Shrinking Package Sizes Screw up My Recipes

I am not an off-the-cuff cook. I’m not one to experiment, to add a dash of this and a pinch of that.

I need recipes. I never really cooked much more than fried matzoh and baked chicken until I got married. I don’t have a spohisticated palate, so deciding which tastes go well together or creating my own dishes just doesn’t happen. It’s never going to. I need someone to tell me exactly how much of each ingredient to add and, as I found out during one unfortunate baking disaster, in which order to add them together.

That was all fine and dandy, as there are plenty of recipes around. I love my Betty Crocker cookbook, though I do covet and hope to find an old copy of the Joy of Cooking. So I was humming along merrily, cooking to recipe, until things started getting complicated.

Why did things get complicated?

Because manufacturers are afraid to raise prices, so instead they’re screwing up my recipes.

Have you noticed it? Did you realize that your toilet paper has less sheets than it used to (no, I don’t cook with it!), or that your canned corn has fifteen ounces instead of sixteen?

Does your cereal now only last you twelve days instead of fourteen?

Manufacturers are shrinking the amount of food we get per package, and they’re certainly not reducing prices. They don’t want us to think about whether or not we still want to buy something now that the price has increased, like so many of us are doing now as we see grocery prices rise. They want us to just keep buying, and hope we don’t notice.

But I notice. You know, I don’t have one single recipe that calls for a 15 ounce can of corn. My corn casserole, a Thanksgiving (and Easter) staple, calls for a sixteen ounce can of creamed corn, and a sixteen ounce can of sweet corn. Sixteen, not fifteen. So, either I buy extra cans or my recipe suffers. I HATE that.

I hate that I have to think about making adjustments, no matter how minor, to my recipes. I hate thinking about whether adding something else will make it thick enough, or cake-like enough. I don’t know the answers!

So thanks, manufacturers. Thanks for screwing up my recipes. I’d rather pay a few cents more (well, I’d really rather not) so that my recipes don’t suffer.

Let’s organize a protest. Let’s all meet at the Del Monte offices and throw stewed tomatoes at them. From the fifteen ounce cans.

They’ll have one less ounce to clean up.


9 Responses to “Shrinking Package Sizes Screw up My Recipes”

  1. Patty Says:

    Ok this gave me a giggle! But you are right, I noticed it today when I went to get Natalie’s brownie mix for her school project, the mix that used to make 12 servings, now only makes 10, so we had to buy 2. greedy jerks

  2. lisa Says:

    But consider it this way, might it not actually create a beneficial flow on effect of portion control? If you just follow recipes on the cans themselves, they’ll have made all the adjustments for you, you won’t even notice….

    Ok, maybe not. It’s a pretty silly idea to be messing with things like that. It doesn’t appear to be happening over here, they just slug us with a higher grocery bill at the checkout.

  3. Funny about Money Says:

    Exactly so! This is a classic strategy to rip off consumers–it’s been going on for a long time. And there’s not much you can do about it. When manufacturers start using 15-ounce cans instead of one-pound cans, that’s all you can get.

    In the corn department: try substituting frozen corn and creaming it yourself.

    Lately, too, I’ve come to suspect my favorite grocery store is short-weighting the meat. When I buy a pound of bacon from the butcher counter it doesn’t last as long as a pound of packaged bacon cut in the same thickness. Years ago, when the local newspapers still had investigative journalists, an enterprise reporter invited a guy from Weights & Measures to accompany him to a bunch of stores in town; the chain that owns this store was found to have adjusted its scales to cheat customers. With no reporters left to look in to things like this, I guess they figure they can get away with it again.

  4. SavingDiva Says:

    “They’ll have one less ounce to clean up.” This last line made me laugh out loud!

    This is a valid point. Yogurt companies did it a few years ago. When questioned about the shrinking containers, they claimed that consumers preferred 6 oz (instead of 8oz). I WANT more yogurt!

  5. Sunday Morning Link Love ~ Post Birthday Edition | I've Paid For This Twice Already... Says:

    […] Are You Going To Be This Way…: Shrinking Package Sizes Screw Up My Recipes […]

  6. paulahewitt Says:

    Ive noticed the same thing here (Australia), except the prices seem to be rising as well as the packs getting smaller. Ill send you a tin of tomatoes to throw for me!

  7. BEN Says:

    Do any of you remember buying a pound of coffee? I am not sure how long ago that was but now you are lucky if you get 13 oz. in a can or package.

  8. Freezing Increased Food Costs « Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest of The Time I Know You? Says:

    […] the price of gas, food prices going up and the grocery shrink ray working overtime, buying in bulk when items are on sale is a great way to mitigate some of the […]

  9. Judy Says:

    i have been noticing this for awhile,but today really ticked me off,,i love canned tuna and usually have it every week, i usually buy it when its on sale $1 a can but lately it hasnt been….well today they had some brand name white tuna for 2 for $3 which i thought ,,thats not a deal! and then noticed the cans were 5 oz. instead of 6!! i was wondering why i wasnt getting two sandwiches out of one can and thought maybe it was just the bread slice size……ughhhh really ticks me off,,then i got to thinking about recipes and how they mention a certain size pkg and how thats going to screw up cooking plus if u buy more to compensate youll have leftover and end up throwing it out if u cant use it up……ranting in CT

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