Whatever you buy, read the labels. If one of the ingredients is water, you can double your money. Simply pour out half of the contents into a container of equal size (preferably the same container, but an empty, clean one) and fill it to the top with water. Instead of having one product. You now have two. You have doubled your money. If water is not a main ingredient, then look to see what is. Then empty half of those contents into another same-like container, and fill with a cheaper, less expensive main ingredient.

I’ll give you an example. I like sweetened real coffee creamer in my morning Coffee. But at $7 per 32 ounces, I decided to cut that in half. I emptied half the contents into another like empty, cleaned container and then filled it up to the top with skim milk. A half-gallon of skim milk at my Aldi store is only $1.76. Without getting too mathematical or splitting hairs, I cut the $7 price down to $3.50 and change by adding in the skim milk. Or better yet, I was able to buy my fave sugar flavored (vanilla or hazelnut), real milk coffee creamer for $4.55 at Aldi, cut it in half, doubled my count for only $2.28 and some pennies. I did this same method with real maple syrup. I poured half the real maple syrup equally into two same glass bottles, but filled it to the top with lite artificial pancake syrup. No one, and I mean NO ONE in my family or at the breakfast table was any wiser. Except me. I halved the $8.00 cost of the original real maple syrup into two bottles at $4.00 each.

This method also works extremely well on hair products (shampoo and conditioner) face wash and anything else liquid enough to utilize water. If you haven’t done this yet, if you are interested in doubling your money, or at least saving 50% on anything you currently buy, go ahead and start adding water to anything you possibly can.

As to shrinkflation, the media describes it as such:

Shrinkflation is a term made up of two separate words: shrink and inflation. The “shrink” in shrinkflation relates to the change in product size, while the “-flation” part refers to inflation—the rise in the price level. Shrinkflation is basically a form of hidden inflation. Shrinkflation allows companies to increase their operating margin and profitability by reducing costs whilst maintaining sales volume, and is often used as an alternative to raising prices in line with inflation. Consumer protection groups are critical of the practice.

Now that you’re going back to the stores and buying seconds and saving the original bottles, take a good look at the sizing. You will see that the last time you bought a product, compared to your current purchase, there’s a little less product in the new container YET you were charged the same price as the old container. That’s inflation. You’ve been had. You’ve been fooled. Even more the reason to start diluting things. Don’t worry. Your shampoo and conditioner will work just the same. Ditto when you make yourself a cup of coffee. Add in another half cup or so of water (even more if you buy strong coffee, like Columbian). You will not taste the difference and neither will anyone else. But you’ll save money.

I know. I know. This is unfair. And it’s only going to get worse. The only way you can fight back against this is to be aware and educated. Even the restaurants and take-out fast food joints are shrinking everything they can. And still either charge the same price or a bit more. In a way, it’s forced portion control. These methods may streamline your waist but it will definitely, eventually empty out your wallet.

Start diluting everything with water and beat “them” to the punch. No pun intended. Double your money and read the labels.

Hardest hits: snacks, processed foods and anything liquid.

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