What’s so great about the “Giant Economy Size”? The idea, of course, is that you get a lot more product for only a bit more money. Hah! They’ve hoodwinked us right out of our wallets. That huge box of cereal isn’t full of cereal. It’s half full of cereal and half full of air. And does the “Giant Economy Size” fit in your cupboard? It does not. In the olden days — like the middle of the last century — they built houses with sensible cupboards to accommodate sensible size boxes. And bottles.
Yeah, it’s not just the boxes, it’s the bottles, too. As a rule, I don’t use 4 letter words, but last weekend was a “3 Day Sale” at Sprouts and I have to say it — my favorite four letter word is SALE! When I see that word, common sense just flies right out of my head. And this sale (be still my beating heart!) featured olive oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and I still don’t understand how something can be extra-virgin, but I don’t really want to know). And I had just run out of olive oil and there it was at a ridiculously reduced price and I grabbed it. Without another thought in my head, I grabbed that bottle and put it in my basket and checked it out and took it home and put it … oh, it doesn’t fit in the cupboard. Oops. The bottle is just shy of a foot tall (I measured it). It will have to sit out on the sink.
I would swear off the big boxes and bags, but sometimes there is no choice. The other day I needed potato chips. Not for me to eat, of course, it was a topping for a casserole. I wouldn’t buy a bag of potato chips just to eat. Heavens, what a decadent thought! But this casserole called for crushed potato chips on the top. Remember when all casseroles got topped with crushed potato chips? Didn’t much matter what was underneath, as long as it had a thick layer of crunchy potato chips on the top. You could also use Rice Krispies, but where’s the fun in that? Anyway, I just wanted a small bag of potato chips and discovered there ain’t no such thing. Everything now comes in the “Family Size.”
I also discovered that there is apparently not much market for just plain potato chips. There’s kettle cooked, baked, salt-and-vinegar, sour cream, ranch flavored, barbecue and on and on. I just wanted a small bag of regular chips. I walked the aisle three times (and it was a long aisle) looking for such a thing, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen. There was no way around it — I got the “family size.”
Do families actually sit around and eat potato chips? Maybe so. But were there enough chips in there to satisfy a family? I don’t think so. The bag is bigger, but the chips don’t start until 2/3 of the way down. The rest is air. Fortunately, I was able to use most of the chips on the casserole, so didn’t have to add that big bag to the collection on the sink which now includes the olive oil, the cereal box, the coffee canister and the “economy” size box of Ritz crackers.
Oh, and speaking of things that don’t fit in the cupboard — why do some things come in round containers like salt, coffee, oatmeal? They don’t fit together neatly. No matter how you juggle it, they take up more room than they should. Couldn’t salt come in a square box? And coffee? And oatmeal, for goodness sake. I now buy ice cream according to the shape of the package. Those large round containers don’t fit well in the freezer and besides, they’re awkward and hard to get ahold of.
Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this. Maybe everyone else has cupboards with lots of spare space. Maybe you should just take this all with a grain of salt. Kosher salt — it comes in a square box.