Saturday Thoughts...Shrinkflation and Inflation

Shrinkflation and Inflation…two terms we may become more familiar with in the coming months.  It seems like packages have been getting smaller for a long time…note evaporated milk, snack foods, ice cream (you can't buy a half gallon anymore), frozen vegetables (one of our local store brands has recently dropped frozen vegetable packages from 16 ounces to 12 ounces…the price is the same).  Meat and produce have escalated in price.  Myrna's favorite store-brand bacon has gone from 1 pound to 12 ounces, and the price has increased.
Last week, when I shared our favorite summer salad recipe, at the bottom of the recipe I had noted: This is enough!  That message was for me; although the amounts of ingredients look skimpy when you’re making the salad, by the time you serve, it’s a large enough portion, especially when you serve it with something else. 
The amount of uncooked pasta or rice for one or two people really looks skimpy until you get it on your plate.  I need to not add “just a little bit more” to a recipe…it's hard on the pocketbook and waistline.  When you have less than a serving left over it's hard to use it up later too, and then most of us simply eat too much or waste good food. 
We really use our home kitchen scale and I have converted most of my recipes to weighing ingredients when possible.  I keep the “right size” measuring cup in canisters of cereal, oatmeal, grits, and rice.  I keep a tablespoon in my sugar and flour and coffee canisters and a teaspoon in my salt and baking powder jars.  I just need to remember not to "round up" that measure!
I'm also making sure that I don't buy any more fresh, perishable food than we can use before it spoils.  It is usually possible to buy less than a "store-packaged" bag of produce if they are going to weigh it at checkout; ask the produce folks if it's ok.  We usually split large apples, tomatoes and baking potatoes for 2's enough.
It may help to get into the "rationing" mindset...most of us eat too much anyway.  Seems like you never see fat people in photos from the 1940's and 50's.  Real, simple food...not too much is probably the healthiest, cheapest diet around.


  1. A lot of the products that I use to like to buy have changed. Either in size or no longer available.

  2. This is such a great blog post, Sue. I like the idea of keeping a tablespoon measure in your sugar jar. And you’re right about cutting some things in half like a potato. The ones I have right now would easily feed two people.

  3. Hubby and I split a big tater, with the other things on our plate thats all we need. I grew up with condiments on the table. Sliced cucumbers, celery sticks, pickles and a salad were always on the table. It was either slaw, bean, macaroni or tater. Oh,I can't forget the cottage cheese. I always love your posts, Sue

  4. Totally agree. We've been trying to cut back our servings. Right now, our teenagers aren't home (they are with my parents) & we keep overcooking, & forgetting that it's just us. We need SO much less food. It's quite an adjustment. We also have a full freezer, and need to make sure that we are using up what we have on hand before buying more.

    We serve every dinner with a large salad. My husband likes to eat the rest of the salad the next day for his lunch. At this time of year, we have plenty of garden goodies to round out the salad.

  5. We are making an effort to not overeat here, too. I work in a grocery store and have seen the cost side of things go through the roof before they raise prices on the customer. Certain chains are being hit more than others, especially on meat. Meat prices right now really depend on if the store has their own warehouse or buys directly from a producer. Most retail establishments have had to raise wages to keep the bare minimum of employees too, and those wage increases will be passed on to the customers as well.

    I have taken to scouring the pantry and the refrigerator daily to see what I can make without going to the store, and trying to get my family to be more portion-minded. I am hoping to be out on my own next year, I have a collection of rationing-era recipes I want to try!

  6. We talked about this as a family this weekend. Sigh...


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