Americans May Be Expanding, But Food Is Shrinking


What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Pepsi mini cans are only the tip of the iceberg. Find out which companies are shrinking their products and learn what to do about it.

With Cuba Gooding Jr. yelling “Show me the mini!” Pepsi is undoubtedly hoping you’ll overlook the fact its new 7.5-ounce cans sell for almost as much as 12-ounce cans in much of the country. It’s just the latest – and perhaps most flagrant – attempt by a company to convince you less is more.

According to government figures, nearly 70 percent of us are overweight or obese. But it’s apparent we’re not getting bigger because we’re downing super-sized bags of chips. No, many bags of chips have actually gotten smaller in years past. So too have cookies, crackers, peanut butter and a host of other products you buy every week.

Watch the video below to see Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson reveal the sneaky way companies are padding their bottom line. Then keep reading to learn more about which products are getting smaller and how you can fight back.

The incredible shrinking product packages

Mouse Print calls it downsizing, while Consumerist describes it as a grocery shrink ray. Whatever you call it, package sizes have definitely taken a dip in recent years. Here’s a sampling of products that have dropped their size but not their prices, according to those websites.

Tide Liquid Detergent

  • Old size — 100 ounces.
  • New size — 92 ounces.

Charmin Ultra Soft

  • Old size — 176 sheets (4.27 inches wide per sheet).
  • New size — 164 sheets (3.92 inches wide per sheet).

Pantene Conditioner

  • Old size — 22.8 ounces.
  • New size — 21.1 ounces.

Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh

  • Old size — 9 ounces.
  • New size — 8 ounces.

Chobani Yogurt

  • Old size — 6 ounces.
  • New size — 5.3 ounces.

You can find more examples at Mouse Print and Consumerist. Ritz crackers, Jif peanut butter and Ocean Spray juice are among the other offenders.

Why are products getting smaller? Well, companies have all sorts of justifications. Charmin told Mouse Print it reduced the sheet width on its toilet paper in order to add enhancements such as comfort cushions and to make it easier for the company’s “most demanding users” to flush.

Meanwhile, Chobani told The Boston Globe it only had customers’ best interests at heart. The company was apparently concerned you would be confused trying to compare the nutritional information on its 6-ounce containers with the information listed on its competitors’ smaller packages. Ah, how sweet of them to care.

7 ways to get your money’s worth

It’s a stark reality that product packages will likely continue to get smaller. Regardless of how the companies try to spin it, that’s not good news for you.

Here are seven ways to fight back:

1. Watch out for redesigned packaging

Your favorite brand’s new packaging may look snazzy, but it may also hide a reduced size. When you come across a new design stocked next to an older version of the same product, compare the package size. If the new design is smaller, you may want to stock up on the older packaging while you can.

2. Shop by unit price

Another way to ensure you’re getting the best value is to always shop by unit price rather than package price. That way you don’t get tripped up by comparing the price of a 10-ounce bag of chips with a 13-ounce one.

Most grocery stores list the unit price on shelf tags, and some states even require that this information be displayed. Of course, if your store doesn’t show the per-ounce or per-pound price, you could always pull out a calculator and do the math yourself.

3. Track prices

For the super-organized out there, you could use a price book to watch for changing product sizes and prices. In the olden days, savvy shoppers would use a notebook to track per-unit prices on their favorite purchases to help them identify pricing trends and to find the best deal. Today, you can use apps like ValueTracker and Sharky Shopping to do the same thing.

4. Buy on sale and use a coupon

With so many products on a downward slide, it seems like paying more for less is the wave of the future. However, you can keep your costs down by buying items only when they are on sale. For double savings, try to combine a coupon with a sale whenever possible.

Shoppers can use subscription sites such as SavingsAngel.com and TheGroceryGame.com to match coupons to sales, and there are literally hundreds of blogs posting coupon matchups for free each week.

5. Don’t be brand-loyal

Brand loyalty doesn’t help when it comes to getting the best value. Rather than sticking with the rapidly shrinking brand names, take a gander at the private-label items on the shelves. They may be available in a larger size and be every bit as tasty or effective as the big brands.

6. Look for older packages

Once a brand downsizes, that doesn’t mean all the larger packages instantly disappear. They may be sold in dollar stores, warehouse stores or outlet shops. Keep your eyes peeled for packages with an older-style label, which may indicate a larger size. Then, depending on the shelf life of the product, buy extras for future use.

7. Write to the manufacturer

Finally, let the company know you’ve noticed its sneaky change and are unhappy about it. Of course, they’re not going to add back the missing ounces just for you, but you may get some short-term reward for your effort.

Many companies send out coupons and even samples to complaining customers. In the long run, manufacturers might think twice about shrinking their products if they know enough shoppers are paying attention.

Have you noticed shrinking food at your local grocery store? Share your story in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 8 Great Travel Freebies You Can Get in 2017

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,018 more deals!