Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Et tu, Girl Scouts?

I heard a few months ago that some food makers were putting less food in the same-size packages and charging the same price. Their goal is to off-set the rising cost of raw ingredients without raising prices. One of the sneakiest examples was peanut butter manufacturers increasing the "punt" (the dent in the bottom) of the jar so it holds less peanut butter but on the shelf it looks like the same jar you bought before. Sneaky, I say!

Within the last couple of days, Consumer Reports and NBC Nightly News reported again on these downsized products and also noted that consumers would rather pay more for the same amount of food than the same price for less.

During the same time, I heard that Girl Scouts have put fewer Thin Mints, Do-Si-Dos and Tagalongs in their boxes this year. Far be it from me to slam Girl Scouts seeing as how 80 or so of my lovely friends, relatives and associates have cooperated to buy more than 330 boxes from my daughter. I am just pointing out that no one is spared in this economy. (The sale is over so I cannot be accused of selling on the Internet.) Perhaps if I had known there were fewer in each box I could've told people "Buy an extra, 'cause there's fewer this year." Actually, honestly, before I saw the report about fewer cookies I was looking at the package info and thinking "$3.50 for 15 cookies/5.5 ounces (for the sugar-free chocolate chip kind). Yipe! That's steep! This is a pretty good racket. They have the corner on scarcity -- you can get them only once a year and there are few other brands that taste like them. They are good but come on." I am not the only one who had second thoughts. I had one person tell me no because, she said, her family in this economy has clamped down on discretionary spending.

Honestly I do not intend to slam on Girl Scouts so I will stop now. However, the economy as it affects my bread and butter, literally, has been on my mind for a year or more. I have weighed where to enter the debate and how much I want to tell about my own personal grocery bill. I'm still working on it. Watch for future posts.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I won free cheese!

This is not what I wanted my first post of the new year to be, but it's as good as any seeing as how if I wait till I have the motivation/inspiration/satisfaction/wherewithal to post something else, it may be Easter. I have to jump in somewhere.

Kraft Foods is running a Super Bowl promotion right now, giving away up to $15 in coupons for Kraft products you might serve at a bowl party, including cheese, crackers and peanuts. To enter, go to http://brands.kraftfoods.com/sogoodtogether/
The first time, you'll be asked for your name and address, but you'll be spared that on subsequent visits. You can enter up to four times a day through Feb. 2. I did it four times a day for the past three or four days and just today got a message that I was a winner and my coupons would come in 2-4 weeks. Given that the Super Bowl is only 8 days away, I probably wouldn't have them in time to shop for my party if I were having one (ridiculous as I don't even have cable or satellite.) But I am not one to refuse free cheese. Or crackers. Or peanuts. Good luck!
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