It's almost as if we can't win when shopping in New Jersey. No matter where you go, it just doesn't feel like we're getting the same value that we used to get.

Actually, after thinking about it, pretty much anywhere is kind of in the same boat. Perhaps that feeling of losing out is greater in New Jersey simply because we already spend so much on literally everything.

Ever since 2020, we've been dealing with rising costs for goods on pretty much all goods. One big exception, of course, is gas.

But that's only an exception because people weren't driving very much during the pandemic. As for everything else, it was a different story.


Once we rolled into 2021 and 2022, prices at retail locations started going sky-high with inflation to blame. Even today it feels like the sting is still there.

The good news, however, is that inflation has been cooling and is nowhere near where it was even a year ago. For those of us in New Jersey, that's very welcomed news.

But, it's not all good news. Even though inflation is indeed cooling in The Garden State, there's a reason why the value at the register may not seem as great as we'd like.

And that's thanks to a very sneaky way manufacturers are squeezing it out of you. Instead of inflating prices, they're deflating products.

a pile of deflated balloons

Shrinkflation is kind of like inflation's opposite, but equally evil cousin. Instead of pumping up prices on the same goods, the product is shrunk with the price remaining the same.

This pinch is especially felt in supermarkets since food shopping is a necessity for everyone. It's gotten so bad that even the characters on Sesame Street have chimed in.

According to multiple outlets, including CNN and News Nation, the Cookie Monster posted about how he's noticing shrinkflation in his favorite supermarket product... cookies.

"C is for cinnamon." (Craig Allen photo)
"C is for cinnamon." (Craig Allen photo)

Although that might seem like a childish way to get attention, it did get the White House to notice. Maybe, just maybe, the folks at New Jersey's State House will also take notice.

Maybe that's the secret. Instead of voters complaining about inflation or shrinkflation, we recruit fictional characters to do it for us. Hopefully, this will help lower the average grocery bill from what it is now.

LOOK: Here's how much grocery shopping now costs in the U.S.

The average cost of groceries for one person per month in 2023 was around $337. But how does your state compare? Do you pay more, or less? Data compiled by Zippia takes a look at the average monthly grocery bill per person in all 50 states. States are listed from least expensive to most expensive and are rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

America's new #1 supermarket has 21 locations in New Jersey

The ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) analyzed data to determine which supermarket chains ranked highest in customer service. Even though some numbers appear to be the same, there are numerous factors that help determine the overall ranking across the U.S. that are not listed here.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM