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Old 07-13-2007, 12:54 PM   #41
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I'd call it 'rat urine', but thats an insult to any self respecting rat.
I think the term you're fumbling for is "hedonic adjustment".

See, you're spending less money for a lot less quality but you're enjoying it so much more that the pleasure per unit price has actually gone up! I'm surprised the government statisticians more sales staffs don't point that out... when the inevitable research report is released, it should be titled "The Schlitz Paradox".

I should also point out that I was able to respond to CFB's post without having any clue what was said by Newguy (on my "Ignore Poster" list). This is working great!
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Old 07-13-2007, 07:54 PM   #42
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Isnt it? This morning I got to watch what I'm pretty sure was a fight between two guys on my ignore list. It was totally up to my imagination!
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:14 PM   #43
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Stepping away from mass produced vehicles, Maddy's point of diminishing product quality/quantity conjoined with price increases is also well taken. A pound of coffee is now 12 ounces.

Yeah.. they do that. It is a very common set of ploys. The marketing people workout the marketing plan. The financial people want to increase profits on the product line so they shrink the product size (or quality) eventually they will not be able to justify further price increases on the same size. If they shrink it further, it is non-existent. So they start the cycle all over again. Supersize Coffee 16 oz. 25% more for only a 15% price increase. Of course, their cost on containers were probably reduced since there is a little less material used. Plus they Cheapened the grade of coffee by blending it with lower grade (cheaper) coffee and call it "new and improved" with some marketing pitch like "it stays fresh longer".

Next Step Shrink the size and remove the cheap coffee from the blend and call it "Pure Gourmet" Coffee... The cycle repeats.

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Old 07-13-2007, 08:32 PM   #44
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When I first I sold a food item for around $6 to make a nice bit, now I have to sell that same item for around $9 dollars to make around the same. And that is just within 8 years.

Not to mention Tomato prices are just always nuts due to hurricanes/floods bad weather.

In fact every item that I purchase to sell, has went up.

And of course I like everyone else in the world, use the high gas prices to raise prices even more, creating artificial inflation hehe.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:33 PM   #45
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Oh its even easier than that. On looking through the coffee aisles and mail order outfits, I see that 8oz "pounds" are now well established.

Thats why I buy it mail order from Dunkin Donuts. An actual 16oz pound for $6.50 plus $8 to ship as many "real" pounds as I want. Good coffee too.


I see some beer now comes in 11oz bottles. Pretty soon you'll ante up ten bucks and some guy will squeeze a wet towel of beer into your open mouth.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:19 PM   #46
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Maddy's point of diminishing product quality/quantity conjoined with price increases is also well taken. A pound of coffee is now 12 ounces. The fish and chips place up the street from me doesnt offer free refills anymore...and the size of the piece of fish you get seems to have gotten smaller and thinner. The barbecue joint charges extra for a cup of sauce you used to get for free.
Our latest discovery ... the southwestern-themed chain restaurant that used to serve rice and beans with the fajitas now charges $1 (it's a premium side, you see)
And the 1lb frozen fish that dropped to 12 oz is down to 11 oz now. Then again, it's from China, so I didn't buy it
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:26 PM   #47
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20 years ago I bought a brand new VW jetta for 10K I could buy a brand new toyota scion Xa today about the same size and better safety features for 13K. Bought a townhouse in NJ for 190K in 1987 today you could buy a house for 190K today in many parts of the country, Brand New.

I can still buy a 6pack of beer for under 2.50 . Same as 20 years ago. looking at an old electric bill. Cost per KWH was 11.6 cents in 1987 I am payin 9.045 cents a KWH today.. LESS!
Didn't you move from Jersey? Think that might account for your housing and electric costs?

Meanwhile, go ask your wife how grocery prices are doing week-to-week.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
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The reason people are smarting: Inflation in grocery aisles is up by more in the first six months of 2007 than in all of 2006. That means food costs are on track for the biggest annual percentage hike since 1980, according to the Labor Department. The anticipated 7.5 percent increase would readily outflank the 2.6 percent core inflation rate to date, which excludes food and energy. It's across every grocery aisle, too, from burgers to bagels, from duck to dumpling.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:33 PM   #48
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I suppose maybe the reason why my inflation rates run high and i'm sensitive to them is that my biggest expenses after taxes are insurance, food and gasoline. Aint that a happy trifecta...

Regarding rising grocery prices, I think I may have detected a cause. Bear with me. The town I used to live in had only an Albertsons and a Raleys about 5 years ago. Then Albertsons sold to Ralphs, but in turn Albertsons bought out Lucky. Albersons moved from their location to the Lucky location, and refurbed the store. Ralphs moved into the Albertsons and refurbed that store. Raleys refurbed their store so as to not look bad compared to the new Ralphs. Safeway and Bel-Air (part of raleys) annouced they'd open new stores in the area. Ralphs built a second market near the Raleys to compete. Neither the safeway nor the bel-air was built for more than 3 years. Ralphs went bust and closed both of their stores. Albertsons choked and sold out to Save-Mart, who remodelled the albertsons that was recently remodelled from a lucky. Now Nugget Market is remodelling the recently built Ralphs. Walmart and Target also just knocked down their walls and are adding the supermarket section to their stores. The original albertsons/ralphs is sitting vacant several years now. Rumor has it that a store that doesnt charge >$20/lb for meat is planning on going in there.

So I think the secret is clear. To get appropriate inflation protection, buy stock in companies that remodel supermarkets.

And if you sit on the board of a supermarket, or are a significant stockholder, tell them to quit remodelling the frickin stores, quit buying each other and moving from one part of town to another, and cut their prices a little bit.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:35 PM   #49
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I have seen the grocery prices, again purchase only things on sale. Still getting chicken breasts at 1.89 a pound boneless some weeks. Eggs still around a dollar a dozen, sure cans of tuna are smaller so what still can find albacore for 88 cents a can. Don't drink coffee so couldn't care about that price. water from the tap free. Grow our own veggies, greens etc. Potatos tomatos peppers can a bunch of stuff for the winter. Joined a farmers coop so lots of fruit is paid for from the beginning of the season.

Sure there is some inflation but you can get around big prices. Heck we got 20 pounds of fresh carolina shrimp at 4 dollars a pound yesterday. Froze a bunch!
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:52 PM   #50
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I have seen the grocery prices, again purchase only things on sale. Still getting chicken breasts at 1.89 a pound boneless some weeks. Eggs still around a dollar a dozen, sure cans of tuna are smaller so what still can find albacore for 88 cents a can. Don't drink coffee so couldn't care about that price. water from the tap free. Grow our own veggies, greens etc. Potatos tomatos peppers can a bunch of stuff for the winter. Joined a farmers coop so lots of fruit is paid for from the beginning of the season.

Sure there is some inflation but you can get around big prices. Heck we got 20 pounds of fresh carolina shrimp at 4 dollars a pound yesterday. Froze a bunch!
$4 a pound for shrimp is good, congrats. I buy sale stuff too, but I see inflation creeping up there. The 49 cent a pound chicken quarters are now 79 cents a pound on sale; the 77-cent eggs on sale are now 99 cents, the 99-cent per pound sale on round steak is now $2.19 a pound .. and so it goes.
Yeah, you can get around things, but right now, we have to dodge and weave even harder .. unfortunately we're still getting nicked.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:00 PM   #51
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...and you also hit a point where you realize you're washing off tin foil and plastic wrap and reusing it for the 27th time.

Deconstruction and devolution of your budget does have a finite limit.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:07 PM   #52
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...and you also hit a point where you realize you're washing off tin foil and plastic wrap and reusing it for the 27th time.

Deconstruction and devolution of your budget does have a finite limit.
Oh, boy, Friskies for dinner!
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:13 PM   #53
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Swell...the Innova cat food I buy is $35 for a 15lb bag...

Even the cats would have to experience some pretty disappointing meal changes if the budget gets tightened
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:57 AM   #54
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I'm buying a farm so I can spend less on organic veggies.

I think our food budget went up about 200% when we switched to all organics
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:04 AM   #55
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Sigh. I'm sad to say that I gave up on organics after the 5th or 6th time I felt fooled into paying extra. Gabe was raised on organic products and I was feeling pretty good about paying extra.

Then I found out that many products labeled "organic", such as makeup and seafood, dont actually have any definition for being organic and often contain substances or were grown/raised in conditions that seem to strongly defy the idea of 'organic'.

Then I found out that many products imported from other countries sport the "organic" label, but not the USDA Organic label, and if the product meets the standards for "organic" in the country of origin, that labeling is okay. In many countries, using hormones, antibiotics and chemicals are okay if it was necessary for the health of the animal/plant, and they may still bear the organic label if they were mostly organically raised/grown most of the time.

Later I discovered that the organic milk I was buying was simply reconstituted milk powder, largely from countries like New Zealand, which may have contained just as many hormones and antibiotics as regular milk from a dairy near my house that doesnt do anything organic with their products. I can add wateer to mystery milk powder for a lot less money. Later I noticed many organic milks have 3-5 "milk ingredients" like powdered milk, skim milk, milk powder, whole milk, and that those can all come from wholesale sources of questionable and little known origins. I started looking for regular plain old milk that had just one milk ingredient: milk.

Then we bought a bunch of hot dogs from Coleman, labeled organic, uncured, no added nitrites. Wow, sounded great! Until I got the consumer reports article later that week that pointed out that there was really nothing any better about these hot dogs, that plenty of nitrites were already in the basic ingredients so none needed to be added anyhow, and that they were near the bottom of the taste ratings to boot. Swell...I paid extra for something no healthier or better and it also tastes like crap.

Then I read how the USDA is going to allow all sorts of spices and other ingredients, including whey proteins and chili peppers, of non organic origins to be added freely to products labeled 'organic' and they can still be called 'organic'.

I now had the picture. People really want organic products and the food industry is willing to play every little marketing game, bend every rule, holeshot every loophole and if necessary, provide me with an inferior product of fairly questionable contents in order to stamp the word "organic" on it and charge me extra.

I now read labels in great detail, and often review ingredient lists closely. And I'm working very hard to buy products with just one or two ingredients. I dont automatically buy organic, if I buy it at all. And I dont overpay unless the benefits are certain, obvious, and unlikely to be subverted by some moron who's one step away from stuffing the product with chemically treated pork flavored cardboard.

They still got me though. Last week I bought crab cakes labeled "Made with REAL lump crab meat!!!!". On opening the package, I smelled the distinctive odor of Surimi, aka "fake K-rab". Sure enough, the ingredients are "Surimi, bread crumbs, water, lump crab meat, etc.". So technically yes, made with real crab meat...just not primarily and not much of it.

Know your food. Dont be fooled.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:51 AM   #56
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CFB, Agreed completely.

We shop locally, buy as much from local certified organic farmers as possible, and read diligently. At some level, you're either in it and passionate about living your life that way. Or, you give it up because it's so painful and frustrating. Or, to some, it's almost like a fad diet. I think there are too many people on the fad side of things... they think they're doing better, or think it'll help them in some way, but they don't have a clue. My dad works with a bunch of people that are eating organic because they think it'll help them lose weight. I guess the organic chocolate cookies are magically fat free!

I hate that agribusiness has jumped in the game and has been asking for relaxed guidelines on what organic means. They see it as a huge profit center for them to make that move... frustrating. Granted, I think we're overpaying for organic too, especially since it's now being equated with a lifestyle (look at Whole Foods and Wild Oats). Still, I guess I'd rather keep paying a little more for my food with the hope that more of my money is going to the local small-time farmer that wouldn't exist if he didn't have a stable group of people willing to support him.
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Old 07-14-2007, 11:58 AM   #57
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I guess the organic chocolate cookies are magically fat free!

Hey, they might be, but they're not calorie free! I remember back in my 20's when I couldnt gain weight to save my life, buying some 'FAT FREE!!!" cookies and chowing the whole box down in a couple of days. And I gained a pound. Well,they were fat free, but had a brazillion calories worth of sugar.

I've since noticed some products that obviously contain no fat and never have in any incarnation crowing "FAT FREE!" on the labels.

So are rocks.

Scientifically, people will eat more of a product that declares itself fat free, sugar free, high in fiber or somehow good for you whether it is or not. That aint good.
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:24 PM   #58
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Scientifically, people will eat more of a product that declares itself fat free, sugar free, high in fiber or somehow good for you whether it is or not. That aint good.
I always enjoy reading the inside back cover of CR called Selling It. They expose new episodes of the marketing fakery every month.
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:59 PM   #59
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The chemical definition of "organic" is "contains carbon"........
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