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Sneaky Inflation
Old 04-26-2019, 12:38 PM   #1
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Sneaky Inflation

We all keep an eye on the inflation numbers from the Fed and other sources. Plus, we all know that the real inflation number to be concerned about is our “personal” inflation number.

Myself and DW are always looking out for “surprise” prices that have inflated without much (or any) warning. Today was a milestone surprise inflation find!

DW likes to have breakfast at Denny’s as we have several of them around us and they are helpful with handling handicapped folks, of which DW is one. We stopped this AM at a local Denny’s as I was having our Hyundai’s tires rotated and balanced next door at a tire shop.

Usually, we have a “build your own” (BYO) or a $4 Value Slam (VS) breakfast. Now, the Value Slams come in four flavors (fixed price levels), $2, $4, $6, & $8 and with no menu item substitutions. The menu is labelled accordingly in each heading.

So today I order the $4 Value Slam which is two eggs, bacon (or sausage) and two pancakes. DW orders a different item (BYO).

The bill comes, and I see that the $4 VS is now $4.49! So I look at the menu and see that the heading is now “Starting at $4” instead of just $4. Looks like a 12% price increase here. Also, the other price levels use the same “Starting at” term for each $$ level and all show increases of about 12%. Nice.

So here folks, is what I call sneaky inflation. What have you noticed about your consumption spending that has seen this type of inflation?
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:43 PM   #2
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For me, it’s always been the shrinking package size for the same price. Can’t think of specifics at the moment, but if you don’t watch the per unit cost, you’ll never notice the price creeping up.

If the menu says “starting at $4”, doesn’t that mean that something has to be available at $4?
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:46 PM   #3
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For me, it’s always been the shrinking package size for the same price. Can’t think of specifics at the moment, but if you don’t watch the per unit cost, you’ll never notice the price creeping up.

If the menu says “starting at $4”, doesn’t that mean that something has to be available at $4?
You know, there were four items at $4 but I didn't look at all of them. Next time I will though!
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:50 PM   #4
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A quick google seems to indicate the $2/4/6/8 menu was introduced in 2010. This looks like a pretty low annualized price inflation, if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:54 PM   #5
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A quick google seems to indicate the $2/4/6/8 menu was introduced in 2010. This looks like a pretty low annualized price inflation, if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, that's the menu and it's now the same with the price increases. I believe this price increase happened this week as Monday we were at Denny's and I ordered a VS and paid $4.

Seeing it was 2010 when it was introduced is amazing that it stayed static so long.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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20 pack of Bud Light had been $14.99 across the street from w@&k for years. All of a sudden its $16.99.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:10 PM   #7
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20 pack of Bud Light had been $14.99 across the street from w@&k for years. All of a sudden its $16.99.
12 or 16 oz?
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:13 PM   #8
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You know, there were four items at $4 but I didn't look at all of them. Next time I will though!
Well were the tire shop prices at least the same price as before?
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:26 PM   #9
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20 pack of Bud Light had been $14.99 across the street from w@&k for years. All of a sudden its $16.99.
Now your talkin inflation! My six pack of Miller Lite 16 oz went from $5.59 to $6.99 literally overnight. What happened to millennials and others no longer wanting the stuff? I did read about a hops shortage and hopefully this is a short term thing. Otherwise I'll have to budget an extra $6 a month to cover it.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:40 PM   #10
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Well were the tire shop prices at least the same price as before?
Rotate and balance prices the same as before - $0.00.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:46 PM   #11
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12 or 16 oz?
12 ounce bottles
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:50 PM   #12
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12 ounce bottles
$15.98 here....(Walmart). Must be a regional thing. But going up that high is just what is going on all over.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:04 PM   #13
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Toilet paper that is not as wide!

Purina One dog food that use to be $18 is now $21 for the same size bag. Not really sneaky just inflation
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:04 PM   #14
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For me, it’s always been the shrinking package size for the same price. Can’t think of specifics at the moment, but if you don’t watch the per unit cost, you’ll never notice the price creeping up.
This was my first thought, too. You see this a lot in items which don't need any predefined weight or quantity. Over a stretch of maybe 3 years, my favorite brand of chocolate chip cookies got downsized twice. First, it went from 30 cookies in the package to 27. Then it went down to 24. The price didn't change, so taken together the unit price rose 20%. Those cookies are so expensive now that even when they get marked down they are still expensive, way over $4 per pound at many stores.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:11 PM   #15
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My DW said cat litter use to be $0.49 for a 20# bag (mid eighties). Now $3.99 Heavy items really went up due to shipping costs. Tires are ridiculous!
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:30 PM   #16
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Smaller packets, same or higher pricing. I think they call it new and improved.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:33 PM   #17
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My favorite brand of English Banger sausages used to be about $5 a pound. Now its $7 for a 13 oz package. One problem, besides the price increase, is that the 13 oz package does not feed four hungry people. Now I have to buy two packages. So... I don't buy them as often.

Of course there is the 1/2 gallon container of Ice Cream that is now 1.5 quarts. Maybe that is good, less sugar and calories to temp me.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by foxfirev5 View Post
Now your talkin inflation! My six pack of Miller Lite 16 oz went from $5.59 to $6.99 literally overnight. What happened to millennials and others no longer wanting the stuff? I did read about a hops shortage and hopefully this is a short term thing. Otherwise I'll have to budget an extra $6 a month to cover it.
I believe when less is sold, the brewer must raise the price. Hops going up is a real 1st world problem!

But you are right about millenials. I partied with a bunch last Saturday, and Miller Lite was in the ice buckets.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:37 PM   #19
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It's been a while since I started noticing that not only did a roll not last as long, it didn't come close to fitting the toilet paper holder. I remember when TP rolls filled the paper holder from end to end. Now they are about 2/3 of the holder's width.

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Toilet paper that is not as wide!

n
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:42 PM   #20
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Beer at one of my five neighborhood breweries was $6/pint including tax.
Then, $6 + tax (8%).
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