Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Yep! Size DOES Matter!


He’s built like a brick shithouse. Tall. Lean. Muscles out the ying yang. Powerful thighs and arms. The kind of man that makes a woman melt. Anticipation alone leaves you breathless. And then it happens. He strips out of his clothes and your eyes naturally gravitate to the Promised Land and you think…

“Okay. Just what the hell does he think he’s going to do with that little bitty thing?”

But! That’s not the kind of “sizing” I want to talk about today. LOL

Has anyone besides me noticed all of the downsizing restaurants are doing these days? Seriously. And it’s pissing me off. Why? Because not only are they downsizing portions, but they are UPsizing price!

I first noticed it a couple of weeks ago at Bojangles. As I’ve mentioned here before on the blog, I love a morning iced tea from there with plenty of lemon. So I hit the drive-thru a couple of weeks ago and they no longer have medium teas. It’s now small, regular, and large. The large is just too damn big. Hell, the ice would water down the tea before I was halfway finished. Not good. And the regular? About 12 oz fewer than the old medium. And the price? Twenty freaking cents MORE!

So, I told the manager, yep, I called the manager to the window and said: “I love your iced tea, but you just lost me as a customer. It’s now too expensive and the portion too small for that price.” Well…you know that got me a shrug and an almost-hidden eye roll. Screw it. I now make my own tea. I WAS spending like thirty bucks a month on that morning tea. So basically, I’m better off.

Three nights ago, the kids wanted Chinese. So I called in an order and had it delivered. I didn’t want any. I’m trying to be a good girl and stick to healthy foods these days. But the order came. I was on the computer and the boy ran out and paid and they all sat down and ate. When I got up to go and get myself a glass of ICED TEA, LOL, I noticed the size of those boxes the dinners came in. HALF the freaking size of the old boxes we’d just ordered maybe three weeks before. I flipped! I was charged the same damn price and got HALF the portion. WTF?????? So I said to the kids: “Last time we get delivery. From now on if you want Chinese, you’ll be going to the buffet so you can eat enough for three damn meals.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need some damn hellacious kissing before I get screwed!

Burger King. Yeah, let’s talk about Burger King. My boy loves those original chicken sandwiches, add cheese. I picked him up at school yesterday and he just had to have one. Told me he’d been thinking about that sandwich all day long because LUNCH just sucked. I gave him money for lunch yesterday instead of packing it. His idea. Not mine. Anyway, we hit the drive-thru and order the sandwich. I paid for it. Noticed a not-too-small increase in price. Shook my head, said nothing.

But when that boy of mine opened up that sandwich? HE went ballistic. It’s about one third smaller than the OLD original chicken sandwich. Not only that, but I checked the receipt and they'd charged me not the regular twenty-five cents for cheese per slice--two on that sandwich--but sevnty-five cents each for that processed food--yeah, it's not even real freaking cheese! And get this—remember I’m trying to eat a bit healthier these days—I went through Burger King this morning because I saw a commercial about their new English muffin breakfast sandwiches. English muffins. Cool. So I ordered one with just egg on it. No cheese. No meat. Healthy, remember? Opened the damn thing and IT’S about one third less in size than an average English muffin. Can you believe that? So NOT worth the price I paid. Just not.

What the hell is going on? Gas prices are through the damn roof. And now we’re going to starve to death or pay out the kazoo for it? My kids are in for a big damn shock. There is going to be one hell of a lot less take out, delivery, and drive-thru runs in their future. If these places thought no one would notice, they were wrong. And I bet I’m not the only one. So instead of them making more? I believe they have simply screwed themselves big time. And I hope nobody kissed them too! 

On the publishing side of my life, lol, I've had some great news. My erotic historical romance, Sunlight and Magnolias, is a finalist in Passionate Ink's Stroke of Midnight Contest. Also, Black Cougar Curse, co-authored with Natalie Dae, aka Sarah Masters, won Book of the Week at Whipped Cream Reviews...AND...Twelve Days of Love, my hot, hot, highly romantic short novel from Ellora's Cave just won Sweetheart Book of the Week at The Romance Studio. So I've had a pretty good week, all things considered. Now if I could just straighten out all these damn restaurants. sighhhhhhhhhhh Oh, and the Middle East and gas prices too!
Stop by Ellora's Cave and pick up a copy of my books. I need the money. LOL http://www.jasminejade.com/m-701-tess-mackall.aspx Gas is only going to get more expensive, and evidently so is food. Ya'll don't want me walking or going hungry, now do ya? LOL 

Hugs...and happy reading and writing to everyone!


Regina Carlysle said...

You know, I've been noticing the same thing. Saw a show on tv the other day about this. Boxed cereal has gone up. I buy a couple boxes every time I hit the grocery store but the price is higher and the boxes are SKINNIER. The width has changed on the box but yet when it's stocked on the shelves it appears to be the same size as always. Same with coffee. If you'll notice a pound of coffee is no longer a pound. Still packaged the same so if you aren't looking, you miss it.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, I've noticed some of that too, Regina. Package sizes are definitely changing. But the price is up.

It's like this big food industry secret that has been slowly but surely slipped onto our shelves and in our restaurants.

The packaging is definitely more subtle than what the restaurants are doing too. You don't immediately notice the package size. It's like only three or four ounces different.

We're just getting screwed!

Dennis Hays said...

I remember years ago when the food downsizing started with candy bars. And, yes, I watched cereal prices rise in my local grocery. I saw a twenty-five cent rise on Kellogs one week, then another nickle less than two weeks later. No more Kellogs. Now, I get almost the same cereal at Target--$1.30 less per box and at least five ounces more goodies.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed it as well. I got the Big Mac meal at Mc Donald's and mentioned how much smaller the burgers were to Hubs. Wendy's is the same way really small portions. But what has me cringing is when I buy groceries. We spend $200 bucks and I'm almost out before the next grocery day. That sucks!

Tess MacKall said...

Yes, Dennis, this has happened before. But it's happening yet again. This weekend I'm going to Sam's Club. And there's another store someone told me about too. Can't remember. But I'm heading there too. I'm not spending all this extra money on food. Really am not. I'll cut every corner I can. And if that means driving forty miles to do it, then I will. I'll just buy in bulk and deal with it.

They aren't going to get every one of my hard earned pennies for sure.

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, groceries in general are getting higher, Nanny. I'm going to be buying in bulk more often at these big cost cutter stores.

It seems we are being forced to pay or forced to find alternatives. And we've got to eat. But I seem to be running back to the grocery store sooner as well. Not good.

Rie McGaha said...

Thank you - yes, I've noticed! When it costs as much to go to McD's as it does to Applebee's may as well stay home and cook....but wait, I went to grocery shopping at Walmart and I usually buy the 97/3 hamburger but I almost choked when I saw it is now $4.98 a pound!! It's ridiculous.

Tess MacKall said...

You've got that right, Rie. I said that same thing to my kids just the other day. It costs almost as much for a family of four to eat at Mickey D's as it does to eat at Applebees.

And have you noticed that you have to beg for freaking ketchup????

I cook quite often. But not often enough, apparently. There will be more cooking at my house. More fruits for snacking too. And MORE ICED TEA! I'm getting rid of all those colas too. And we're going to drink more water. LOL I've already input more water into my diet. Those kids are going to be screaming for sure.

Melissa Bradley said...

LMAO I so hear you on this one. Starbuck's has upped their grande sized prices so much that it's 30 cents less than the giant venti size and both are much, much larger than the tall er small size. I get the venti and pay the extra 30 cents because otherwise I feel like I'm getting ripped off. And remember when a large pizza was a large pizza? Now you gotta buy the extra large if you want a large pizza.

Marguerite Lafayette said...

Oh don't forget that pretty much anything package in a jar now has a nifty little dome at the bottom to eat up space so you don't notice you are getting less and less.

We're getting screwed left and right and sadly not even getting a O for the effort.

Loved the post. Although I had snagged a link the map of penis sizes in case you were interested in the pursuit of larger game but I quickly see the subject was of a different matter :P

But if any are interested http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/penis-size-world-map

Tess MacKall said...

I sometimes giveaway Starbucks gift certificates as prizes. But I may have to start boycotting them and give away food gift certificates.

I already bypass Starbucks. I just like my coffee black with non-dairy creamer. I don't need anything fancy. I make a pot every morning and never buy it.

But I admit to trying a flavor or two here and there. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Yep, Margie. Stay away from odd shaped packages. I read that some place.

And Holy Holy Holy something. I sure hope that map I saw by clicking on that link meant centimeters and NOT inches. LOL

And I am fast looking for a flight to Venezuela! Woot!

Lily Harlem said...

Tess, I always enjoy your blogs, its like you are sitting with me chatting - or in this case ranting :-)

Things in the UK were always small and over-priced to begin with so not much different here - though hubby did laugh at me at the weekend when I was shocked 'that boy' was a policeman! He was so little and baby faced - I'm getting old I guess!

Lily x

Laura G. said...

Oh, Yes! I've noticed this, too, Tess! The family--Mr. Laura, and 2, 5, & 7 year old boys and I--went to Krystal the other day. We paid over $25 through the drive thru. Yep...and that's at the home of the 25 cent Krystal! AND I didn't even get anything. Drinks are $2 and the large fry is now a medium, billed as large, and charged as a large. Eating out ain't cheap anymore! McDonalds with Happy Meals is $40! Insane!
Also noticed my grocery bill has gone up $50 per trip. The gigantic bag of cat food that used to be $8.50 is now $13! Peanutbutter is up $2, jelly is up $1. Cereal (as you've mentioned) is more for less as it is with most everything. Produce and meats are up as well. And we as consumers say nothing really... just bend over and take it. What can we do? We gotta eat. Right?
And you know....the stores SAY they have to up their prices because it costs so much more to truck/ship the stuff in. They're blaming it all on the gas prices. And I wish we had a solution for that. Maybe drill our own oil so we can control prices and keep money and jobs here at home? Maybe sit down and really try to find an alternate fuel source? But even so, do you REALLY think prices would go down or that consumers would be charged LESS for the alternate 'fuel'? The new cars would cost more...and the retooling of current cars would cost a bundle, too...but then, that might produce more jobs...
I don't know. I don't have the answers. Sure wish I did. Though, any answer would come with its own set of issues/problems. All I know is it's all crazy...C.R.A.Z.Y.! LOL
Gee...this sounded kinda like a rant. (*looks down*) Wow, is that a soapbox under my feet? Here, Tess. I believe this belongs to you. LOL
GREAT post, girl. I really enjoyed it! HUGS!

Anthology Authors said...

I've been noticing this for some time now, Tess. Just last night we ate at some gourmet food trucks. You expect them to be expensive with smaller portions, but, hey, it's fun to do every so often. The child had some french fries (not many) with two just bigger than nugget-sized chicken strips for $6. While, miracle of miracles, she liked the strips, I did not like the size.

Molly Daniels said...

I've noticed Arby's is doing this to their sandwiches. I've been sticking with the pizza buffet, McD's chix nuggets meals, or Subway's $5 footlongs for lunch. Once in a while we splurge and eat at the Chinese Buffet or Mexican place.

And yes on the groceries: I used to have a 'limit' of $100/week. Now the hubby requests I try to stay under $50, unless we're stocking up on meat. I've had to plan my meals a week at a time, and include one day for 'leftovers'; our teenage 'garbage can' is now away at college!

Elizabeth Black said...

I noticed the price v. size thing a few years ago at the grocery store. First big hit -ice cream. More expensive AND the size of the container has gone down. Cereal boxes are smaller but the price has gone up. I took care of the not-really-a-pound-of-coffee thing by buying beans in bulk. I haven't bought designer makeup in years, but when they had sales where you spent fifteen bucks you used to get a nice sized bag of free goodies in a vinyl makeup case. The lipsticks were full sized. Full sized mascara and eye shadows. Pocket mirror and comb. All for free. Last time I checked many years ago, you had to spend upwards of fifty bucks, and you get sample sized stuff. Not worth it!

Then my cheap mainstay booze Andre champagne went up in price. I used to get three bottles of brut for ten bucks. Now, it's three bucks per bottle. Cooks brut champagne was eight bucks for two bottles. Now it's ten. Just not worth it. I drink cheap red rotgut now. LOL

Tess MacKall said...

Why thank you, Lily. That's so nice of you to say.

Packaging is getting really odd here, Lily. And it's sneaky the way they do it too.

For instance, I can't tell that there is a difference in the size of a bag of dog food. I think they kept the same size bag and just put almost three pounds less in it than they used to. Was twenty pounds and now 17.6. POINT SIX? WTF is that?

A little baby-faced copper huh? Hmmm...interesting. lol

Tess MacKall said...

Rant away, LG. You know I'm just fine with it. You can guest rant here too, ya know? lol Anytime you want, the door is open!

About oil prices. I remember hearing all through the Japan crisis that since Japan is the third largest economy in the world, that oil pricing would go down. I wonder how long that takes to trickle down to us.

My problem is why the government never opens up the oil reserve we have when prices get so ridiculously high. Even giving us a ten cents a gallon break would be better than nothing. I'm still expecting $4.50 or better by July.

Tess MacKall said...

Six bucks! Jeez. Glad I wasn't there. Trust me, all of these drive-thrus and cashiers in the grocery store are hearing about it from me. I refuse to be silent and just take it.

On my way to the discount warehouse stores this Friday.

Tess MacKall said...

You're doing really well on fifty a week for you and hubs, Molly. My sister and her partner do seventy-five a week. And they eat out at least twice a week. And she claims she is the most frugal person in the world.

I have three in this house. And I'm lucky if I can get out of the store with $150. One of my issues is that we all three have varying tastes in what we like. I just left the store and spent seventy bucks. And that was for just things. Not an entire week. Something has got to give around here.

And one thing that really bugs me is that eating healthier costs MORE money. A green pepper is usually seventy to ninety nine cents each. Today it was a dollar sixty nine each. The red peppers are usually higher. But today they were two sixty-nine a pound and two worked out to be less than the green pepper. I stood there figuring all of this out and thought: Why is this so difficult? Why am I having to do this?

To save, yes. But it should NOT be happening. Not with the shape this country and the people are in economically. We need relief. I so wonder and worry over what people do who are on such small, fixed incomes.

Anthology Authors said...

I think Gore was the one who wanted to see our gas prices go up to $5/gallon to force us to be less reliant on gas. Erp, um, okay, but you've got to give us alternative. So far, nothing. And those stupid hybrids are a joke. 40-50 miles to the gallon at those prices (and how much they cost compared to regular cars) just isn't good enough. You make one that gets me 100 miles to the gallon, and we can talk.

BTW, something else has changed, too, but that's going to be one of my rants, so I'm staying mum about it until my week comes along. (g)

Tess MacKall said...

I'm sure it all started in a very subtle way, Lizzie. But it's rampant now. And it's just started in restaurants with food portions in the past month or so. I should know cause my kids love fast food! Dammit. lol

Unless I'm going out? I always drink the cheap booze. lol I love to buy that wine in a box. Not bad, actually. I bought a box of it earlier while I was out. Fifteen bucks. sighhhhh It'll probably take a month for me to drink it. I'm usually just a one glass before bed kind of gal these days. lol

Thanks for all your tips. I can use some of them for sure.

Tess MacKall said...

If they can give me a national health care program that works with five bucks a gallon, I'll sit down at the table and talk. LOL Not until then. The two major problems in this country are OIL and INSURANCE. They make this country go round and round for sure. And both are way out of control!

Paris said...

I live in a small town where a chain ran the other groceries stores out of business several years ago. Their prices just keep getting more ridiculous.

And the coffee thing. Maxwell House French Roast used to be a med-dark roast. I drank it for years and wondered why the flavor changed and discovered that French Roast is now a medium roast. If I want to buy the Dark Roast (which I prefer), it's now four dollars more unless I drive to the city.

Tess MacKall said...

Lizzie commented that buying the beans is cheaper than buying the prepackaged kind. Maybe you should check that out. I'm certainly going to.

Wal Mart had a huge can of coffee--no name brand---the other day for six bucks. I was tempted to buy it. Wasn't certain about the taste. I need to find someone who has tried it first. But I only drink my coffee with creamer and that's it. Nothing fancy. So it may be just fine for me.

The big chains have definitely taken over. But we still have a few small stores within a thirty mile radius. One of them only fourteen miles away. I go there every couple of weeks to buy meat. They have a butcher right there in the store and the prices are anywhere from forty to sixty percent cheaper than Wal Mart and Food Lion.

Anthology Authors said...

Big chains come in, wipe out the little guy, and then what happens if they go belly up? My mother and I were going to pick up some last minute things for Xmas dinner. We went to WalMart. They didn't have it. So, we drove to another town and stopped at a SaveMart. WalMart had something displayed prominently "on sale." At SaveMart, it was cheaper. I don't remember the difference, but there was a difference. It wasn't something we needed to buy, but I told Mom about it. She was surprised. I wasn't. WalMart has chased everyone else out of that town. It sucks.

Janice said...

The spaghetti sauce has downsized and cost the same. Cereal boxes are shrinking and they think people aren't noticing?

They did the same thing in the eighties and they think people don't remember?

Faith said...

I've actually heard about the price increases and smaller portions or product sizes on the news a few months ago. I forget what news program it was, but it warned consumers this was coming in 2011.

Now with the Ivory Coast in an uproar, chocolate will skyrocket, and then on top of that Nestles and Hershey's both announced they're raising the price of their candy to offset the rising costs of manufacturing the stuff. Bullshit! It's yet another way to screw the consumer!

Gas is going up, up, up here in SE Ohio. Last time I got gasoline, which was a week ago, it was $3.75 a gal by the Interstate.

I hear produce is supposed to double and trip in price AGAIN. Thank God we raise vegetable gardens. We've been buying the Topsy Turvy things too. Got 'em for maters, cukes, peppers, and even strawberries. Guess which gal is going to be canning and freezing twice as much for the fam than she usually does?

Molly Daniels said...

I used to feed my daughter's b/f two or three times a week, but since the blowup over Super Bowl Sunday, she's been eating over at his house. So I only have to feed 3 of us now. Until summer, when the college kid comes home!

Tess MacKall said...

I was thinking about that last night, Marci, when I was trying to watch some TV for a change. There was a Wal Mart commercial talking about matching prices at the register. But you apparently have to have the competition's ad to do it. Here are the guidelines:

* We do honor "Preferred Shopping Card" advertised prices. Must be like items, be advertised and require a competitor's shopping card, for the discount to apply.
* We do not honor advertisements that require a purchase in order to receive the advertised price or free product.
* We do not honor "Buy One / Get One Free" advertisements.
* We do not honor double or triple coupons or percent off advertisements.
* We do not honor other retailers' "Misprinted" advertised prices.
* We do not honor Internet Pricing.
* We do not honor competitor advertisements from outside of the store's or Club's local trade territory.

Okay, so to me it looks like you must have the ad with you and be carrying the competitor's store card in order to do this. Now how many people carry an ad with them? I might just make myself up a notebook of competitor prices--complete with actual ads--keep them in my big ole handbag and just whip them out!

Lots more "we do nots" in those guidelines than there should be too if you ask me. And not only that---a lot of those buy one get one free sales are what separates the boys from the men, so to speak. And they KNOW it.

Tess MacKall said...

Well, they're doing it to us again, Janice. Ripping us off for sure.

Tess MacKall said...

My sis has a garden, Faith. So I'll get fresh veggies from her. I also plant a container garden on the porch with tomatoes, cukes, squash, and lettuce. But not enough to can or freeze, of course.

I might do some corn and okra for the freezer this year, though. And if chocolate gets too far out of reach? They will be a march on Washington.

Tess MacKall said...

I used to have that bf problem too. Not anymore. After the last three, I put my foot down. No more boyfriends feed here. I always tell her to make sure they've had dinner. I don't mind an occasional thing. But heaven help me, when you go to the cupboard and it looks like a swarm of locusts has attacked, it's time to get firm. Real firm.

Every chip, dip, cookie, TV dinner, PLUS what I cook for dinner, would get scarfed down. Ridiculous.

Anthology Authors said...

Yeah, those promises are just to appease the customer. They don't intend on really having to honor them, Tess. I spent $100 yesterday on groceries between Trader Joe's and the farmer's market. I am willing to pay a bit more for higher quality, but it's only my DH and me as my daughter eats three things for dinner: chicken nuggets (healthy kind of course), organic mac and cheese, and mini cheese tortellini or ravioli (sometimes I sneak in pesto tortellini for the greens). So, yeah, I spend a little extra, but it's not like this every week. Some weeks it's $60. When I lived alone, I spent maybe $100/month on groceries. Times have changed.

BTW, the last time I looked at gas (a few weeks ago), it was $3.97 here. I shudder to think what it is now.

Tess MacKall said...

I'm spending way too much on food here for sure. My grocery bill is ridiculous compared to what others are saying. And I buy store brands. I spent seventy yesterday. another four today for milk. And I have to buy again tomorrow because we have nothing for dinner. I'm going on some sites that talk about this for sure. My grocery bill is way out of line and prices are only going to go up.

We're trying to eat healthy, but I swear, it costs a whole lot more to buy the healthy stuff. How whacked is that? Whole wheat is twice as much as white bread. Cookies and chips are a hell of a lot cheaper to buy than fresh fruit.

And every day you turn on the TV, or boot up the comp and see/hear---if you don't eat healthy you're going to die!

Well who the hell is gonna pay for it? The only answer most people have to higher pricing is cut back on the portions they serve and buy fattier cuts of meat, etc. We can't win. Die or go broke. Not a good choice.

Harlie Reader said...

I live in the country more or less and Walmart is about the only option for any kind of shopping. I hate it and I hate Walmart.

I'm actually from Oklahoma and my uncle has a drugstore. You know, soda fountain, delivery, and if you need emergency meds, you could call him at home and he would go to get for you and delivery it to you. Well, he passed away 9 years ago and his daughter (my cousin) is now the druggist. She has the same policies as her did. Moral of the story, my uncle fought back when Walmart moved in and won. He didn't raise prices, nothing shrunk and old fashioned customer service kept people coming back and my cousin has brought her generation out of Walmart and into McCortney Drug Store!

I'm very proud of her and what she has done to fulfill her father's legacy.

Have you noticed how expensive sodas are now? Highway robbery.

Tess, I will always buy your books so you can have some tea......LOL!

Tess MacKall said...

LOL Thanks, so much Harlie Reader...and my morning tea thanks you too. lol

I know a couple of success stories too with regard to the whole chain takeover thing. Small businesses that stayed the course, kept up good customer service, provided things the chains couldn't or wouldn't, and won.

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