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Food - Groceries
Written by Omie Ismail   
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Avoid 5 Grocery Rip-Offs - Read the Label
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Walking through the isles of a grocery store can sometimes turn into a stroll down Ambush Alley. The shenanigans just keep getting worse for shoppers. Even the most astutechicken-plumping consumers can be tricked by the creative tactics they encounter at grocery stores and the trickery of food manufacturers. What's a savvy shopper to do? Read the label, and read it carefully, because chances are you'll get ripped off if you don't. Here are 5 common rip-offs that you can avoid by reading the label.

Diluted Bleach:

This one got me the other day, and only making a return kept me from being ripped off. My problem started when I picked up the cheapest bleach I could find. Bleach is bleach, right? Wrong? My mistake was picking up a private label brand called "Simply Value" from Smart & Final for the low, low price of $1.49 a gallon. They should have named it "Simply a Rip-Off" because based on the active ingredients, it was significantly more expensive than Clorox. Simply Value figured out that if you dilute normal 6% bleach to 2.75%, you can still get people to buy it at the equivalent price of $3.25 a gallon. Neat trick and since it's a store brand, the store was in on the scam. As I returned the diluted bleach, I noticed the "No Cards, No Gimmicks" sign. They'll keep half of that promise - No Cards.

Barely "Fruit" Juice

The term fruit in anything has become fairly meaningless. Take the term, "Fruit Juice Drink Blend". You would think that you are getting a blend of fruit juices. Examine CapriSun, it has a whopping 10% fruit juice. The blend is sugar and water mixed with a tiny bit of apple and grape juice concentrate. Ocean Spray has fruit drinks with cranberry and other juices but when you look at the label carefully, you'll see that it contains a meager 27% actual fruit juice. It used to be that nobody wanted cranberries and that's why they put them in the juice drinks. Now they don't even give you 100% cranberries.

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Robyn |2011-09-11 10:17:43
I also notice about the ground beef too that some stores are watering down more then others so I use a calculater and figure out that when I go to Sams Club and buy their ground beef 10 lbs rolls I get more meat and save more money then getting the kroger brand ground beef.
Linda Spreeman  - Bleach - Diluted - Store Brand |2011-08-27 18:02:23
Wow - was this an eye opener. I never though to check the ingredient content. You can bet I will be doing that from now on. As a rule, there are only certain "store brands" I will buy, and bleach happened to be one of them. Thanks for this great tip relative to potential rip offs. ~Linda Spreeman~
shopper9 |2010-10-02 07:56:39
Thanks for the post on Simply Value Bleach, like many I purchased it to use in our pool, Chlorine bleach is cheaper than pool store clorine and @ 6% strength is less potent than the typical 9% for pool store liquid chlorine.

I purchased 4, 3 went into pool day later pool is turning green, opened the last bottle and smelled it, only the slightest whiff of chlorine smell.

Am going to attempt to return the empty and opened bottles, will see how well Smart n Final lives up to their Simply Value guarantee of replacement (no way) or refund
Lee  - Intesresting |2010-09-10 02:19:26
Its really nice to appreciate such open networking for good knowledge along with useful stuff and new topics with interesting and helpful information.

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Hilary |2010-08-02 20:40:26
You are so right about the fruit juice. I have been searching forever to find PURE cranberry juice only to fine that every bottle I pick up is a cocktail. That really sucks
Danielle |2010-11-13 23:57:31
Hilary, check out health food stores for pure cranberry juice.
beau |2010-07-29 18:27:54
Read the bag info on Lays and other potato chips - it dropped from 12oz to 11oz and now they are 10&1/2oz and 9oz. The bag size is the same - pumped full of air.
Anonymous |2010-07-25 19:55:44
Water is sprayed on certain veggies to keep them fresh. Believe me if stores didn't do this you wouldn't want to buy the product at all. Shake it off, they aren't really trying to get you to pay for water, they want to give you a product that will last more than a few hours after you get it home.
Neil in Chicago  - Tropicana OJ 59 oz recently half gallon |2010-07-24 21:08:59
The 64 oz carton of Tropicana went up in price, then the supermarkets put up signs on the shelves that they'd lowered the price again -- on a 59 oz carton damn near identical to the old one.
Tracy  - Those veggie sprayers |2010-07-24 14:06:56
that add water weight to veggies that are sold by the pound, are not fooling me. Folks may think I'm nuts but I'm just shaking the extra $$ off my lettuce before I buy it. Do they really reduce food waste?
beau |2010-07-29 18:32:39
I know someone in the produce dept. at Publix. He told me the veggies are sprayed w/ H2O to increase the weight. He said over time the accumulative effect is substantial.
helpful harriet  - Re: Smaller Ice Cream from Last Year |2010-07-23 08:15:08
Just in case you were wondering, the reason that Haggen-Daaz and Edy's went down a size at the same time is that they are both owned by Nestle. Other Nestle products did a similar hop at the same time...
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