Nickel and Diming the Penny Pinchers

I didn’t believe it. There was no reason to doubt her, but when my daughter told me there is a difference in English muffin prices I didn’t believe her.

Specifically, we were talking about Thomas’ English Muffins in your basic grocery six pack, the goto English muffin for both of us. When we feel like splurging. C’mon! Thomas’ are expensive for just a little something extra when you don’t want plain toast for breakfast. I found a store brand that was mighty tasty for less than half what the Thomas brand runs in our neck of the woods. Over two dollars less. “In fact,” I said, “They’re two and a quarter cheaper.” And that started it.

She explained to me that what I found was indeed $2.25 less than the PLAIN Thomas muffin. (In fact, it was $2.27 but why quibble over a couple pennies when so many countries are no longer even minting penny equivalents of their coinage. I’m still not sure why the American monetary police insist on continuing to print $1 bills, the paper equivalent of useless money. But, that’s a different post for a different day.) I tried to beg to differ but you can’t beg in front if your own child so I just differed with a simple “Nuh uh.”

She went on to say she was certain the wheat, raisin, oat bran, super duty extra protein, and seasonal limited editions are all increasingly increasing in suggested retail prices (that for grocery stores is the retail price or why have door buster savings every week?) ranging from $4.26 for plain to $5 and change for double protein. I still resisted based on the logic that all of my Cheapo Brand Muffin were $1.99 across the board from normal to off brand bran. Since it wasn’t greatly affecting my savings or her inheritance we left it as a supermarket curiosity. One of millions down every aisle.

You know I couldn’t leave it there though, could I. No. If I did, we’d have no post today. So the next time I was at the store I wandered down the English muffin aisle, and I didn’t even need English muffins. (Talk about being dedicated to my blog readers.) I find my bargain basement brand right there on the bottom shelf where all off brands belong, each iteration bearing the shelf tag $1.99. Above them, strategically placed at eye level was the Thomas English Muffin lineup. And under the plain muffin was the shelf tag with the not on sale price of $4.26. And next to those, the wheat muffins priced at $4.28, and so on to the Double Oatmeal Protein at $5.38. Who would have thought it?

While I was there, I thought I’d treat myself and pick up a pack of the cheapos. Wheat. If I was going to save I may as well splurge on it. Or whatever is the word for when you intentionally save more. The next morning I was preparing breakfast and thought I deserved more than toast and reached for an English muffin. Even though I still had a couple of plain muffins I opted for wheat and cracked open the new package. Take that Thomas muffin people! Try and gouge me just because I want wheat. I don’t think so!

As I was splitting it I had that feeling that something wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right. Not the feeling. The muffin. It seemed to not fit my hand right. It felt … small. I shrugged it off and continued splitting. I dropped the halves into the toaster and turned to tend to—- Wait! The toaster! Those are really low in the toaster. What’s wrong with the toaster? Yes, you got it. There was nothing wrong with the toaster. It was that muffin. That blasted, small muffin.

I took out another wheat muffin and one of my remaining plain guys.

Muffins

Side by side there was no mistaking it. The wheat muffin was smaller. And judging by how much, I’d say more than two cents worth smaller.

I feel so violated.

 

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7 comments

  1. Haha…..sorry about that…Once beaten…never to happen again right?…..I must add that splurge has nothing to do with saving more tho…

    1. Yeah, I knew that wasn’t right but it so captured the feeling of “Look, I’m doing something completely illogical and spending money to do it and I don’t care.” I can’t be the only person who gets that feeling by spending LESS. We need a good way to express that. I’m just going to have to make up a new word for it.

  2. It’s a common enough thing. In an effort to boost their profits, and/or shrink the waistlines of Americans everywhere – food manufacturers have offered less product by mass and kept the price the same.

    They don’t do it by much. A few grams less of finished goods in the same packaging for the same price. Most consumers don’t notice it until they get it home, opened, and consumed.

    Sneaky little bastards…the lot of ’em.

    1. Really. Whatever happened to the days when all the sneaks stayed in dark, back alleys?

      1. Blame the government for adding bright street lights to them alleys. They discovered they LIKED the light, and ignorance doesn’t care if its a 30 watt bulb or a 3000 watt bulb.

  3. The old English Muffin scam. You can’t trust anyone these days. I’ll bet they’re not even called muffins in England.

    1. Probably no more than French Toast is called toast on the French Riviera. Hard to say what anything might be called anymore in a Buick Riviera.

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