Friday Update (Finally!) and Shrinkflation Stuff

Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
What a week we’ve had here at Ye Olde Casa. Dad’s medical condition has improved, however, both of Gretchen’s ‘rents are firmly believing that they can handle taking care of themselves still whereas the evidence shows that they’re not.

We got the report from “I’vefallenandcan’tgetup dot com (j/k) and it shows that Dad’s taken a header at least 24 times in the past 18 months. One day it was 3 in a row. However, they’re not listening, nor wanting to hear it. I’m of half a mind to just hand him my pistola with one round and telling him to just get it over with now, as opposed to dragging us through all this non-stop bullshit.
>Le Sigh<
We all know I can’t and won’t, but yeah, that’s where I’m at at this point. The daily drive for Gretchen has been killing her, never mind cutting into any of our (non-existing) extra income. It’s like a $50 trip each time, which adds up. She’s even offered to go back and live there half the week, just to make sure there’s some stability, but then they refuse even that.

So, he’s got physical rehab ahead of him, and he’s telling us that he’s NOT going. Told Gretchen to tell him he either does rehab, or we won’t bring the Gran up for a visit. I hate to be the asshole in this, but I’m overstressed, overtaxed and generally, I’m wore-the-fuck-out.

A couple of bright lights here though have been you guys. The donations we got have been keeping our heads above water (thank you for all that y’all have done on that let me tell you…) and another thing was I got a rather ‘cryptic email’ from “Steady Steve” warning me of a ‘package inbound’ and to be aware.

Now, generally, things like that are to be approached with Level 4 MOPP Gear and/or an EOD Suit… that being said Steve has sent me some stuff in the past, so I wasn’t too concerned. What did show was a rather lavish gift of some premium steaks packed in dry ice. Like try Waygu Filet Mignon.

There’s steaks, and then there’s fucking steaks man!!!
Holy. Shit.
The note included mentioned his apparent horror that we’d been fucked up via that bad Mickey D’s we had a ways back, and so he gifted us some top end steaks…

Hoo boy man… I’m gonna have to think long and hard of the “how and when” for them babies… Waygu? Never had it before and I sure AF don’t want to fuck it up when I cook them… any advice from the peanut galley is welcome, as that level of beef is beyond my skill set/knowledge.

The other aspect of the gift was the comedy that I had messing with the animals… I took the dry ice and did the “make it foggy/steamy” by putting water on it… The Sausage Princess was alllll sorts of weirded out… I didn’t let her get close to the ice itself, but when I ‘watered it down’ and it went all sizzling and foggy, she tripped. Pretty humorous.

Again, me most ‘umble thanks to Steady Steve for his unbelievable gifty. They will be enjoyed to the max bro.

Now, as far as ‘current events’
Lets see… biddness as usual. Everything is “fucked”, heading towards “more fucked” with a slight chance of “increased fuckery” in the interim. The very fact that they haven’t gone after the Pretender to the Glorious and Harmonious P&PBUH (Plus 10%) Orifice of The (p)Resident, The Dementor-in-Chief, Emperor Poopypants the First, Chief Executive of the Kidsmeller Pursuivant, Good Ole Slo Xi-Den for what are blatant and obvious “high crimes and/or misdemeanors” when they literally tried to fry a sitting President for making a fucking phone call is not lost on “Joe Sixpack”

The disparity is what’s going to get them in deeeeeeep shit. I mean the IRS announced they’re no longer going to show up at people’s domiciles, probably ‘cos they know they’re more than likely to ‘disappear’, seeings that “…if the (p)Resident’s worthless crackwhore son gets away without paying taxes, why the fuck should we?” If there was ever a moment where the old western “Multiple S’s” come into play, that’d be it. Those being:
Shoot ’em
Shovel ’em
and Shut up about it.
I got a buddy with a John Deer, 10 acres and he’s a good friend. The definition of which being one who helps dispose of the bodies Aye? Make of it what you will. Just remember, it takes two parts bleach and one part peroxide to fully remove bloodstains.
Jes’ Sayin’

Now, as far as economic ‘stuff’… I happened on something recently that was a HUGE indicator of “shrinkflation” as they call it. I ran out of Garlic Powder. Now, in this house? That qualifies as an emergency. I use that shit in everything. I use real garlic when I need to, but for ‘fast and dirty’ dinner making, a dash of the powder works in the interim. Besides, lots of the dishes I make, I don’t want/need the itty-bits of the garlic floating around in whatever I’m making.

So I ran to Publix, and bought the BIG jug of Garlic Powder they have. It wasn’t until I got home until I saw the difference:

Now, I fished the empty one out of the trash for the picture.

The new one is on the right, and was in the spice rack area that all the ‘other’ BIG bottles/jugs of spices are. The label on the spice rack in the store even shows the same label for the one one the left. My guess is this’s a new change, and they haven’t gotten up to speed.

First thing though, is you can tell right off the bat is size difference. 9oz on the old, versus 7.2oz on the new. The new jug is also just a wee bit ‘thinner’ than the older one, without the flaring. I even asked the kid if this was the ‘intermediate’ size bottle, and he was like “Nope, that’s the ‘new’ BIG bottle.” Told me he had a LOT of customers asking about it, as the cost?

The new one at 7.2oz costs as much as the old 9oz one did.

Granted, maybe being a bit petty here, however, it’s indicative of a greater problem, that being costs being ‘artificially maintained’… I.E. I buy what I think is “the big jug of spice” and yeah, I did, and yeah I paid for what I paid for it the last time.


Reality is, I lost 1.8oz of product in the deal. That adds up pretty quickly when dealing in bulk. Just for grins, I calculated that the ‘missing 1.8oz’ makes up, in a case of the product call it 12 bottles in a case for shits n grins, an old case of 9oz bottles is 108oz. Say a bottle costs $5. That’s $60 a case for 108oz worth of product. (Mind you I’m making up all of these numbers purely for demonstrative purposes)

But when you lower the amount of product, and charge the same price? At 7.2oz per bottle, instead of 12 bottles, you get 15 bottles of product with a $15 profit.. 12 Bottles of 7.2oz worth of product comes out to 86.4oz of total product per case. That leaves 21.6oz of ‘free range product’ if you will, which just so happens to be enough to fill -exactly- three more bottles.

By shrinking the amount per bottle, and charging the same (the theoretical $5 per bottle) that’s $15 that’s now a ‘freebie’ but still hurts the consumer, ‘cos, leastways in THIS house? I’m going to be burning through 7.2oz of Garlic powder a hell of a lot quicker than I would have on the 9oz jug.

Now, multiply that by thousands of cases/bottles.
Pretty good gig if you can get it Aye?
Let me know what y’all see shrinkflation-wise as well… I’d be curious. I know Publix isn’t per se trying to fuck over the consumer, but this IS a pretty obvious case where the numbers and the ‘skim’ worked out pretty evenly, considering I pulled the dozen bottles per case and the $5 per bottle out of my ass, just for making an example.

And yes, the Substack will be up NLT Sunday. I had to trash the original one, as ‘current events’ in the Krain have gone sideways, and my points that I had done up are now moot. So, instead, I’m doing a writeup that will be a must read. Check it out.
So, More Later
Big Country

27 thoughts on “Friday Update (Finally!) and Shrinkflation Stuff”

  1. It goes snafu- situation normal all fucked up to, fubar-fucked up beyond all recognition to, tarfun- things are really fucked up now.
    Keep after it and keep reaching for the stars.

  2. BCE, sorry to hear about your in laws living in Da Nile.
    Currently my Mom and wife’s grandma are in assisted living and like it.
    My Mom was cool and decided herself to move into assisted living because HER mother was like your in laws but worse. “We weren’t going to tell her what to do and how to live her life” and refused to go to assisted living or even hire someone to help her (and she had plenty of money in the bank). She then would call us constantly and get pissed if we couldn’t do things for her.
    Finally her calling 911 caught up to her and Elder Care was called by the EMTs to do an assessment.
    Their assessment went to a judge who ordered her into a nursing home and there was nothing she or we could do about it.

    With this experience in mind, you and wifey need to draw some hard boundaries. They have a right to make their own decisions BUT when those decisions impact you and wifey’s lives then you get a say.
    If they don’t like it then tough shit. Worst case you can do the “nuclear option” and have them legally declared incompetent but that would lead to long term hard feelings and cost a bunch in legal fees.
    If they have money, you might as an interim step have them hire someone during the day to help them.

    It’s a shitty situation and I know because I’ve been there. On the one hand you love your relatives and want to help them but on the other your life cannot revolve around them.
    Frankly it’s not fair of them to ask that of you just because they don’t want to face reality and that getting old sucks.

  3. BCE, nice meme dude.
    Unsolicited advice (from 20 plush years ICU RN experience):
    VERY FEW people realize they’re gonna die (when the rubber meets the road). Seriously. No, seriously. I mean it!
    90+ percent of doctors have no idea how to discuss the whole person, meaning the big picture with their patients, which makes them incapable of discussing end of life issues competently. They see organs, and how to optimize each one…
    But NOT the whole person (lots of reasons for that, another day’s rant).
    Palliative care doctors/ARNPs are the exception. They have the ability to see the whole patient, current acute illnesses in conjunction with their medical history. Then they ask what they want to do with the rest of their lives, what they enjoy. THEN they help the patient line up what they want to do with the rest of their life with what’s realistic. It’s called “goals of care.”
    I’ve seen more denial than you can imagine.
    The parents need this.

  4. Has your FIL had an MRI or CT scan of his brain? I would assume they have at least done a CT scan if he has hit his head during a fall, but with health care being the way it is these days you never know. The reason I bring up the MRI is because my FIL started to fall and we found out he had a brain tumor that was causing it.

  5. Hang in there, this is a tough period. Pere to the left of me, grans to the right? Stuck here in the middle with you. Be gentle with those who used to stride the planet like Collossus.

  6. OHS 5 weeks ago yesterday, cracked open twice in 6 hours because…internal bleeding. The hospital bill alone for 8 days in a private room, never mind surgeon, anesthetist (twice in one day), nurses, orderlies, hangers-on, hospital groupies and curious onlookers comes to…(drum roll)…$563,000!

    Jaysus H. hop-scotchin’ Christ! WHO has that kind of scratch laying around, just in case they need emergency quadruple bypass surgery with a bonus valve replacement tossed in for laughs? Not I, hombre. Fortunately, I am insured to the hilt by my foolishly generous employer, and it was all “in network,” whatever that means. My out-of-pocket cost therefore comes to precisely ‘dick’. I don’t really know what “in network” means in layman’s terms, but whatever the phuck it is, get your sorry arse “in network” as soon as humanly possible. BEFORE they repossess your first-born male child and any other tangible assets you may have buried in the back yard beneath the bodies.

    This growing old shite creeps up on ya fast (I am barely out of my 50s) and it ain’t cheap. Seems like only yesterday I was boning the missus on the kitchen table and today they are carving me up like a Thanksgiving turkey. Life is short, youth and beauty even shorter. Make the best of it today and don’t ever look back.

    Sorry to hear about your stubborn-ass in-laws, but understand that we aging warriors don’t let go easily. Think – Joe Montana, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, numerous others of the over-the-hill gang who still think they “got it”, when Father Time has other ideas. Sometimes ya just got to let ’em fall. And maybe 25th time will be the charm.

  7. Noticing rising prices and shrinkage and quality reduction in things like pet food.
    All of my staples have went up under Sum Dum Gai Biden with some almost doubling.
    The commie store out of Michigan owned by a political family got rid of the deli altogether.
    Family was complaining and I couldn’t help the at least the tweets aren’t mean and Brandon will get ya a dollar for a tax rebate check.
    Friday Night Fun with Rommel, Zoltar, George Carlin, Coors!
    Dayam, that is a juicy looking steak chock full of protein, nom, nom, nom.
    Call an audible like Peyton Manning before devouring.

  8. For the beef — unless you have a big heavy black griddle like a Japanese teppan, I would say to butter baste them in either cast iron or (better for heat control) a carbon steel pan. For god’s sake, don’t try it in teflon or you can end up filling the kitchen with poisonous gas.
    This hilarious fucking Florida frog shows you how its done.
    It essentially fries the steaks in butter. I wouldn’t age the wagu, though, just the 45 minute dry brine. Pull it at about 110 so you end up coasting/resting to 120-125 (rare/not blue).
    Or, with that, slice it thin, pound it out paper thin and have it raw as carpaccio. I think that is what I would do.

    1. This is normally a fairly thin steak in Japan, especially the A5 grade.

      For yakiniku, it’s pre-cut to bite sizes no thicker than 8mm, with 6mm being fairly typical.

      That’s to let the flavours come out quickly, and so you cook small portions at a time and eat them, going back to cook more of them. That’s where those personal charcoal grills like what you see in some Japanese restaurants come into use.

      But it’s the steak that’s doing the work here, not the cooking technique so much, and so you could do this in a frying pan with quality butter to bring out the flavour.

      What you don’t do with wagyu is grill it at high heat because of the high fat content, and so the butter keeps you aware of the fat content so you won’t turn it into shoe leather. Enough heat to wreck the butter would also wreck the steak.

      So start bite-sized and thin with some butter and see if you like the results.

      You could probably do this on a dinner table with a butane camping stove, a small frying pan, and a trivet for the pan to sit it on when it’s not being used.

    2. I agree with pan cooking the steaks. Look it up online, and it’s easy as pie. Makes a shit-ton of delicious smoke, though, so make sure your ovenhood evacuates outside or put a fan in a window.

      Sear both top and bottom and bake in the oven. It beats the grill and going outside hands down.

      Though some people swear by a Salamander (a sandwich press machine for us little folks) as long as you can set the top hot plate just above the steak and not compressing it.

  9. OT but useful to know: here’s another radio encryption update.

    In addition to the RF leakage IV attacks on AES within Suite B radios (such as your Harris Falcon), there are newly revealed attacks on the TEA series of encryption algorithms used worldwide in TETRA radios, such as those used by police and fire services.

    But about shrinkflation and spices: Publix isn’t exactly cheap normally, and the prices they have for their branded stuff aren’t great. Badia’s OK as a brand for slightly larger quantities, but what you probably want is a better bulk option.

    Since you’re already driving all the way to The Villages, why not make a swing through Orlando and hit Lotte Market, Enson Market, and the Caribbean Supermarket, all of which are off FL 50?

    Lots of things have changed over the past year or so, but we can make do with substitutions. Remember those little “soup star” noodles that go into minestrone soup and other kinds of soup? Barilla stopped making them, and so we use Makfa brand instead … from Russia.

    Now that The Number One Pasta In America can’t be bothered because it’s owned by vulture capitalists, The Number One Pasta In Russia becomes the new substitution.

    All of those people out there who think they’re financially richer because of corporate money games eventually realise that money does not equal food or stuff, so when you hollow out your local agriculture and industry, everyone lives at the mercy of someone else’s agriculture and industry that weren’t hollowed out.

    At least as long as those people who still produce things believe your money’s worth the bother, that is.

    BTW, if your standard meat seasoning technique involves liberal application of garlic and onion powder, try one of the Badia adobo seasonings. The Badia variety with orange peel in it is pretty good, especially on chicken, and sometimes you can find it by volume for less than what the ingredients in it sell for separately.

    Some spices are cheaper elsewhere: chives are much more pocket-friendly at Big Lots and Dollar Tree, especially given that they are in smaller containers so there’s less to go stale at one time.

    These smug journalists who go on about how people are shifting from Walmart to Dollar Tree as if this is a bad thing … yeah, when was the last time one of them ever saw the inside of one?

    1. Check into restaurant supply outfits as well. They’re national, but we have a GFS outlet store in knoxvegas. 50lb bags of rice, 40lb cases of chicken, and 1 lb tubs of whatever spice you like.

      Yes, shrinkflation is very real. Its how they maintain the price point. Look for changes to packaging, too. Those tetra-pak foil lined boxes, pouches, etc. vs. Cardboard box and plastic liner bag. That sort of thing.

      Noticed a lot of meat I buy (like bacon, sliced coldcuts and cheese) comes in the same _looking_ package, but only weighs 12 oz now, when it used to be a pound (16oz). 25% cut in product, same price (and often higher!)

  10. Add garlic to the garden, brother.

    I grow Chesnok garlic, native republic of Georgia, you know the land of Stalin. Not the Bulldogs.

    Anyhow, slice it up, dry it out in a dehydrator then grind it up either by hand or in a food processor or coffee grinder. It’s strong stuff so you don’t need near as much. I prefer to mix it one parts to three parts sea salt for my own garlic salt.

    Store bought stuff just doesn’t compare.

  11. Oh yeah, almost forgot: re the shrinkflation, I regularly buy andouille sausage, either Zatarains or Johnsonville, which isn’t as good as the stuff I used to get in NOLA or NYC (the latter, literally a block away from the apartment, made by a chef who learned the trade–or art–from Paul Prudhomme, no shit!). I noticed a cpl weeks ago that the sausage seems to have gotten smaller all of a sudden-like, so I checked the label. Whereas before, you got an even pound (16 oz) of sausage in every pack, now it’s 13.5 ounces. Rat bastard pricks.

  12. This reminds me of the shrinkflation of the Carter years. It’s bad enough that there is a reddit dedicated to various “shrunk” products.

  13. Wow, that beef! You must have lived right in a previous life to get that as a gift! I’m a pretty good steak cooker, but not too experienced on the Filet Mignon cuts. I’d keep the seasoning simple – course kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic powder. You don’t want to hide the flavor of the meat with a bunch of spices. Maybe hold off on the salt until the end as it draws moisture out when used before the cook and just lightly sprinkle it on the finished filet, letting it absorb in during the rest (rest it at least 5 minutes, 10 if you can bear to wait that long).

    Buy some good quality butter if you’re going to pan sear it – Kerrygold at the minimum. No store-branded stuff for that meat. Filet’s are usually wrapped in bacon. Don’t know if that needs it – look at that fat marbling! If you are cooking it over 120 internal (rare) then you don’t appreciate fine beef.

    Shrinkflation is something I’ve been pointing out since the turn of the century. The first time I noticed it was when half-gallon ice cream containers began disappearing from the store freezers. Then it was dog food – the brand I always bought for my dogs was no longer available in 50 lbs bags, but had gone to 45 lbs bags. Last time I looked, it was down to 35 lbs. and the same price. Got some old recipes for casseroles and such that call for a can of soup? Better check that again – cans of soup are smaller, now. We’ve been getting ripped off for a while now, and big grocery is in on hiding the inflation scam and has been for many years. More Weimar problems…

  14. Sorry about Gretchen’s parents. These are the hard years that come to us all.
    As for the ground garlic? The BigBox used to sell rice, 25 pounds for $17 and God Knows, we have enough oriental customers in the land of White Suburb to hear the weeping cries of “Foul!”. The same bag of rice went up to $25 overnight when India announce no more exports. Every.Single.Thing. is on the price upswing. Especially pre-made products; salads, meal in a kit, etc. Best way to save money is to cook it from scratch. I have an interesting cookbook called “Grandma’s Wartime Cooking”. It has recipes from WW2. Might be worth a look at the local library.

  15. My in-laws get me/us a gift certificate to Snake River Farms each Christmas. I swear by their searing method for Filet’s.

    There’s some good instructions here, including the reverse sear method:

    More unsolicited advice: don’t wait for a special occasion to eat them. As you hang onto them longer nothing will be deemed “special enough” and they’ll sit in the freezer losing taste. So, make any random day “special” by cooking them up.

  16. On package shrinkage: It’s deceptive and dishonest and, unfortunately, that’s how too many businesses operate, especially when it comes to consumer packaged goods manufactures; processed foods, in particular. You have to be an undercover detective, a fraud investigator and a forensic chef, just to go grocery shopping.

    Do you remember the days when a pound of food actually weighed 16 ounces?

    How about when package of candy labeled “Fun Size” was really big, instead of stupidly small? When did a tiny, midget-sized candy bar (more like a little nugget) become “Fun?”

    Supermarket beef jerky now comes in 2.0 oz. packages. Most consumers won’t bother to multiply the price by 8, to realize that the beef jerky actually costs $36/pound–and that’s not for Waigu jerky, either.

    Bulk food is not always a good deal, either. The quality tends to be poor, of indeterminate origin, and often, stale.

  17. (((shrinkflation))) – also, smaller, thinner plastic jar, + smaller cardboard carton = Packaging Savings at same Price Point for the Product.

    The Rice is a good example of how ‘International Trade’ affects local prices. Now that Tsar Vladimir the Bad has shut down all Grain Exports from the ‘Kraine (good pics at the price of Bread and Pasta is sure to rise.

  18. Sure it is only 1.8 ounces but that is a 20% decrease and we are seeing it all over, prices are up and the volume of the contents are down. Sniffy is bragging about inflation being “down” but it is still high and they are gaming the numbers, just like they do with “job creation” and unemployment or the global temperatures, depending on what narrative they are pushing and who is in the White House.

  19. As most have no doubt noted, this “shrinkflation” shit has been going on quite a long time. Started a few years back with certain vendors pulling the “large” size of what they normally sold at the supermarkets and only delivered the smaller size of same. Of course, per ounce cost was higher for the smaller size, so by that method, without actually changing the ounces, they earned more since we are forced to buy more smaller packages.

    Since the idiocy foisted upon us though, it has ramped up big time. We buy Quaker Oat Squares, has been a staple here for years even 20 years past the last kidlet departing the nest. Used to be a Costco double pack, one bag of which, filled our Tupperware holder completely and still had about 1/4 bag that would not fit. Today, same size cardboard box, but inside, well, inside are two bags only about 2/3 full and the rest being air. One bag no longer fills the tupperware, leaves me with air at the top of the plastic container. Grrrr.

    And yes, pretty much every packaged condiment or food has fewer ounces per bottle/jar/can now. And don’t get me started on plain old bath bar soap. Used to be an honest 4 OZ that lasted a good long time. Now, same external box, but 3.2 OZ and they seem to dissolve a lot faster than before.

    I understand marketing and human perceptions, worked in high value technical/engineered product sales for 40 years, but I would be perfectly happy to pay a bit more for the SAME quantity I was getting before. That is a sure way to gauge how the economy is doing. Which is why all the manufacturers try to pull fast ones, they count on most sheeple not noticing, but boy, are they wrong on that. We notice, our wallet knows and we are keeping tally.

  20. Hey BCE, gotta question for ya. If I wanted to send ya somethin foodwise (not somethin that’d spoil or anything – and fer sure nothin as lavish as that beef), do ya have a PO Box or somethin I could send it to?? Don’t want ya giving out the Casa address. ‘Nother question – how far is Carrollwood from ya (haven’t been over thataway in a few years)??? Just answer by email if you’re interested.

    Y’all take care,
    Mike in FLA. (yer almost FLA. neighbor)

  21. ” the IRS announced they’re no longer going to show up at people’s domiciles”… WRONG! They said there would be no UNARMED AGENTS showing up at your door… as in the past. They’ll be ARMED now. Gotta read betwixt the lines.

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