On Monday, I ate the last of the potato chips. I finished off the bag and it was gone. How sad. They were great while they lasted.

I used to sit with an entire bag of chips, eating mindlessly, while the other hand held a book. I also used to play lots of racquetball, so this didn’t affect my bottom line, as it were. I love potato chips. I love plain, ruffled, BBQ, and sour cream and chive. I don’t care for other flavors. But the ones I like, I like a lot. And eat a lot.

This meant on Tuesday I had no potato chips. I am going to the grocery store today so I didn’t stop for chips yesterday. I mean really, I can go one night without potato chips, I’m not that addicted.

Big Grab bag of chips - 1.5 ounces. Didn't these used to be 2.5 ounces?

But last night, I was looking for something salty to eat and I peered into the cupboard where the potato chips live. Lo and behold, a HUGE bag of chips was there hiding behind the Crockpot. (I have a small kitchen and things are jumbled together. It isn’t perfect, but it works.)

This bag is just a regular Lay’s Potato Chips with a large Pick Any 2 across the top because I got them at Sam’s Club. They are the super-duper large bags of chips. They are 15 ½ ounces.

I used to get one pound bag of chips all the time. For those of you who are math challenged, that is 16 ounces. That was the regular bag of chips. Now, the large bags are smaller.

I noticed my three pound can (now plastic with a really nice handle) of coffee is much smaller. It is, in fact, 33 ounces. Math lesson: three times sixteen equals forty-eight. My three pound can of coffee is fifteen ounces – or nearly one large bag of potato chips – under weight.

My one pound can of coffee, also in plastic, is 11.5 ounces. That is 4.5 ounces short of a pound.

I guess we simply have price points and we won’t buy something if the price is too high. So the makers leave the price the same and just have less product in the package. The price does remain the same, however the price per unit goes drastically up. If coffee is $6.99 for the large canister and that canister holds 33 ounces, the coffee is twenty-one cents per ounce. However, if the canister holds 48 ounces, the coffee is fourteen-and-a-half cents per ounce.

I really can’t complain about paying twenty-one cents per ounce of coffee. It seems just fine when you put it like that. But I’m not sure how happy I would be paying $10.08 for a can of coffee, the price of three whole pounds worth at the $0.21/ounce price.

Maybe putting a two pound can and a three pound can next to each other, and having one at $6.99 and the other at $9.99 would sway me. I’m drinking the same amount of coffee no matter what and perhaps buying it in larger containers would be easier. I don’t really know. I do wait for it to go on sale before I buy it anyway.

Are we really that gullible? Are we really that mesmerized by the package’s contents that we don’t notice how small the package is getting? It is incremental. The coffee companies didn’t go from 48 ounces to 33 ounces all at once. They shaved off a couple ounces here and a few more there and over the span of time, we ended up with 2 pounds and 1 ounce of coffee in our 3 pound cans.

I believe a normal size bag of chips holds about 11 ounces today, unless it is even less. I don’t know, as I only have this extra large bag here.

I guess I should be grateful on the chip front. I do eat fewer chips than if I had the whole pound bags. Just think how much walking I would have to do if they didn’t come in smaller bags.