5 Poor Deals In Grocery Aisles

Ever-helpful scam watchdog Omie over at LiveCheap has scanned the grocery aisles and unearthed five tricks grocery manufacturers use to get you to pay more to buy less.

He warns you watch out for these ruses:

*Diluted bleach — Check the concentration levels on bleach. You may be paying more for watery bleach.

*Barely “fruit” juice — The Capri Sun packages Omie spotted had 10 percent fruit juice, and Ocean Spray was 27 percent juice.

*Plumped chickens — Chicken can be injected with a solution to make pieces weigh more. Check the label.

*Sneaky containers — Omie cites Arrowhead bottled water and Breyers ice cream as Grocery Shrink Ray victims.

*Fillers and fake foods — “Maple syrup” is often mislabeled high-fructose corn syrup, and crab cakes tend to consist of fake crab.

Avoid 5 Grocery Rip-Offs – Read the Label [LiveCheap]

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  1. cbandito says:

    There is a way around the shrink ray for Breyer’s…buy it by the gallon. The gallon container is still a full gallon, rather than the 1.5 quart “half gallon”.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Cook’s Illustrated did a test on a bunch of different ice creams to see how airated they were because apparently you can expand the volume by up to 100% with air. If memory serves, Breyer’s was one of the biggest cheaters.

  2. Tim says:

    The thing about most of these things is that their labels do reflect reality.

    - Bleach, I don’t know, because I don’t buy it, but it sounds like it’s labeled
    - Juice is definitely labeled with the percentage of juice by volume
    - Chicken is definitely labeled
    - Containers are definitely labeled
    - And so are “fake” foods (maple-flavored corn syrup, for example, is always “maple flavored syrup”)

    Just read the label!

    • MrsLopsided says:

      Unless it says “100% juice” it isn’t. If the label says “juice drink” or “juice cocktail” then it isn’t 100% juice. Check the order of ingredients. If its water, sugar, concentrate then it’s not 100% juice. Read the label.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        I have seen plenty of juices that are labled with the % of juice.

      • Bativac says:

        Read it CLOSELY with juice. Some juices are labeled “made WITH 100% juice” but that 100% juice only constitutes 10% of the product you are purchasing. Juicy Juice used to be guilty of this. It was actually “Some Juice With Other Junk Added.”

      • PunditGuy says:

        100% juice is usually about 10-15% of the juice you want and then the rest is apple/grape juice.

        • Mary says:

          That’s fine by me, I dilute half my juice with apple at home anyway, because I like mixing my juices up for better flavor.

          I’ve never found juice labels to be very mysterious or tricky…but then, I’ve been reading them for years because I couldn’t stand anything other than 100% apple juice with NO additives whatsoever. If there’s an ingredient other than “apple juice” listed, I don’t want it. (Water is sometimes, but rarely, acceptable in a pinch).

    • Daniellethm says:

      I take the longest time trying to find 100% cranberry juice, that could take about 5 minutes by itself to find the best combo of cheap and real juice. The last time, I got some off brand stuff(I wish I kept the container, or remembered the name), which said 100% juice on the front. I get home to sample it, and it’s sweet as diabetes. I think “WTF?! Where’s my face-puckering tartness?” So I check the label more closely. It IS 100%, but it’s mostly apple juice, those jerks. Never again, I’ll just go with the pricier Ocean Spray.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    A lot of premade crabcakes are filled with cheaper ingredients. That package of $8 premade crabcakes might save you time and money, but it could also be about 40% celery and breading. At least if you bought a container of crabmeat, you could make your own and ensure that your crab to filler ratio is right.

    • John says:

      A quick glance at a Maryland crab cake recipe show 1 &1/8 cups crackers per pound of crab, along with one stalk of celery. That very closely approaches your “40% bread and celery” content. I believe that this is simply how crab cakes are made.

      • Daverson says:

        A good crabcake has only enough filler to bind it during cooking. There shouldn’t be more than 2 slices of fresh bread, grated into crumbs, per pound of crabmeat. And leave the celery out – season it with 1/2 tsp each of celery salt and Old Bay, along with 2 tablespoons of mayo and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and some paprika to taste, blended with a beaten egg. Fold everything together, form into patties and refrigerate the patties for at least an hour to let them set before frying them (or baking them) until golden brown.

        Chilling them before cooking is the key to keeping crabcakes from falling apart, not adding lots of crumbs.

        • Dustbunny says:

          I would like to place an order for your crab cakes. K thx bai.

        • phate says:

          Consumerist Recipes FTW!

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          I know what I’m making this weekend!!!

        • huadpe says:

          Good to know. I had always figured it to be more like meatballs, where you don’t actually want pure meat, but rather a decent amalgamation of meat, breadcrumb, and seasoning, for reasons of texture as well as to stretch your meat.

          The all-meat-meatball is an American addition; the originals were ways to stretch your meat out.

  4. Hoss says:

    In defense of Ocean Spray who makes cranberry juice, a cranberry isn’t like a apple. To make cranberry juice you cook the berries in water and add something like orange juice. So the juice isn’t from a cranberry

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Yep. I love cranberry juice and I made the mistake of trying to drink 100% concentrated juice from Trader Joes. It’s…. not something that most people could drink without diluting it- including myself. Most people use the 100% concentraded to add to teas and such.

    • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

      But it should still be “juice”, not flavored HFCS-water.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        Most of Ocean Spray’s juices do not have HFCS.
        I buy the 100% cranberry juice.
        Not even sugar added.
        I also buy the apple juice, cran-apple, blueberry – which don’t have it.

        • Jeff_Number_3 says:

          Cranberry juice was the first thing I thought of when diluting juices was mentioned. I love all things cranberries, but the berries themselves are so tart. How do you drink 100% cranberry juice without your face falling off?

        • outoftheblew says:

          I’m not sure that Ocean Spray makes a 100% cranberry juice. It may be 100% juice, but usually they add grape and apple to cranberry juice, but call it cranberry (rather than Cran-Apple or Cran-Grape). Whenever myself or coworkers have looked for 100% cranberry juice (to get rid of a bladder infection), we’ve only found two brands that have it, neither of which are a brand with an advertising budget.

          I’m curious if anyone drinks 100% cranberry juice, other than to cure a UTI or bladder infection.

          • jurisenpai says:

            I drink 100% cranberry juice on ice or with a little club soda. It’s very sour but I enjoy it. Sometimes I mix it with a little O.J. for a sweet/tart drink combo.

          • Daniellethm says:

            I do, and it’s so hard to find sometimes. Previous reply was my last “adventure” into the world of 100%* juice.

            *Not the juice I want

    • evnmorlo says:

      Ocean Spray’s goal for decades has been to reduce the cranberry content of their juice.

  5. Darkneuro says:

    I already read labels. And shop price per unit, too.

  6. sponica says:

    well Ocean spray is usually 27% juice because pure cranberry juice is sooooooo tart very few people would drink it if it were 100% cranberry juice.

    And any New Englander knows what to look for in maple syrup….and actually you’re paying substantially less buying the HFCS pretending to be maple syrup than the real stuff.

    • parv says:

      I used to drink the 100% cranberry juice until it reached US$ 9+ in Hawai’i. I like the tartness; have yet to find anything else nearly as tart but not nearly as expensive.

      • sponica says:

        I guess I take it for granted that the cranberrys come from an hour away. You can always tell when the cranberry harvest is in….they practically GIVE away Ocean Spray @ the grocery stores.

  7. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    I remember my roomies walking away in disgust to other sections of the store as I searched their Syrup section in vain for a container of “Maple Syrup” that wasn’t “Somewhat Maple-flavored Corn Syrup” … I did find one eventually, and it was totally worth it, but it took going through every last bottle on the shelf. All of the big brands? Maple flavorings. We get it at Costco now, it’s much easier to search for the Real Stuff now.

    Is it just me or is Seafood often mislabled. “Scallops” containing no actual scallops, “Crab” containing no actual crab, etc.?

    I’m waiting for the point where companies collect (or make?) seashells and stick “Bits o’Cheap Fish” (and maybe seaweed) inside and call them “shellfish.” :/

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      In the case of scallops, if it’s a fresh scallop, it better be a scallop and not a nugget of fish. But if you’re talking about the scallops that are fried and frozen, a lot of that stuff will contain fillers. Same with imitation crab being present in premade crab cakes.

    • rpm773 says:

      Are you talking about grocery stores or restaurants, where food is mislabeled?

      I believe grocery stores have to tell you that your crab meat is imitation, and that your scallops are actually fish plugs. But that may not be the case for restaurants.

      Regardless, any establishment that cares about maintaining its reputation would label the product correctly and find a more subtle way to screw the customer :)

    • Raekwon says:

      I guess I’m lucky. My wife’s family has a farm and they tap the trees for syrup. It’s some pretty amazing stuff.

  8. TimothyT says:

    I have yet to find chicken that does not have “broth” added. While I’m aware of this weight adding scam, I have not found alternatives in any of the markets that I visit. Would it ultimately cost more to find specialty prepared chicken without fillers?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think maybe Whole Foods chicken is broth-free. I’m not sure though.

    • tungstencoil says:

      My experience is that the “unplumped” chicken costs more. Places like Whole Foods or Trader Joes or Wegmans should have it, in addition to “plumped”.

      So the question is: are you being ripped off if it costs less? I guess it depends upon how much of that “up to 10%” translates into weight. If it is done by weight (I think it might be), then if the plumped is $4.00 and the unplumped is $4.50, you’re still saving money. If the unplumped is $4.34, you are not.

      Then there’s the matter of taste & convenience. The plumping brines the chicken. You may or may not like this, or like what they use to do it.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        I recently saw some chix breasts that said “with up to 22% of a solution.” That’s over 1/5, or 3 1/2 oz per pound of chicken. They are doing this to make money; it’s not to give you better chicken.

    • FatLynn says:

      Depends on the cut. Breasts are almost always injected; dark meat is easier to find w/out solution. Also, you will have better luck with fresh meat than with frozen.

      However, as I posted below, you may not like the chicken without broth, as it is much more likely that you will overcook it. I recommend wrapping it in bacon to seal in some of the moisture if you plan to bake it or put it on the grill.

    • SugarMag says:

      If I buy organic chicken it tends not to have broth.
      It seems like I can find plenty of chicken without the broth; I assume they have to label it if it contains it? “nautral flavorings” or that kind of wordage is code for hidden sugars as well so I tend to avoid it in all food (even commercial canned tuna has hidden sugar under some such name).

      I dont buy Perdue much but I dont recall seeing broth indicated (I only buy boneless/skinless varities…not sure this has anything to do with it).

    • jasonq says:

      Guess it depends on where you are. In my area, there’s an outfit called Smart Chicken that sells non-injected meat – either parts or whole birds. They have a regular and organic line. It’s more expensive, sure, but it’s far better quality. Much easier to use, too, especially when I’m making something like stir-fry and I don’t want a bunch of extra liquid in the pan.

      To my surprise they even sell online: http://www.smartchicken.com

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I just checked with my butcher, and he carries organic chicken for $3.50 a pound. It’s not so bad considering my local grocery store sells chicken for $2 a pound on sale. You should check with local butchers and specify what part of the chicken you want.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      It’s not injected with saline in order to rip off the customer-it’s to disguise how nasty commercial chicken is. They also do this with pork. Consumers preference have forced the breeding of pigs with less and less fat, so they have to make up the flavor with saline. Believe me, there are loads of other ways used to rip off the consumer when it comes to meats, and it’s not the “injected up to 10% saline solution” put right on the freaking label.

  9. FatLynn says:

    Plumped chickens, however, are easier to cook. If you buy chicken that is NOT injected with solution, you must be very precise in your preparation to be sure they do not dry out.

    • Shadowfire says:

      What? Cooking chicken really is not hard. Whether you bake, fry, or grill it, drying out chicken breasts takes extreme ineptitude.

      • veritybrown says:

        Have you ever cooked a non-”plumped” chicken breast? Are you sure?

        • johnva says:

          All you have to do is not overcook it. That’s going to be less time for unplumped chicken, but you simply adjust. It’s not that hard.

        • nimoto says:

          I get my chickens murdered on demand from a place a few blocks from me. It’s not hard to cook. Particularly when it comes home still warm.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        I am not trusted with the grill when chicken is involved; I *like* dry chicken.

    • veritybrown says:

      Exactly. So you aren’t being completely ripped off. The “plumping” actually adds some real value. And chicken that hasn’t been treated this way is almost certainly going to be more expensive. Unless you have particular issues with *what* it’s being injected with, it’s not really worth worrying about.

    • johnva says:

      Not really, in my experience. The unplumped stuff is perfectly juicy as long as you don’t overcook it massively. Plus, it actually tastes like chicken instead of like salt.

  10. Gman says:

    I was born in Canada so maybe it’s in my blood or something, but I just don’t understand how anyone can enjoy the fake Maple syrup.

    My biggest annoyance right now [not as much of a ripoff] are false advertising. VERY prevalent in the frozen aisle. I look in my cart and I see overflowing plates, satisfied families fed entirely with one single $1 box portion, and gorgeously cooked chicken. I open it up and I get piece of chicken no larger than a chicken nugget and frozen in a block of ice and low grade veggies.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      People use fake maple syrup because the real kind is pretty expensive

      • Gman says:

        Oh i understand that. In hard times anything goes. What floors me is when in a restaurant people willingly ask for the fake when they have the real stuff right on the table.

        • RickN says:

          I grew up lower-middle-class in Tennessee and I never had real maple syrup until I hit my teens. It was waaaay too expensive for the family budget, so Aunt Jemimah was on the table.

          Fake syrup tastes “right” to me on my pancakes and waffles.

          Today, at age 46, I keep both in my house. Depending on whether I want the sweeter fake syrup or the stronger real syrup, I have my choice.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            I definitely prefer real maple syrup but it’s insanely expensive unless you live in Vermont. On the rare occasion that we have pancakes, we’ll use it sparingly but the kids prefer Mrs. Butterworths.

            In less affluent areas, where even Mrs. Butterworth or Aunt Jamima are too expensive, there are a lot of people who just use straight corn syrup on their waffles. That’s what we always had when I was growing up.

          • watch me boogie says:

            “Fake syrup tastes “right” to me on my pancakes and waffles.”

            Exactly! Like you, I can appreciate both, but the thing you grow up with tends to become the default, even when it’s not the “best.”

            Sadly, I currently have to stick with the fake stuff because the real stuff is too expensive.

    • kalaratri says:

      I just don’t the taste of maple syrup. It was always in our house because our neighbors made and sold their own, but I just thought it tasted like tree. I can tolerate grade A sometimes in small quantities because it’s so refined, but I hate the real ‘maple-y’ taste of the lower grades.

    • Michael S. says:

      You can purchase 100 % Real Maple syrup, in a large jar at Costco or Sams Club the price is not bad.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        But the price isn’t inexpensive either, especially if you’re feeding a large number of people. It is typically over 50¢ per oz, making it an expensive condiment.

  11. JonStewartMill says:

    With the exception of orange and apple juice, even the products that say “100% juice!” typically contain a high percentage of apple juice, which might as well be sugar water for all the nutritional benefit you get. Cranberry juice gets a pass here — you don’t want to drink 100% cranberry juice, believe me.

    I’ve long been annoyed by the practice of injecting water or broth into chicken. As far as I know, the big-box grocers (Kroger, Meijer, Giant Eagle, etc) all do this, padding the product’s weight with “flavor-enhancing broth” by as much as 15%. You’re paying chicken prices for salt water. The only grocer I know who doesn’t do this is Trader Joe’s.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Yeah, even though those juices are 100% juice, they tend to still have more sugar than if you ate the fruit.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        yes. fruits are loaded with sugar.
        juice is something to drink in moderation.
        if you get “no sugar added” (as ocean spray has), it would be the same amount if you were to eat the fruit by itself – and of course it depends on how many apples/cranberries you are eating and how much juice you are drinking.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      Just read an article the other day about how by law they are allowed to put “100% Juice” on the bottle, when it is not 100% of the juice advertised (ex pomegranate mixed with apple). Can be good and bad. Like you said, not many will want to drink 100% cranberry juice. However, some tastier and healthier juices are mixed with high sugar juices.

    • HungryGal says:

      Grapefruit juice is one more of the few no-sugar added, non diluted shelf stable juices. Its often from concentrate, though.

      I used to drink a lot of cranberry juice- but only the 100% juice blends. It seems that they’re getting harder to find. And more expensive all the time. I’ve cut back on caloric beverages in general, so at this point I might as well take my $3.50 for cranberry juice and spend it on a pint of blueberries and some grapes.

      Fruit is high in sugar by nature, but when you eat it whole you get the benefit of the natural soluble and insoluble fiber in it, which help temper the blood-sugar and metabolism screwing effects.

      Going on and on about juice… if you’re on a budget frozen OJ can actually taste better than non-high end refrigerated OJ. Think about it- the frozen OJ was cooked once, to concentrate it. The refrigerated ‘from concentrate’ OJ was cooked to concentrate, frozen, unfrozen, reconstituted, and cooked again. No wonder it tastes like crap. So don’t turn your nose up at the frozen canned stuff.

  12. jessjj347 says:

    “Diluted bleach”

    So true! Many of the bathroom cleaners are just diluted bleach. Think “mold and disinfectant bathroom tile spray!”

    It’s cheaper to buy bleach and dilute it yourself (carefully)…or even cheaper to just make a homemade solution, e.g. out of vinegar and baking soda.

    • Daverson says:

      Really, a homemade solution made of vinegar and baking soda?

    • pegr says:

      “or even cheaper to just make a homemade solution, e.g. out of vinegar and baking soda.”

      Oh, do let me know how that one works out for you. :-p

    • TimothyT says:

      The article is about diluted bleach, as in “cheap” store brand bleach sold as bleach but diluted with water. However, your comment is useful, just off topic.

    • amgriffin says:

      The vinegar and baking soda thing irritates me.

      Vinegar is best for some chores like cleaning glass and wiping off countertops. Baking soda is great as a scouring powder. Both have deodorizing properties but when you combine them you get a big impressive fizz but the resulting product loses the most powerful aspects of both.

      The reaction of the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar react to each other, creating carbonic acid, which immediately decomposes into carbon dioxide, water and a very weak solution of sodium acetate. Combining them does not marry the power of the two together, instead it weakens the cleaning power of each.

      For best results don’t mix them together unless you are making a model volcano for the science fair.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        When I’m out of scouring powder, I’ll using baking soda on the counter, then wipe them clean with white vinegar on a rag. Sure, it fizzes, but once the soda is up, the vinegar does its part of the job. And the fizz is just cool.

  13. lizzybeans11 says:

    Yes, all of these are usually labeled somewhere on the package.

    The only one I have trouble with is the chicken, because where I shop ALL of chicken is injected with “broth” or “solution” or whatever name they decide to use for “water”. WHERE can I find regular chicken??

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Earth Fare.
      Whole Foods.

      • jason in boston says:

        I see your Whole Foods and raise you a real butcher.

        There are great deals to be had at a real butcher vs any market. The catch is that you have to buy in bulk. I usually spend around $200 per trip, but that will last me around 3 months.

        • jason in boston says:

          And by deals, I mean the same quality meats that Whole Foods sells. The place I go to in Worcester doesn’t have any injected chicken, and you can literally see them cutting up the meat in the back.

        • johnva says:

          Right, this is always another option (going to specialty stores for various food products). We do this for fish/seafood, because there’s a local seafood place that is far better than any grocery store as far as quality. However, there is a good reason why grocery stores are popular, and that’s that one-stop shopping is convenient.

    • rpm773 says:

      Where I live, most of the stores sell Kosher chicken. I think that’s injection free, but I’m not sure. It seems to be priced in between the regular chicken and the organic chicken.

      • ChuckECheese says:

        Your kosher chicken is not injected, but it is soaked in brine (part of the koshering process). So it has some added water weight. Nonetheless it usually tastes pretty great.

  14. ElleAnn says:

    Most convenience items in the produce section are also a waste of money. Prechopped vegetables are a great example. They are typically less fresh than the uncut versions. And really, how long does it really take you to chop up some broccoli?

    • FatLynn says:

      I remember seeing a clip of Jamie Oliver in a supermarket in the South, and he was like “WTF? Don’t you people have knives?”

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        They do, but they’re deep fried.

      • veronykah says:

        They do, but most people don’t seem to know how to use them.
        I always see people chopping large items like broccoli with paring knives. WTF?
        That being said, I do like to buy the precut, washed bags of collard greens. So much less prep. No washing, taking the ribs out and then chopping again. Really worth it.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          I always buy greens and spinach washed and chopped. There is too much sand in the normal bunches to make it worth my while.

    • kalaratri says:

      When I’m by myself, maybe 2 minutes to prep veggies. When I’m trying to deal with my infant daughter, probably about 20 minutes. I’ll be happy to go back to chopping my own when mini-me is old enough to be unsupervised for a few minutes.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      When cooking for a family, frozen vegetables (like broccoli) can save a considerable amount of time and money. Nutritionally, I was under the impression there wasn’t much of a difference between fresh and frozen. I’ve read several articles claiming frozen can be better because it’s typically picked at ideal times and immediately frozen, vs “fresh” vegetables & fruit which are harvested and then transported across the country/world and then sit on shelves for several days.

  15. kayfouroh says:

    Everyone saying unplumped chicken dries out faster: nothing is stopping consumers from brining their own meats. It is seriously stupid-simple. Salt, sugar, water over high heat until everything is dissolved. Cool brine down with ice, dump into zip-top bag with said chicken. Let bring for a few hours, depending on meat size. Dump brine then cook. Same juicy texture (if not more!) with less cost.

    • veritybrown says:

      Not everyone has time to do all that stupid-simple stuff to their chicken. Just saying.

      • kayfouroh says:

        Make brine in morning, brine while at work, cook when get home? Maybe 10 minutes out of your way to get better foods…

        • grimJack says:

          If I’m gonna spend 10 minutes going thru all that, why wouldn’t I just buy the stuff at the store that is already injected?

          Same reason I will buy pre-cut fruits every so often, I’m paying for the luxury of not having to bother cutting it up. That’s for the little people to do.

  16. Riroon13 says:

    Capri Sun full of sugar? Chicken injected with broth/ water? Breyer’s using a shrink ray?

    This is a hot alert! For, like, 2002….

  17. evilpete says:

    I do *NOT* understand why bottled water gets the shrink-ray

  18. johnva says:

    One thing I will say about Whole Foods is that they don’t engage in a lot of these practices nearly as often (except for the shrink ray, which is everywhere). Because they are focused on the “premium” market (read: expensive) they don’t usually go for things that degrade the quality of the product in order to push the price down. Yes, they still sell some crap, but it’s a lot easier to find stuff like real juice, unplumped chicken, and real maple syrup that isn’t just flavored HFCS. I just wish they weren’t the only place around here that has those high quality options, so that they would have some price competition. They’re expensive, but to a degree you get what you pay for (you’ll still pay a premium, but at least it will be good food)

    .

    • TimothyT says:

      I still question the notion that it’s better because it costs more.

      • johnva says:

        That wasn’t my argument, though. They do sell a lot of things at Whole Foods that are objectively better than stuff you can get almost anywhere else (well, anywhere else that is also a big chain store). It’s not better because it’s more expensive; it’s more expensive because it’s better and because they can charge an extra premium because they’re not really competing on price. (And no, I don’t think they’re better for everything…just a lot of things.) And I’m not just saying it’s “better” because it’s organic or something. I’m saying that it’s things like WF carrying 3 or 4 different brands and types of real maple syrup, while many groceries will have 1 if you’re lucky. Same goes for selection of juices that aren’t just HFCS water, etc.

        There is no perfect correlation between higher quality and higher prices, obviously. But often, there is. You often have to pay more to get the best food, or the best whatever. I’m not saying to blindly just buy the most expensive stuff; I’m just saying that you should evaluate where you think you’re getting your money’s worth by paying more. Blindly buying the cheapest isn’t so smart either unless you don’t care at all about quality.

  19. veritybrown says:

    Did Omie just barely learn how to read labels? I’ve been wary of these things (and many others) for years.

  20. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    I’ve never had a problem distinguishing real maple syrup from maple flavored syrup. Just look at the prices – that’s the first clue. The shape of the bottle is another clue. The pure stuff is usually in a glass bottle or a plastic bottle shaped like a little jug. Another clue is that most of the maple flavored ones call themselves “pancake syrup” or something like that.

    My husband enjoys pure cane syrup on his pancakes. I can’t stand the stuff. If you don’t live in the south, you’ll have a hard time finding it.

    • TimothyT says:

      Cane syrup! I hate that stuff! I grew up in Louisiana and as a kid, that’s the only syrup they served in school. Talk about ruining breakfast. Nice blast from the past though.

    • caradrake says:

      MMmmm, cane syrup! I can’t wait for the fall, when it’ll be sold from roadside vendors. I love the south :)

      It’s especially good on hush puppies.

  21. xl3ill says:

    Using the shrink ray on bottled water?! What, the profit margins on a bottle of water are too low?! We need to tax the shit out of bottled water.

  22. Jimmy37 says:

    Any time you buy fruit ade, fruit cocktail or fruit drink, you are not getting fruit juice. And even with fruit juice, if you see added concentrated apple, pear, and/or grape juice, you are looking at fruit sugar water legally called juice.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      True. Most of the “juice” in 100% juice concoctions is deodorized, filtered and concentrated apple, pear, grape and/or pineapple juice. You may as well be drinking HCFS. I noticed recently that Ocean Spray (and the Walmart equivalent) have returned to using sugar in their cranberry juice cocktails.

  23. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I noticed the Bryer’s shrinkage the other day and opted for Blue Bell instead
    . And the Target brand chicken breasts I bought on sale literally shrunk to at least 1/2 their size. The olive oil was spattering everywhere from all of the water that was in them. It was awful.

  24. buzz86us says:

    Arizona Green Tea has been hit by the grocery shrink ray. Now instead of the 23 oz cans it is 20 oz bottles which really sucks because in areas where my only option is “Convenience stores” those were really good since the store couldn’t get away with marking them up (price printed on the can). Also the bottles make the tea taste different.

  25. AndroidHumanoid says:

    My favorite brand of pure Maple syrup at an HEB here in Texas is $12. But it is worth every penny. Because maple syrup that is actually pure HFCS gives me headaches so bad that Im bed-ridden for the rest of the day. Blech.

  26. Captain Packrat says:

    Bread can be a tricky thing sometimes. I once saw a loaf selling for 99 cents, while the loaf next to it was $1.25. Fortunately I checked the weights, the 99 cent loaf was only 16 ounces, while the $1.25 loaf was 24 ounces, half again as much bread for just 25 cents more!

  27. Captain Packrat says:

    Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Sanitizing Spray is 0.0095% bleach, the rest is water. I did the math, and it came out to less than 1/4 teaspoon of 6% household bleach in 2-3/4 cups of water.

    The stuff runs about $3-4 a bottle. I just bought three 182 oz. bottles of Clorox bleach (6%) at Costco for about $7. That’s enough to make over 13,000 bottles of sanitizing spray!