ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cost Cutting Strategies By Businesses and Effect on Consumers

Updated on September 13, 2014

WW width compared to W width

Savvy Consumer

How savvy are you as a consumer? It used to be that when gas prices went up the consumer would notice it not only at the gas pump, but with a cost increase in products in the local supermarket, due to increased manufacturing costs and/or higher shipping cost. However, I’ve noticed the businesses are taking a different tack in cost cutting strategies these days. I can’t decide if they think we, the consumers, won’t notice or if they really don’t realize how ridiculous some of the changes are. My main complaint regarding ridiculousness is with shoes. Let me explain:

For years, I purchased a particular brand of shoe. Usually, I bought a couple pair of canvas shoes in the summer months and the same shoe in washable leather each winter. My foot is wide (EE or WW) and I have trouble buying in most stores, so I usually order from a catalog or special order from a store.

A year or so ago, I ordered a pair of their canvas version and when I tried it on it just didn’t feel right. My foot overlapped on both sides of the sole, yet the shoe felt roomy, not tight as if it were too small. Just to look at it, it appeared to fit however, walking on it was a different story. I realized the sole for the EE/WW size I ordered was the same sole that would used on a more slender foot. They had added extra room on top with the canvas. Really; how could anyone not know that was not going to work? My assumption is that it was manufactured cheaper by using extra cloth for the top and less rubber for the sole. They lost a customer. I have not tried their product again.


Food Items

Recently I purchased a small stick of sausage from the local supermarket. I noticed it felt a little smaller when I picked it up. Rather than increase the price on the product, they had simply reduced it from a 16 ounce package to a 12 ounce package. Checking the price of bacon, I found they had also reduced the weight amount of their package with no change in price.

Some beverage companies are now offering soda in varying size bottles/cans, different from the sizes we have been purchasing for years.

The change seems to cover a lot of different type products, such as the popular peanut rounder (candy) sold in this area which is usually 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, suddenly has become about 1/8 inch thick.

These are not the only ones I’ve observed using this new tack and I guess it works for them, but perhaps they haven’t given thought to the fact that many recipes are written with instructions giving what we’ve come to believe are standard size packaging for certain products. It also affects consumers who are used to one package of a product providing a serving for each person in their family, to now having to purchase 2 packages to have enough to go around. Personally, rather than buy a second package, my family has learned to cut back on amounts, so perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing when looking at it from a better health perspective.

Another observation I made, although not in reference to size of the package, was that our local supermarket stocked a well known cereal that I often purchase. The boxed cereal just beneath it on the shelf was the exact same box, weight and type of cereal, but all wording was in Spanish. It was noticeably cheaper than the box with the English wording. It must have caused uproar with consumers, because it was later gone from the shelves. Of course, they kept the English wording package with the higher cost on the shelves.

Shortening Toilet Paper

Household Products

The shenanigans going on with toilet paper is another pet peeve of mine. Varying with manufacturers, I’ve noted changes in width ¼ to ½ inch or so shorter, lesser number of sheets on a roll, reduced quality of paper, and some have even removed the cardboard roller from the center.

Some of the same issues have been noticed with certain paper towels. My first indication of the difference in paper towels came when I placed an order for supplies at my place of work. I’ve ordered the same amount of paper towels and same brand for years. Suddenly, with no other changes to affect it, our paper towel order was not lasting as long as it had before, which caused me to begin checking the reason why.

You may also note differences in number of trash bags to a box and a tad smaller bottle of shampoo or other personal products.

In years past, most over the counter medications in pill form had a bit of cotton at the top of the bottle. A few years ago, most of them stopped putting the cotton in the bottle. Today, you may find some over the counter medications have lessened the number of product in a bottle, but have added back the bit of cotton.

Conclusion and How Consumers are Affected

I have purposely not mentioned brand names in this article, due to the fact that “some”, not “all” brands have changed in this way. I’ll leave it to you to ferret out the information on supplies that you normally purchase. The above information is garnered strictly from items I purchase on a regular basis.

As mentioned above, with some products these changes may require recalculations in the amount used in recipes. It may cause your grocery bill to go up due to having to buy more packages of an item in order to provide meals for your family. With lesser amounts in the packages, it obviously will cause you to have to purchase items more often than you have in the past. All in all, it is designed to get deeper into your pocketbook and it will do its job unless you are a savvy consumer.

Consumer Savvy Poll

What are your shopping habits?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Karen Ray profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Ray 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      And the list goes on - I had to add that my daughter purchased a block of cheese yesterday - same as we always get. It has been an 8 ounce package for many many years. Suddenly it is reduced to 7 ounces for the same price. The 8 ounce has disappeared from the shelves.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)