more observant, I soon noticed that the amount of Fritos in a bag seemed to be less. Although the size of the bag remained the same, the amount decreased from 9.75 ounces to 9.25 for the same price. A Frito-Lay spokesperson explained “We took just a little bit out of the bag so you can keep enjoying your chips. “

Life goes on, including inflation. I will keep enjoying Girl Scout cookies, ice cream and Fritos, and maybe, just maybe, I will shrinkflate myself and lose weight in the process.


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