Cutting Back


Yesterday morning I poured myself a bowl of raisin bran flakes.  There would be nothing unusual about that except that there were only a total of three raisins in the whole bowl.  Normally there are multiple raisins per spoonful.  Today I found that there was not a single raisin in a full bowl of flakes.  Fortunately I had a banana handy to slice into the bowl to help out the thick flakes.  Yes, thick flakes.  The bargain brand.  I’ve purchased this off brand before and not had quite such a disappointing experience.  Why call it raisin bran if is more like, flakes with the possibility of an occasional raisin.  Okay, I get it, everyone is cutting back to counter the increasing cost of EVERYTHING!

On television recently I’ve seen an advertisement of a well-known brand of toilet paper showing an avalanche of the little cardboard rolls that the toilet paper is wrapped around, cascading down a hill.  They are now eliminating the cardboard rolls.

First all the toilet paper brands must have had an industry wide agreement to make the sheets narrower, so there has been a half inch of the tissue paper trimmed on either side of the roll, all brands, so they decreased their costs that way, now, no cardboard rolls in the center.   I have been tossing the cardboard rolls into the paper/cardboard recycle bin, but I guess that will soon be history.

In the last year I have noticed that what I am spending on groceries every week now exceeds what I spent weekly for three of us a decade and a half ago, by one third.  Buying much less meat, and feeding just myself, costs about one third more than it cost me to feed three of us in the 1980s and 1990s. That is not an accountant’s exact math, it is just my casual remembering how it was compared with how it is now.

Many people I’ve talked with about this level of inflation agree, that in some cases, the prices are reined in by simply by the contents of a purchase being smaller, lighter, fewer, etc.  Less  for at least the same price if not higher is what we are getting.


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