It’s been happening for a while now — grocery-store prices haven’t been going down, but the size of some items certainly has been. Whoever came up with that old adage “less is more” couldn’t be more wrong in this situation.
“Downsizing” has become the norm, and it may be robbing us with every item we buy. A little less milk in your carton. Fewer millilitres of juice in your jug. A tiny downsize to your detergent. These small, subtle changes are happening throughout your grocery store without you even knowing.
“Companies often blame downsizing on rising labour and ingredient costs, but it’s a way for them to raise prices without being noticed,” Tod Marks of Consumer Reports said.
So what can you do to stop this trend, or at least adapt to it? Aside from being hyper-vigilant about the size of your product (and what it used to be), you can always compare the unit price when available. The unit price tells you the cost of one unit of measure of an item, and is often used to contrast the price of two or more brands of the same item. For example:
Did you get that? If you didn’t, it’s essentially figuring out how much you’re paying per unit or 100 grams.
While unit pricing is mandatory in the U.S., it’s voluntary in Canada (except in Quebec), so you won’t see it at every store, but some businesses are kind enough to implement it for the conscientious shopper. And although there may be a bit of of math involved, quickly calculating it can really help your bank account if you master the skill.
For more tips and observations on the downsizing trend, watch the video, above.