They’re At It Again


Back in August of last year I did a two-part series on grocery store tricks. Most of the tricks try to get you to buy more of an item than you want or can afford. Links here:   Tricks of the Trade 1  Tricks of the Trade 2 

But grocery stores are not the only ones playing that game. Manufactures also play tricks on us. I noted this in passing a few months ago. I did not do an entire blog on it. So you may have skipped over it, or, if you are like me, you may have forgotten it. This is how bad my memory is. I can’t even remember which post I mentioned it. Ha!

Anyway this latest trick has gotten so blatant that Consumer’s Report magazine has taken note.

They call it downsizing. That is giving the consumer less of the product without lowering the price. Or even worse, increasing the price.

From Consumer’s Report on-line:

Whether it’s ice cream, juice, or paper towels, many manufacturers are giving you less of what you want, and our new survey shows that you’re taking notice. Downsizing—charging the same price for a lighter package—isn’t new: In 1959 a Consumer Reports reader survey found that deceptive packaging was highest on a list of topics that should be more fully covered. But the troubled economy is speeding the shrinkage.

You can read the entire report,  The Lowdown on Downsized Products, by clicking the link. It is a very short article and worth the read.

Basically the report says consumers have noticed the down sizing. And it further notes that rising costs of products, transportation and energy cost increases play a part in the down sizing.

                                                                                                                         Another more in-depth report comes from the Washington D.C.  ABC TV affiliate, WJLA,  “Consumers Getting Less Food for the Same Prices.”

The WJLA article states:

In fact, packages are shrinking on aisle after aisle in grocery stores such as familiar products, like Skippy Peanut Butter. A standard 18 ounce jar of the peanut butter is being replaced by a very similar looking, but smaller, 16.3 ounce jar, but the price isn’t getting smaller.

The WJLA piece shows actual package sizes, and the redesigned packaging to trick you. But best of all WJLA has direct links to consumer sites that track these things. There is also a video of their newscast at this site.

From WJLA again:

There are more shrinking packages than we could fit in our report, and there are two great web resources tracking these changes that are worth visiting.

You will definitely want to check this article out. Here is the link again: WJLA

So be careful out there. Food costs are definitely rising. Make sure you get the best bargain.

Featured Recipe           Classic Cole Slaw

Continuing with the salad and vegetable theme this week today’s recipe is a real treat.

For those of you counting your calories this is a lite Cole Slaw since I do not use too much mayonnaise. Some of you may remember it is my least favorite condiment. This Cole Salw has a sweet-sour thing going since I also use both a bit of sugar with some vinegar. And the onion adds a bit of spice to the slaw.

If you have never made your own Cole Slaw before  you do not know what you are missing. Fresh made Cole Slaw is just so delicious compared to most restaurant slaw and certainly from store bought. It makes my mouth water just typi……………………..

…………………………….OK. Sorry. I am back. I just had to get a couple forkfuls of slaw from the fridge. HAD TO. Could not control myself!

……… the words Cole Slaw.

The difference in taste is like night and day, or black and white, or sunshine Vs snow.  Once you try it I am betting you never eat anything but your own ever ever ever ever EVER again in your entire life.

Now you can get those pre-shredded packages at the store. They are convenient. And when pressed for time, well I really do understand. Been there. Done that. But the cabbage will be three or four times  more expensive. You can see a cost analysis in the Cost segement below.

Plus you don’t know how long that packaged cabbage has sat around in a warehouse or the store. And of course you must deal with all the preservatives to keep it looking some what like cabbage while it sits for moths at a time before you buy it.

Not that I am putting any pressure on you to buy and shred you own cabbage or anything like that. I wouldn’t do that. Would I?

But pretty please. Won’t you humor me just this one time and at least promise yourself that some day you will actually make this recipe from scratch.

You won’t regret it. I promise.

This is what you will need for 6-8 people:

1 medium size head cabbage

3 tablespoons chopped sweet or red onion

1-2 carrots shredded

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

Salt & pepper to taste


NOTE: I used left over carrots and onion from my fridge.

Here is what you do:

Shred cabbage. I do this by cutting the cabbage in half, then into fourths, then into eights. It is just easier for me to cut smaller pieces then bigger.

I also core the cabbage in these smaller sizes. Much easier. Whew!!! 

I also remove the heavy veins from the cabbage as I cut it.

I like long slivers of cabbage for my slaw as opposed to square pieces. But you will notice I have a mixture. That is because I am not a professional cook, and therefore, I am also not a professional cutter.

But I think it makes the slaw look more interesting and not so boring. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!!!!

Throw it all into a bowl to make room on the cutting board. Continue until all the cabbage is shredded. Only takes about 15 minutes.

Peel the carrot and slice them any way you can. I used a fruit peeler. But just slice the things any way you can or want.

Then dice the onion.

Now comes the mixing of all these vegetables. I like to use my hands to do this. So I will need a bigger container then the bowl I used to hold the cabbage, unless I want everything all over the counter and the floor. (I don’t.) So I transferred iall the veggies to a large roasting pan with plenty of room to mix all the veggies up really well.

Then add all the dressing ingredients most of which you can’t see here because I started to mix the dressing ingredients into the cabbage before I snapped a picture. In the inimitable words of Steve Martin: I-F-O-R-G-O-T!!!

If you look closley though you can see just a bit of the mayo in the upper right hand corner.

In any event mix the dressing ingredients into the cabbage really well with a spatula.  When done check for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

Then eat and eat and eat and eat.

The Super Bowl Connection

By the way, this Cole Slaw goes very well with chicken wings. And chicken wings are a perfect dish for watching the Super Bowl. I will soon be sharing some perfect chicken wings recipes with you just in time for the Super Bowl.

In fact, both yesterday’s salad, Simple Romaine Salad, and this Cole Slaw are perfect for your Super Bowl buffet.

Bon Appetit!!!!


1 medium size head cabbage            $0.80

3 tablespoons chopped onion            $0.25

Shredded carrots                             $0.22

¼ cup mayonnaise                          $0.22

2 tablespoons canola oil                   $0.09

1 tablespoon cider vinegar               $0.04

2 teaspoons sugar                          $0.02

Salt & pepper to taste

Total cost = $1.64
Cost per person (6) = $0.27

The bag of pre-cut cabbage I saw at the store was $1.50, and you would have needed 4-5 bags to make the same amount of Cole Slaw I was able to make with 1 medium head of cabbage and shredding it up myself.

Quote of the Day

Never let life’s hardships disturb you; no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages.


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4 comments to They’re At It Again

  • .27 per person. Now that is a bargain. Looking forward to your chicken wings. I will be doing similar soon. I have a recipe that might be a little spicy for your many taste buds, so I am curious where you will go. It came from a dear friend in Buffalo, NY.

    Costs are going up everywhere. It’s a symptom of a larger problem, but if consumers are diligent, not only can we save a buck here and there, it puts pressure on companies to be smart with their products.

    Bloggers can wield a mighty sword.

    Very good info you shared.

    Cheers! Scott

  • Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I awarded you one of the Stylish Blogger Awards. It’s just a little way to say that I think your blog is great. If you’d like to participate, please go to: Calamity Kate’s Kitchen


  • Love your blog will be back! I Love homemade coleslaw ~ Thanks for the Recipe 🙂

  • […] Serve with Simple Romaine Salad or Classic Cole Slaw. […]