Target price increases – coincidence or bad shopping?

I was at the local Target last Friday afternoon with a list of things I needed to pick up for the weekend. While I was shopping, I noticed there were a lot of new price tags overlapping older price tags on the shelves.

Out of curiosity, for every item I purchased, I took a moment to peel off the newer price tag to see what the original price was underneath.

I was hoping for some good news. What I got was nothing but bad.

First up was a trip down the pet isle. I needed indoor pads for our semi-outdoor dog. The price for one set of pads went up from $6.99 to $7.99.



Next up was some cat food for my two feral yardkeepers. That went up from $4.49 to $5.19.



A trip down the kids section of the medical isle was next. (I was putting together a little kit for my Godchild and niece since they’re both officially at the ouchie-boo-boo stage of home exploration.)

Neosporin was the first item I wanted to get. That went from $7.04 to $7.99.



I bought a little Hello Kitty first aid kit for my niece even though it had gone up from $9.99 to $10.49.



Finally, for my Godchild, an official plastic doctor-bag. That had jumped from $12.99 to $13.69.



Finally, I made a quick run to the food isle for some creamer and cheese. (What can I say? It was an eclectic Friday kind of shopping list.)

Coffee creamer? Went from $2.69 to $2.89.



Cheese? $2.99 to $3.24.



What really bothered me about this was that everything I went in to buy had been marked up. A close second was that I spent $4.30 more than I would have if I got these same items the week before.

Maybe this trip was nothing but coincidence, but if every shopping run is going to have price increases, $4 (or more) a run is going to add up real quick.

Shiseido Men’s Deep Wrinkle Corrector – slight rip off

I have a hot wife that’s younger than I am. That’s the good great news.

The bad news? Because I have a hot younger wife, I have started using skin care products for men to keep myself from looking like I’m too old to be with her.

Honestly? It’s an incredibly awesome mixed blessing.

To my younger self, though, using skincare products at all would be blasphemous. I never touched this kind of stuff in my twenties. John Wayne? Never used that crap! Humphrey Bogart? Never used that crap! Why should I use it? If I ever want a “harsh exfoliant”, I’ll use the highway asphalt! HA!

Come to think of it, that attitude of my younger self explains a few things now.

ANYWAY, the point of this post is to show something I found about Shiseido Men’s Deep Wrinkle Corrector. This is some highly expensive stuff that comes in a tube about six quarters high that my wife recently bought for me to try out.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 01

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 02

So there I was, putting this highly expensive stuff on my face, when I heard the dreaded “PHOOT! PHOOT!” of an empty pump.

I took the top off to see if there was anything I could save when I saw the pump had a short “straw”.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 03

Looking at the bottle, I thought the straw-thing that pulls the product from the big bottle must have fallen down the tube.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 04

I didn’t see a way to pull off any more of the top, but I did see a seam on the bottom.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 05

To my surprise, it came off with just a slight twist.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 06

Looking up into the tube of this highly expensive stuff, I expected to find something holding more of the product that I could pull out and get the “straw” re-attached to the pump with. Instead? I saw this.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 08

This giant bottle, this giant very expensive bottle, was only one quarter length deep!

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 09

My Leatherman was still on my belt, so I got the pliers and reached in to pull out the plastic container.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 10

That’s it. That’s the whole damn thing. About one quarter in size.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 11

Looking in the container, I saw that even though it was mostly empty, only about half of it was actual product! The rest was plastic!

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 12

Looking at the side, you can see the product reservoir only goes a DIME’S LENGTH down! That seam near the bottom where the color changes? Solid plastic.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 13

All this. All this waste. For a dime’s worth of actual content.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 14

If somebody at Shiseido ever makes it to this blog, you should really take a look at “going green”. This packaging is just full-speed stupid.

Walgreen’s Progresso Soups – slight rip off

So there I was at the local Walgreen’s waiting for the Pharmacists to decipher my doctor’s secret hieroglyphic messages when I saw this little pricing gem in the food isle.

2 for $5, 3 for $5 or 2 for $6 you say?

Sooo…. the cans are marked from the factory 3 for $5. That’s about $1.67 each. But Walgreen’s has them on CLEARANCE at 2 for $5 which is $2.50 each! An .83 cent increase on clearance prices?

Oh, and if you look at the itty bitty print on the CLEARANCE tag, Walgreen’s was originally selling them for 2 for $6, which, according to Walgreen’s math, works out to $3.19 each and not $3 each like I calculated.

This must be some of that new math I’ve been hearing about.

Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief – slight rip off

So there I was, at a local Target, looking for stuff to add to my “no really, I don’t need a doctor” medical emergency bag when I saw Bausch & Lomb’s Advanced Eye Relief for $3.69 on the shelves.

Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief Rip Off 01

I have plenty of saline, but I was curious what makes Bausch & Lomb’s Advanced Eye Relief so fancy-pants advanced.

Looking on the back, I found it is 99.05% ….

Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief Rip Off 02

…water? WATER?!?!?

Oh hell no.

For $3.69 I’ll buy a couple of Evians to add to the emergency bag instead of this stuff!

Rip. Off.

Hefty’s latest product sounds like they’ve given up on ad agencies

Trivia : A long time ago, I used to work as the IT guy for some major advertising agencies in Dallas. I’m talking multiple Clio awards on the creative director’s shelf kind of ad agencies. I was the proverbial “fly on the wall” for the most part, just fixing the busted computers while the creative geniuses got into arguments with the account execs and project managers about visions, production deadlines and where to have lunch.

Some of the things the agencies came up with for a product were completely off the wall nuts. Some ideas would never get in-house approval. Some ideas were torn apart by a ruthless client. But overall, I would say 90% of the ideas the agencies came up with were groundbreaking. Amazing ideas that would make you wonder what exactly was in those lunch orders they had delivered.

So from my completely inexperienced “fly on the wall” perspective, it makes me sad to see products like this that actually make it all the way to the store shelves. Hefty trashbags in this particular case.

Allow me to present exhibit A…

Heftys Latest 1

Soooo the latest Hefty flagship product… “keeps your garbage in the dark”? Really? That’s the best tagline to put on the box? I mean, isn’t trash always in the dark?

Maybe the other side of the box has something better.

Heftys Latest 3

No. Seriously. You’re kidding. Please. “Hides Garbage And Spills Inside the Can?” Comparing a black trash bag to a white trash bag? Black trashbags are now “only from Hefty”? Just no. Hell no.

Here’s what I think. Somebody in the Hefty company said “Hey! I have a computer! I won a blue ribbon in 5th grade for my coat hanger diorama project! I will design our product packaging! We don’t need no stinking ad agency! Look! Look! I can do it! Look!”

Aaaaand this is the crap that made it out the door.

Heftys Latest 2

“Hides the mess. Hides the Garbage. Hides the Smell.”

Hefty? Get an ad agency. Or get your old ad agency back. Seriously. This is beyond pathetic.

UPDATE: That large tomato splat and debris on the floor was from the previous trashbag. And yes, I seem to have forgot the coupon at checkout. Observant!!

Ketchup, HFCS, Heinz waffling, and other critically important things

I have a confession. I love ketchup. Love it. Between ketchup, Tabasco Sauce, HP sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Cattlemen’s BBQ sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, I’m good for most meals.

So when it was time to reload on Ketchup, I noticed Hunts had a semi-new “no HFCS” variety on the shelves.


Go Hunts!

Heinz, however, has two different brands of ketchup, neither of which are clearly labeled to distinguish the difference in product. Heinz’s “normal” ketchup label looks like this…


…and it still uses HFCS.


The second ketchup product label from Heinz is almost identical to the first label, but an additional “Simply Heinz” banner on the label…


…means this product uses real sugar and has no HFCS!


Come on Heinz! Quit waffling! Grow a pair! Put a big honkin’ label that says NEW NO HFCS CRAP IN THIS MONKEY! Calling it “Simply Heinz” says to me the HFCS lobby has you guys scared.

Anyhow, I thought such critically important matters deserved a Friday blog post, so here we are!

Gameloft’s advent calendar giveaway – iPhone and iPad freebies all December

Gameloft announced on their blog they are “offering a surprise gift every day in December until Christmas to all our fans and anyone who is in the festive spirit.”

“Every day we’ll announce our surprise on our Twitter account ( All you have to do is click on the link in the tweet to enjoy your present. What can you get? A free game to play on your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android device, or on Facebook? Exclusive sneak peeks or cool goodies for our hottest upcoming Christmas games? Crazy game discounts?”

Free is always good. But free from a high-quality gaming company is even better!

The freebies expire every 24 hours, so grab the apps quick if you want them.

Today’s freebie is DRIVER for the iPhone/iPad.

How much debt is the United States in? If you spend $100 a second…

1 year = 31,556,926 seconds

If you spent $100 A SECOND, your total would be around $3.2 billion a year ($3,155,692,600).

The national debt is currently over $13 trillion ($13,000,000,000,000)

Divide $13,000,000,000,000 by the $100 a second annual total of $3,155,692,600?

You would have to spend $100 a second for over four thousand YEARS (4,119.54) to pay off our current national debt.