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Monday, March 16, 2009

Economy is affecting everyone

The Dow Jones averages have gone up 684 points in the last four days of last week which normally would be encouraging but with the economy floundering, it is probably just the dreaded "dead cat bounce." I would love to be wrong but when you look at the current situation, I’m probably not. A dead cat bounce is better than no bounce so let’s enjoy it for the weekend until reality clicks back in on Monday.

Have you done much grocery shopping lately? Bashas’ and Fry’s in Phoenix have recently laid off a lot of people plus it’s almost comical how various manufacturers are fighting price increases by varying product sizes. Remember when Breyer’s ice cream came in half gallons? A few years ago, they reduced their size to 1.75 quarts. Since then they have shrunk to1.5 quarts. However, you still pay the half gallon price. The same goes for Dreyer’s ice cream. Safeway’s brand has only dropped to 1.75quarts and they always offer it at one free with one which isn’t a bad deal.

I don’t want to beat up on just the ice cream guys. It’s happening all over the store. Remember when coffee was in a pound can? Try 10.5 ounces to 13 oz. now and most of it comes in plastic containers. The old gallon of bleach is now 96 oz., facial tissue has dropped from 100 count to 66 count, bacon is often 12 oz. where it used to be a pound. I could go on but you get the point so when you shop and think you got a good deal on something, check the size. It may not be as large as you remember.

Elsewhere, a couple Big Macs and fries are pushing $10 and I’m not so sure it is the same size Big Mac we used to get. I ate breakfast at The Good Egg in north Scottsdale the other day and the potato portion was minuscule while the usual garnish no longer exists. At a Quizno’s recently the condiment bar was removed. No more extra sauce, pickles, peppers, etc. Brisam’s Restaurant in Cave Creek has good fish and chips but have cut the portion from 4 to 2 ½ pieces of fish.

Car dealers? Airpark Hyundai has recently closed as has their neighbors Airpark Chrysler-Jeep and Cardinale Buick-Pontiac. I was going to take my Buick to Cardinale after Power Buick on McDowell closed but I guess I’ll forget about that. Those are all Scottsdale delaerships.

Now that I have cheered you up with the economic good news, I hope everyone will have a nice weekend. Oh, I almost forgot. Foreclosures have dropped the median home price in Scottsdale 23% in the last year. But, on the bright side, spring training attendance is down 7% so you can probably get seats. Of course, those seats will cost a lot more than in the past.

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