Sunday, August 15, 2010

That shrinking can of tuna and what to do about it

Years ago, tuna came in a small 7-ounce can...enough to make a couple of quick sandwiches for the kids at lunch time. Producers have been slowly shrinking that small can of tuna but consumers lately may be balking as the new 5-ounce can showing up on store shelves. It's so small there's barely enough for a single sandwich!  And oh.... the price per can is going up.
Why bother? Producers say demand and production costs are driving up the price.
Tuna is a lunch time favorite of millions. Producers sold 1.5 billion cans of tuna last year reports William Sherman at dailybeast.com. And of course it's not just tuna, but candy bars, paper towel rolls and ice cream containers to name just a few other staples that have been shrinking in size at the grocery store.
So what can consumers do? Experts say we all have to shop smarter. Here's some tips:
- When you go to the grocery store to buy a week's worth of groceries give yourself plenty of time to compare prices and make sure you're getting your money's worth.
- Don't make impluse buys.
- Look at the shelf labeling that shows what you're paying per ounce for an item. That's the only way you can compare price with other items in the same category. Grocery stores and food producers aren't going to make it easy for you but shelf labeling does help.
- Buy in bulk.
- Think carefully about brand name products versus store-brand. You may get a much better deal on the off-brand label.
- Couponing, anybody?

For William Sherman's story on shrinking tuna cans, click here.


Use these Web sites for more tips on how to make the most of your money at the food store.:
- Zenhabits.com for 50 grocery shopping tips.
- The Frugalshopper.com
- About.com on coupons and bargains.
- Grocery shopping tips at momadvice.com

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