TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Price increases make everyone pay more attention to what they buy, how much, and how often. Inflation across the country remains high, and almost nowhere is as high as in Tampa Bay, where the inflation rate is almost 3% higher than the national average.
As inflation keeps the cost increases coming, Florida’s state leadership is warning residents to keep their eyes peeled as they go shopping for essentials.
According to Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, shrinkflation is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its sticker price, a form of hidden inflation.
A release from the CFO’s office said that while the trend isn’t new, it “often accompanies times of high inflation in the economy.” He referred to a story by the Associated Press talking about the practice.
“It’s dubbed ‘shrinkflation,’ and it’s accelerating worldwide. In the U.S., a small box of Kleenex now has 60 tissues; a few months ago, it had 65,” according to the AP.
Concerned with “historic inflation” and the rise of gasoline and grocery prices that have continued, unabated, for months, Patronis told Floridians to keep an eye on the volumes and sizing of their favorite products. He said that while amounts might shrink, prices may stay the same or even rise.
“Understandably, companies are doing what they can to keep their doors open as the supply chain remains a disaster and the cost of ingredients for products increase. This trend, however, is not only bad for business, but it is unfair to consumers,” Patronis said in a statement. “When shopping for you and your family, make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck by following a few tips to avoid being fooled by shrinkflation.”
His statement continued, placing the cause of the ongoing economic concerns at the feet of federal leadership.
“The bad policies of Washington continue to place an unnecessary burden on Florida families and our businesses,” Patronis said. “As the nation continues to be impacted by an unsettled economy, I suspect there to be more issues like shrinkflation to appear and that’s why I am urging Floridians to start saving and spending your money wisely to prepare for the long road ahead.”
CFO Patronis provided these tips to avoid “shrinkflation”:
- Check the unit pricing. Compare the unit pricing instead of the retail price.
- Consider changing brands. Substitute store brands for brands that may give you more bang for your buck.
- Look for rewards programs. Check if your store has a rewards program to save on items.
- Shop for special on-sale items. Stock-up on items when they go on sale to save money.
- Use grocery apps for rebates. Check if your store has an app to receive rebates.