I can remember the very first time I realized it was happening, the meaningful short measurement...I was buying lumber almost twenty years ago to put a couple of shelves into a pantry closet in an apartment that we had just moved into...I went to the local lumber yard and gave in my measurements and the cutter spent about ten minutes explaining to me how all of the large sheets ALWAYS come short in one dimension, but I really was getting the square footage that I ordered.
Then, years ago, on a trip to Anguilla, we discovered Vic's Popcorn in large bags, which have shrunk from 8 ounces to 5.5 to 4.5, the paper outer sack remaining the same size, the inner foil sleeve always becoming smaller and smaller.
The next time it happened when I noticed was when the price of coffee spiked several years ago, and a can of coffee, always one pound, suddenly held only 14 ounces. Then a pint of ice cream only contained 14 ounces, although the cost was the same. Haagan Dasz (sp??)tried to soften the blow locally, running specials so that the buyers might not notice in the ecstasy of cost savings.
During the past week, She finally found just the right shade of blue to paint the last small bedroom, and purchase a gallon...except it wasn't a full gallon, just 3 quarts and 14/16s, not the full four quarts.
I'm not stupid, I understand just what's happening. But it doesn't make me feel any better about it.