My annoyance is rising along with those sneaky price hikes

A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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It used to be a two hand job.’ I muttered.

‘Yes, but your hands were smaller so it made it look bigger,’ giggled Agatha Flon Flon de Gusset.

I’m on about Wagon Wheels folks.

I’d remembered them as a faceful of chocolatey marshmallow, biscuity munchiness. This was just a big biscuit.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg or, as our pals across the pond in the USA call it, ‘grocery shrink-ray’.

Smaller product, less in packet but the same price.

Manufacturers say they have to pass on rising costs and claim shoppers prefer smaller products to higher prices.

Hang on! Let me get this round my aged little grey cells.

Surely, if there’s less in the packet at the same price, that means it costs more.

Which consumer magazine is very unhappy with all this, and says shrinking products are a hidden price rise.

Manufacturers are being extremely sneaky – they know most of us shop by price.

How many of you check or compare the grams in what you are purchasing?

I started to a couple of years ago when my washing powder was still £2 but the box looked suspiciously smaller – and it was.

So now I buy the supermarket’s own brand.

I thought I was quite switched-on with checking prices against volume, but I didn’t realise until last week I was well and truly being ripped off.

I was buying cigarettes in Waitrose (yes I know I’ve got an E-cig, and the fags are killing me).

They have closed doors across their cigarettes for sale so you can’t view to find the cheapest.

So the nice counter assistant got the written list of cigarettes and prices, so I could find a cheapy pack.

‘Here you are,’ she said pointing at the price. ‘These are the cheapest.’

As I looked at the list I saw 19.

‘What’s 19?’, I asked.

I was informed that quite a few cigarette manufacturers now put 19 cigarettes in a packet of 20.

Well hello! No-one has told me. I was LIVID!

We’re being duped and treated like idiots.

Smaller product for the same money is a STEALTH PRICE RISE.