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Grocery store ripoff, maybe.

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by kckndrgn, May 2, 2014.

  1. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    So, in an effort to stretch the dollar at the grocery store, my wife and I check out the Managers Special in the meat dept every time we go in. Yesterday they were putting 5lb "family" packs of ground beef in there, so I grabbed 2 of them.

    After getting home I decided to split the "10lbs" of ground beef into 5 2lb freezer packs, something we've done in the past. Well, start on package one. pull down the food scale, put 2lbs on it, put it in the vacuum sealer bag, next 2lbs, repeat. Last 1 lb, but it's not 1 lb, it's just shy of 13 oz (12.5ish, not a digital scale). hmm, i think maybe the 5 lbs includes the packaging, which it SHOULD NOT. So I put the packaging on the scale (complete with the little absorbent pad they put under to catch the blood). Maybe just a tad over an ounce.

    So now I think, I'll just weigh the next one without opening, nope, my scale stops at 4lbs :(

    So I repeat the process, 2lbs and 2lbs as close as I can get them. Last 1lb i left in the container, this should be 1lb spot on, nope 14oz exactly.

    So now I'm what 4.5oz short over 10 lbs of meat? While not a lot, while trying to stretch every dollar it adds up.

    Not sure if a complaint to the store manager will do any good or not. Been wanting a digital scale for the kitchen, may get one and start weighing all my meat. Or find a better source of it.
    Georgia_Boy, Mike and tulianr like this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    There IS a State Weights & Measures Division in your State.... Call them up and make an Official Complaint... They WILL investigate, and retest ALL the For Sale Scales in that Store. If they find ANY Problems, they will levy FINES, and if it comes back that it was, anything but a small Unintentional Mistake, someone will be going to JAIL.... There are Serious State, and Federal Statutes, that deal with such Issues, especially with MisLabeled Food Products. You just have to do your PART, and file a Complaint, otherwise it will just go unNoticed, and unReported, until it is caught, during the next SemiAnnual Inspection. ALL For Sale Scales, are REQUIRED, to be calibrated, and Certified, TWICE a Year, as per NIST Handbook 44, and applicable State Statute. ......
  3. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Go to the manager first. Give him a chance to check as their scale may be off. He will give you extra meat and fix the scale at the same time. It is a perfect time to discuss getting a 10% discount on top of what you already are getting due to your loyalty and buying habits.

    tacmotusn, kellory, Yard Dart and 2 others like this.
  4. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Nothing new, except you just cannot see the butcher's thumb on the scale.

    Recently noticed a package of cookies I normally purchase seemed a bit light. Since I open this item up each time and place the prepacked cookies into airtight jars I saw that each stack was now missing one cookie!

    Note this is one cookie from each roll of 3.

    Normally the stack is 8, now seven. What was a 4 day supply in each jar, 2 cookies a day, is now a 3.5 day supply. You do the match. Not theft but just a bummer.

    The cookies are hydroscopic, the reason I place them in jars to preserve their texture and taste.

    A dog here needs medicine each morning so the cookies, soaked in coffee, and a portion of the medicated cookie is shared with the dog each day, otherwise I doubt I would have noticed.

    Price for package is the same but the 12%(M0rL) loss just marks up the product each time you purchase.

    Yet another reason to check all supplies as you rotate your preps. Don't be caught short!
  5. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Sorry, as much as I hate any regulation control authority, I'd file a complaint with the state weights and measures board. After all that is what we pay some of our taxes for.

    I had a like problem with finding brown hamburger meat inside "Fresh Packed" store meat. Of course this means they had old meat and wrapped it with fresh red meat.

    Dwelled on it a bit and then called the state health department.


  6. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    I can't count the number of times I'd open up a pack of ground beef the same day I bought it and find the only thing pink was the outer layer. Never thought about calling a regulatory agency or even the manager. Just took my $$ to someone I trust not to gyp me.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Not so sure there's a weights and measures case here. The "5lb package" is marketing. The price is per lb is the weights and measures aspect. If the weight is accurate and the scanner reads it right, you have no case.

    Oreo is also using downweighted packaging, but the same trays. Much looser. Buggers, Oreo is a staple around here.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    There is also the possibility that you own scale is off just a bit, and you may have just a bit extra in each package. This would ALSO account for the shortage.....
  9. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    yup , thought about that. It's been spot on for years, though it could have been off. Which is why I may just get a new scale and verify purchases for a while.

    On a package of meat the 5lbs should be 5lbs. I know on other good that are sold by "weight" and the package doesn't get filled up.
  10. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    @ditch witch yup, they were with the styrofoam packaging when i weighed it.
  11. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Most stores are full of scales. Take it over to the butcher in the meat dep't and ask for it to be weighed, and let him know why. You now know what the packaging weighs, so you can account for that.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    If the package came thru with (say) 5 lb 3 oz, would you expect the 3 oz to be free? I guess I would too, if the price were per 5 lb, but if priced on a per lb basis, I would not.
  13. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    The packages were for the 5 lbs, not on a per pound basis, labeled as 5 lbs. So maybe there is some "leeway" on the weight, +/- x% that is acceptable.
  14. ditch witch

    ditch witch resident bacon hoarder Site Supporter+

    LOL yeah I deleted that two seconds after I posted it, remembered you just said you weighed it with the diaper. You're too quick for me! :D
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    Scales, if set up properly, are zeroed with the diaper and container as part of the zero function.

    But even 3oz of addded water, if that is the case, is a bit much.

    Remember, most sections of a retail operation, be it butcher, deli etc. are watched for their abilty to make money.
  16. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    All Weights & Measure that are done For Sale, are REQUIRED to be NET Product Weights, or Measures, by Federal Statute. (NIST Handbook 44) PERIOD.... All State Statutes reference NIST Handbook 44 as the relevant established Authority. Each State is REQUIRED to have a STATE Metrologist, who is REQUIRED to maintain that State's Weights & Measures Standards that are used to Calibrate and Certify the Secondard Standards used to calibrate & Certify the For Sale Scales that are in that State. This is all set in Handbook 44. This is not just Weights, but Gallons, and length. ( Fuel Pumps, Surveying Tools, Water Meters, Electrical Metering, etc) If it is Sold, it is referenced in Handbook 44. I know of a Fabric Store that got busted for short changing their customers on fabric yardage, because their Meter was out of Cal. This is very serious Biz...
    Tolerences on Weights are .002 Plus or minus 1 count on a digital Scale... That is 2 pounds in 1000 Pounds... Or for 1 pound it is .002 pounds plus or minus 1 count. The Scales minimum resolution must be, a minimum of 50% better than that required, to meet that Standard.
    Last edited: May 2, 2014
  17. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    @BTPost , funny you mention that. The city of Memphis just quit checking the gas pumps and will instead let the state examiner do it. The difference between the 2? The city inspector would check each pump at the station before putting the little sticker on it. The state inspector will check ONE pump the certify all pumps.
    It was also reported that 1 in 5 gas pumps failed to dispense the proper amount during the city's inspection.
  18. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    We find that our Fuel Pumps need slight reCals every Spring, when the Weights & Measures Guy come out to do out Scales & Pumps. 90% of the time it is in the Customers favor, but onetime we got smacked with a Pump that was shorting the customer 1gallon in 50. They were very upset with us, and were very careful when checking our stuff , for the next few years.
    kellory likes this.
  19. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Have you seen the 12oz. 'Pound' of bacon at your local store yet?
    the bacon you normally buy. Packaging is of the same physical size, but it's marked 12 oz .. and you pay about the same as you did before. You just got a 25% less for the same price. Grocers trick that has been sneaking up on us for years.
    ditch witch likes this.
  20. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Wait until the meat packer uses Carbon Monoxide to fill the sealed package with. The meat can spoil and still look nice and fresh until you open it and smell the spoilage. Nom Nom Nom.
    Georgia_Boy likes this.
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