We’re used to our favorite cereal costing $3.50 per box, so when the price goes up to $4.00 it’s something we notice. But do we notice when the box contains only 15 ounces instead of the 18 ounces it used to hold? From fewer toilet paper sheets to less toothpaste ounces, consumers are reporting “shrinkflation”—reduced product amounts for regular purchases, due to inflation.
Because we pay more attention to price when we shop, we don’t notice subtle changes in packaging or read details about the size or weight of a product. During periods of high inflation, companies may downsize products so they can keep prices unchanged, resulting in shrinkflation.
Unit pricing is a way to compare similar products to find the best value. Check out Iowa State University’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. app or webpage, spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu, for a unit pricing calculator!
Contributed by Suzanne Bartholomae
Inflation has hit America’s dinner table. Consumers are paying 11.9% more on groceries now than last year at this time. Supply chain shortages, bottlenecks in shipping and transportation, and a tight labor pool have all led to rising food prices.
Inflation means the buying power of your money is decreasing. To fight inflation, build an inflation fighter budget with The Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm, or use this cutting expenses tool, files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_your-money-your-goals_cutting-expenses_tool.pdf. Inflation won’t last forever; in the meantime, be proactive in your fight against rising food costs with these tips.
- Make a food budget using the budget tips from Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/.
- Make a grocery list before you go to the store.
- Plan menus—preferably for an entire week, but even a few days is recommended.
- Compare prices between stores; changing grocers may save money.
- Use coupons, but only on products you already use.
- Shop sale items and substitute ingredients you find on sale.