Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Mrs. Freshley, You Are So Busted. Love Cheap Bastid

Dear Mrs. Freshley and Dollar Tree,

We were in your store recently to buy one of my favorite work treats—Mrs. Freshley’s Buddy Bars. They’re a real deal at $1 a box.

(For those who are not aficionados, Buddy Bars are delectable chocolate covered wafers with a peanut butter center. They’re tasty, and cheap—or they were).

So anyway Mrs. Freshley and Dollar Tree, I took my new box of Buddy Bars to work. Later on I grabbed the box to open it. The contents were sliding around inside the box. Hmmmpf, I harrumphed to myself, “What’s up with that?” I opened the box and looked inside. It wasn’t full. It’s always been full before. I checked the outside of the box. It said 8 Buddy Bars. I counted up—4 packages, 2 per package. Yep, that’s 8. But the box has always been full. And I didn’t really think anymore of it. Until I got home.

Sitting in the pantry was an old box of Buddy Bars, with only one package remaining. Well, Mrs. Freshley and Dollar Tree, you’d be amazed at what it said on the package. Or maybe you won’t be amazed because you guys did it. It said 12 Buddy Bars. That’s 12 as in a dozen! As in 6 packages of 2.

Well, smack me upside the head. Mrs. Freshley and Dollar Tree pulled a fast one. The box of 8 was still a dollar. But the simple math I learned in 4th grade tells me that the price has actually gone up 50%! (For those of you who say it’s only 33% let me just tell you the simple fact that I used to be able to get a dozen for a buck now a dozen would cost me $1.50. That’s 50%.)

What do you have to say for yourself? Or are you trying to save me from myself and make me eat less? No you’re not. You want me to eat the same amount but spend 50% more. So is Dollar Tree going to become the Dollar and a Half Tree? Or will it be Dollar Tree—Get Less?

A while back, I wrote about how Mrs. Freshley seems to like getting people hooked on Buddy Bars only to make them disappear from the shelves causing acute withdrawal. So is this the rest of the story? Bring ‘em back and then do a quick about face and reduce the quantity in the box so you have to buy more boxes and spend half again as much money?

Ohhhhhhh Mrs. Freshley, that’s low-down mean and underhanded. And Dollar Tree—you’re the pusher. You push the product and then sneak a box in that has less product.

Now, in the world of what passes for food, this is no big deal. But, how many times have we seen this happen over the last few years? More and more grocery items now come with less for the same money as before. Ice cream is a good example. When they changed to liters, you got 2 liters for about $2. Now you get 1 ½ liters for about $3.50. Soda bottlers have done the same thing with their individual sized containers and going from 12 packs and 24 pack cases to 18 packs at the price that used to be charged for 24 packs.

Of course what the Cheap Bastid does is to compute the price per ounce. My threshold for buying bottled ice tea is 2 cents an ounce. If it ain’t at that price, I don’t buy! And when I buy, I stock up. Drives Mrs. CB nuts but that’s the price of love.

So anyway, Mrs. Freshley and Dollar Tree, I think I got hosed. I think you hosed all your customers and I’m more than just a bit ticked off.

Not going to do anything about it are you? You’re like the cigarette companies—you know you’ve got me hooked. I can quit anytime I like. And I will, just as soon as I wipe the chocolate off my fingers and the wafer crumbs out of my beard.

Very Truly Yours,
Cheap Bastid
Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful.

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