As if inflation weren't hitting Americans' wallets hard enough, consumer goods manufacturers are providing less of certain goods to mitigate their own rising costs. While shrinkflation has been called a “hidden” tax on the shopper, shrinking portions and package sizes are no longer a secret.
Every time you shop, you may be getting less of these 25 commonly purchased consumer goods, so purchase accordingly.
1. Toilet Paper
Wipers might want to consider folding their toilet paper for maximum value because the number of sheets per roll has decreased. Charmin Ultra Soft and Cottonelle are among the toilet paper brands reducing their sheets per roll, and consumers have noticed the roll itself shrinking.
Beloved American cereal Life is among now comes in a 22.3-ounce box, down from 24.8 ounces. Consumers will likely find that their Cheerios, Raisin Bran, Wheaties, and other brands of choice are coming in smaller and smaller packages without a price reduction to match.
3. Shampoo and Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Curl Perfection conditioner is a telling example of how essential hygiene products are not immune to shrinkflation. What was once a 12 fluid-ounce bottle is now only 10.4 fluid ounces, but the price remains the same (if not more).
4. Tissue Paper
While victims of seasonal allergies could once get 65 tissues in a box of Kleenex (as recently as early 2022), they now get only 60—or perhaps even less, by the time this article hits the presses. This has led consumers to consider, how clean do I really need that shirt sleeve to be?
Folgers Coffee shrank its 51-ounce container to 43.5 ounces, and it is not the only coffee brand delivering its grounds and beans in smaller and smaller quantities.
Though PepsiCo claims that the change was in the works well before inflation took hold of the economy, shoppers will increasingly find Gatorade in 28-ounce bottles rather than the iconic 32-ounce containers. Whether or not the bottle revamp is inflation-related, consumers are getting fewer electrolytes for their buck.
A Party-Sized bag of Fritos Scoops once contained 18 ounces worth of chips. Now, most bags of Fritos Scoops at the store come in a 15.5-ounce bag. And yet that 15.5-ounce bag of dip-ready corn chips cost even more.
Those who can't stretch their party budget might consider trimming a couple of bubble candidates from this year's Super Bowl party invite list.
Chobani Flips have ditched a 5.3-ounce container to one that holds only 4.5 ounces of yogurt. Shoppers have noticed other yogurt brands, including Fage, selling smaller portions of yogurt for the same price.
9. Ice Cream
Tillamook is among the ice cream brands that have shrunk its container sizes to keep pace with rising costs. To its credit, the Oregon-based dairy company issued an open letter about reducing its carton size from 56 ounces to 48.
10. Dog Food
Natural Balance dog food has reduced its standard bag from 26 pounds to 24, while Pedigree downsized its 50-pound bag to 44 pounds. Dog owners know that their best friend's appetite won't shrink with their food packaging, so this spells more trips to the store (or Chewy orders) for them.
There's no way around it—times are ruff.
Even mindless snacking has become more expensive. What you used to pay for a 16-ounce box of Wheat Thins will now buy you a 14-ounce box. That means that you're getting roughly 28 fewer Wheat Thins for the same amount of money. More like Wallet Thins…
12. Tooth Paste
A pearly-white smile has never been cheap, but it just got even more expensive. Crest is among the brands shrinking its packaging while keeping prices the same (or even bumping them up). Certain Crest products have downsized from 4.1-ounce tubes to 3.8-ounce tubes.
*Trigger boos from the Sweet Tooth crowd.* Toblerone, the beloved Swiss chocolate producer, actually got out well ahead of the shrinkflation trend. In 2016, fans of the triangle-shaped chocolate bars noticed wide gaps between chocolate peaks, which meant less total chocolate.
Now, you can expect Toblerone and other chocolate manufacturers to further decrease the amount of chocolate you get for your dollar. Lovers of Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Cups are among the documented victims of shrinkflation.
14. Paper Towels
A roll of Bounty Triples contained 165 sheets not so long ago but now has only 147. Though parent company Procter & Gamble has claimed that the 147 sheets are more absorbent than the 165 you got before, that seems like a hard sell.
Here's a little hack: buy a ton of cheap rags so that you'll have to use far fewer paper towels, sparing you shrinkflation losses for this particular item.
15. Cat Food
In case you thought dog owners were the only ones getting the short end of the stick that is shrinkflation, you now know that package downsizing doesn't discriminate. Pet food manufacturer Royal Canin has shrunk its standard cat food tin from 5.9 ounces to 5.1 ounces.
16. Granola Bars
Shoppers have been shocked to find only eight of Quaker's Chewy granola bars in a box, when pre-shrinkflation they got to enjoy 10 delicious Chewy bars for the same price. Surely Chewy is not the only granola bar brand feeling the effects of higher ingredient costs.
17. Garbage Bags
In a trend that qualifies as absolute trash, consumers will get only 80 Hefty garbage bags in a box, as opposed to the 90 bags that previously filled a box.
18. Chicken Nuggets
While you won't find this item at your local supermarket (not this specific item, at least), you might be disappointed the next time you order chicken nuggets from Burger King, if you're so inclined. The BK Lounge kept its price for chicken nuggets at $4.49 but decided diners will get only eight instead of ten.
19. Pain Relievers
Whatever your ailment is, you might soon be learning to grit and bear it. A bottle of Aleve once packed with 100 pain-relieving pills now has only 90. This is just one example of the many medications affected by shrinkflation, illustrating how the truly essential consumer items are not immune.
One of the most cost-effective breakfast items, cereal, recently became a bit less cost-effective. Quaker's subtracted two bags of instant oatmeal from its boxes, shrinking the portion sizes from ten bags to eight.
21. Chicken Wings
Nuggets aren't safe, wing aren't safe. Really, no matter of the chicken is safe from shrinkflation. This reality became all too apparent when Domino's that its customers would now get eight chicken wings for the same $7.99 price that previously bought them ten wings.
22. Body Wash
Dove body wash is now two ounces lighter but the very same price per bottle. Maybe don't squeeze the bottle quite so hard next time you shower, as the price per drop is going up.
The price shoppers were paying for a 21-ounce dispenser of Dial handsoap is the same price that currently buys a 16-ounce dispenser. It appears as if Big Soap is washing its hands of rising costs, instead passing them onto the consumer.
24. Cling Wrap
Shoppers have noticed that Glad's Cling Wrap Value Size now comes with 300 square feet of adhesive wrap rather than 400 square feet. Shrinkflation proves once again that you can't cling to portion sizes of the past.
25. Laundry Detergent
Tide is among the brands that have reduced the amount of detergent in a standard package, with one shopper noticing that a box of Tide Ultra Oxi that previously cleaned 180 loads of laundry now covers only 143 loads.
When it comes to spending your money wisely, knowledge of shrinking portion sizes is power.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.