"Shrinking Dollar"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reductions continue to be a part of our lives.

We all complain that our dollars just don’t seem to go as far as they used to. Well they sure don’t.

I’ve written numerous columns pointing out how little we get for our hard-earned bucks. I’m sure my readers, of all income levels, agree. The next time you go shopping actually compare your purchases to those of the past. You may have saved an item in your pantry for a period of time that still has a price label on it. You'll notice they don’t use them anymore. Check it out and see the difference.

Toilet tissue is one of my favorite products to rant about. Price is so totally confusing — there is no opportunity for price comparison. The size shrinkage is what makes me the most irritated. The evidence of this fact is right there in your bathroom, where the rolling occurs. The manufacturers have a few ways to reduce the amount you actually get. There are either less sheets, the sheets are much narrower in diameter or the center roll is larger. Either way, you get less.

Coffee is another commodity that just keeps giving you less for more. The packaging is so deceptive. What used to be a pound bag of coffee is now only ounces – and not very many. A bag of coffee that used to last a week is gone in a couple of days. Of course with the latest gadgetry in coffee makers, those one cup Keurig’s that use the little K-Pods market on the premise that, “You won’t be throwing any coffee away.”

As you investigate and do price comparisons to actually use those little pods, watch out. After factoring in the price of the machine and a supply of pods the cost is, depending on brands, $20 to $ 40 more a pound or three times as much. You can, however, make hot chocolate in some of them. I have heard there is a cry over the environmental impact they are making.

As I see it, at the top of the list of products that give less for more is gas. Prices are similar to a roller coasters operation. Up and down constantly. Just when you think you can spend the same amount for a fill-up twice in a row the price changes. Funny though sometimes it comes down making you wish you had brought along some gas cans to get more.

The rapidity of price changes is also puzzling. I have gassed up in Bay City, driven up to Oscoda and back headed for Huron County and when I passed the same station, the price had dropped 20 cents a gallon. Another example of price differentials happens after leaving Lake Orion and heading north on M-24, gas prices are always much less in Caro. Many of you probably know which station I’m talking about. I’ve also seen gas 10 cents a gallon less at some Huron County stations just blocks away from each other.

I wonder how grocery stores stay in business when the products they sell can often be purchased for less in gas stations, dollar stores and drug stores. Some restaurants sell products you will normally purchase at the grocery store but the price would not be less.

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