Snarl, growl! I am livid! Is this the new math?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASometimes I am slow on the pickup. This is one of those times.

We celebrated Easter dinner at my brother’s house. My only chore was to bring the dessert. I do this every year. I make a strawberry cake (from a mix), squoosh up some fresh strawberries to saturate the cake and top it with a layer of half pudding, half frozen whipped stuff.

Easy peasy.

Looks good.

Tastes good.

So what happened this year? My cake, which I bake in a standard 9 x 13 inch pan, looked like flat brownies. Very flat brownies. Very flat pink brownies.

When did they downsize cake mixes? Did I miss the memo? Did they not think downsizing the mix would also downsize the cake?

They used to be 18.25 ounces. This mix (a very popular brand) was 15.25 ounces. That’s a lot! That’s just short of 20%.

If you lost 20% of your savings it would be a big deal. If you lost 20% of your weight it would be a big deal (stop smiling!)! This is a big deal!

Had I known, I would have used a smaller cake pan or two boxes. I like my cakes high! There was no notice. In fact the baking directions were for the 9 x 13 size along with the round sizes. There was no warning that using that pan would render a cake that looked like a pancake!

I know they downsized ice cream. The half-gallon size is no longer a half-gallon. They have downsized some other products too so you have to keep an eye out. Cereal was downsized. Then there are smaller magazines with fewer pages and more ads. Oh yes, the price doesn’t go down, just the size.

Things that came by the pound are now 12 ounces. They did that to coffee a long time ago. In fact, I think coffee is down to 11 ounces. How low can they go? (said to the tune of the  Limbo song) There are some pasta packages at less than a pound too.

We don’t even get a choice. I’d rather have the full size and pay more than bake a skimpy looking cake. (Don’t get all righteous on me and tell me I should be baking from scratch! Sometimes I do. Ok, hardly ever. I like shortcuts!)

Mr. Google and I checked on it. If you add 6 tablespoons of flour to the mix, you will get full volume. (Courtesy of the I don’t know what that does to the proportion of the other ingredients but all the reviewers were happy with this suggestion.

In the meantime I am sending an email to Mr. Pillsbury!

PS: I have since learned that you can get premium cake mixes which are 18.25 ounces but you have to look for them. Although Duncan Hines makes a signature strawberry cake mix, it wasn’t available at the store where I was shopping.

Here is the Limbo Song for those of you who don’t remember it and those of you who do! Come on! You can sing it! No one’s looking!

34 thoughts on “Snarl, growl! I am livid! Is this the new math?

  1. We’ve been watching this deceptive practice take hold in many areas. The toilet paper we use has a core which has grown in by about a half inch eliminating lots of actual toilet paper space. Also Hub has discovered his string cheese has a little over a half inch of cheese missing with the packaging just sucked in and his chili is no longer filling the can. (yeah, I don’t cook if I don’t have to either.)

    Wonder how much they could save if they changed package size to fit product instead of trying to fool us. Oh for the days of honesty…


  2. Your cake is truly beautiful, even minus the 6 extra tablespoons of flour! Maybe all these companies who are shortchanging us are really trying to help us lose weight? Or maybe they are trying to encourage us to live in moderation? Or maybe all those tablespoons of missing flour are saving them millions!


  3. Perfect lyrics for this post . . . How Low Can You Go?

    Spaghetti Sauce used to come in quart jars . . . then it was 28 ounces . . . now it’s down to 24 ounces. Good thing that noodles have been downsized by 25% too (from 16 ounces to 12 ounces).

    With all this downsizing . . . why have I not dropped 25% of my body weight???


  4. Not only have they reduced the amount of breakfast cereal in a box, but they have slightly increased the size of the boxes. Why? so they don’t fit intoa cupoard, so they get left out on the counter top. people then eat the contents of the box quicker..


    • That’s the hard part. An old recipe calls for a specific amount and now things don’t come in that amount anymore. The good news is that I have given up most recipes with exact ingredients (and obscure ones too).


  5. YUM! Okay, my mouth is watering. But… I hear ya on the downsizing stuff. I’ve stumbled upon a few of those confusing things in the kitchen, too. Yeah, they should warn us. Or just raise the dang price. Whatever. We’re grown ups. We can figure out the need for a price hike. The other (downsizing) just seems sneaky. Still love the cake… and the plate and fork. Pretty!


  6. cake mixes, toilet paper, and my personal pet peeve (all puns intended) is that the 50 lb bag of dog food is now only 35 lbs (and costs the same) … growling and snarling right along with you!


  7. Seems like we get cheated in just about everything we buy. Recently got some shelving lumber and was of course reminded that a 1 x 12 board of length is 3/4 x 11. They still call it 1 x 12, however so the novice weekend project wonder better know how to measure and buy appropriate material.


  8. They are downsizing everything!!! It’s frustrating. My favorite crackers went up in price and down in ounces!!! And I think you are correct, most coffee is 10-11 ounces these days. Ugh, so annoying!!!!

    Pretty cake though still! Looks yummy

    ❤ Jules


  9. They downsized toilet paper too…not as wide. Just check the fit on the roller. If it isn’t one scam it’s another! Sorry about that cake…bet is still tasted good and I would have love a piece! Happy Easter!


  10. I read this and LOL LOL LOLed. But I kept looking back at the picture and thought…. That pattern of dishes looks just like one I have. Very beautiful.

    Nobody was looking at your flat cake. They were admiring the china. lol 🙂


    • I took several pictures and ended up using this one because the china and gold flatware looked so beautiful. My brother bought the china for my sister-in-law a long, long time ago. It’s ageless!


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