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Rising cost of Girl Scout cookies

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that Girl Scout cookies have gotten smaller in size while the boxes have gone up in price. This “grocery shrink ray” has hit lots of products, so the fact that it happens at all isn’t too surprising, but there is some point where consumers really need to step in and think before they buy. This year, the Girl Scouts have had to announce that they will be decreasing the number of cookies in each box of Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Do-Si-Dos (homemade version pictured above). Some of their other cookies will be resized without dropping the total number. This means we’re paying more – a lot more – these days for fewer cookies. A box of GS cookies currently (although please mention it in the comments if the pricing in your area is different!) is $3.50.

The change isn’t surprising given the rising cost of equipment and ingredients, but this has been going on for some time. A side by side comparison of cookies from now and 10 or 15 years ago might show quite a size difference. I’ve said before that I think it’s a better idea to donate money to your local girl scout troop and make your own cookies. You’ll know exactly where that money is going, you’ll get more cookies from a batch than you would in a box or two, and you won’t have to worry about any partially hydrogenated oils in the batter adding trans fats to your diet.

All this said, I’m sure I’ll still buy a few boxes – they’re hard to resist even when you have homemade. Just maybe not quite as many as I might pick up otherwise.

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  • Bridget =)
    January 23, 2009

    While I understand what you mean, to me, it supports a wonderful cause. I have no problem paying for these cookies, knowing that the money goes to this wonderful organization. =) The cookies, IMO, are just a yummy thank you for donating! =)

    I’ll have to try out the homemade ones when I have a craving in Aug and can’t get my hands on a box of somoas!!! =)

  • lotofsnow
    January 23, 2009

    I’d buy girl scout cookies at that price if I knew any girl scouts. What ever happened to going door to door and selling cookies? I’ve seriously not had thin mints in about a decade. Thankfully, my wife has decided to remedy that by making the thin mint recipe from this site.

  • Linda
    January 23, 2009

    My girlfriend and I tried the thin mints and the samoas. These are great recipes. I know the money goes to a good cause, but homemade is just as good and healthier, especially when the stash in the freezer is gone!

  • Lynnea
    January 23, 2009

    In my area, it is $4 per box, and it has been that way for at least 4 years. Even so, I can’t resist buying a box of samoas and a box of thin mints from my favorite girl scouts.

  • Dana
    January 23, 2009

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post. And in our area, Medford, OR, the price has skyrocketed to $4.00 a box for the little box.

  • Jane
    January 23, 2009

    The prices for gs cookies in southwest missouri are up to $4.00 a box!

  • Cindy
    January 23, 2009

    I bought three boxes from a neighbor and THEN asked the price and was surprised that they are $4.00 a box here in Phoenix (my daughter, now a college senior, sold them for years at $2.50 in Ohio). I wasn’t aware there will be fewer cookies in a box.

  • Laura
    January 23, 2009

    I no longer buy GS cookies for health reasons but as a former GS leader/cookie mom I hope others will continue to do so. The girls learn a lot from the experience and look forward to it every year. They learn to handle money by running a “mini-business” rather than ask for handouts which is discouraged anyway. Most of the earnings stay with the troop and it funded most of our activities throughout the year. My girls did a lot of stuff! Door to door selling to strangers is no longer done for obvious reasons.

  • Lynn
    January 23, 2009

    My twin girls are selling them right now. Here in northwest Ohio they sell for 3.00 a box. Really enjoy your blog!

  • Nicole
    January 23, 2009

    Lynn – That’s a great deal compared to some other areas! I wish they were only $3 a box out here!

  • Mom24@4evermom
    January 23, 2009

    In our area, Central Ohio, my daughter’s selling them for $3 a box. Just please remember you’re paying for a whole lot more than the cookies. My daughter’s troop receives 50 cents for each box sold, the local Council also receives money. That money is vitally important to the girl’s troops as well as to the Council. Yes, I saw your suggestion to donate money and make your own, but how many people really would? Also, I think it was really good for my 6 year old to have the experience of selling, and thanks to the kindness of the people she asked, it was a tremendously positive and confidence building experience.

  • Annie
    January 23, 2009

    Funny, I just searched your site to see if you had the recipes for these girl scout cookies just minutes before you posted this. I didn’t know they were downsizing their cookies again. Girl scouts have to raise money somehow right?

  • margot
    January 24, 2009

    Cookies have been $4 a box in our area for a number of years. Yes, I know what I’m doing is making a charitable contribution but when I consider how much money per box makes back to my troop I think they (and my waistline) would be better off if I just wrote them out a check for a cash donation.

  • Nicole
    January 25, 2009

    Wikipedia says: Each regional Girl Scout council sets the prices for cookies sold by scouts in that council.
    I actually think selling GS cookies is a bit less entrepreneurial than other activities the girl scouts could undertake to raise funds. What if they baked their own cookies and sold those?

  • Heidi
    January 25, 2009

    They only get $.50 a box!! Good grief!

  • Aunt LoLo
    January 27, 2009

    We’re $4 a box in Connecticut. I’ll be making my own!

  • Anonymous
    February 3, 2010

    OH MY GOD!!!!

  • Electronic Cigarette
    March 12, 2010

    Why are girl scout cookies so good and regular cookies not?

    Your girl Mary 🙂

  • Camille
    March 31, 2011

    I used to pre-order & buy at least 12 boxes every year (3 thin mints, 2 samoas, 2 trefoils, 3 tagalongs, 2 do-si-dos) but didn’t this year because at 4 dollars per box, I couldn’t justify spending almost 50 dollars on cookies. The price went from $3 per box to $4 in such a short time and that discouraged me from buying. Someone needs to look at the distribution of profits and do some reorganizing, with more money going to the troops who are out there selling these cookies. Until then, I won’t be buying my usual 12 boxes. Sorry, girls.

  • Heather
    February 7, 2014

    lotsofsnow, Kids are no longer advised to go door to door to sell anything because it isn’t safe.

  • jacen
    March 4, 2014

    I buy them every year. And spend a lot of money. This year I bought 25 boxes at $100. And it will be the last year I buy them. Yes it go’s to a good cause but if you went to the store and your favorite box of cookies had gone up 25% in price and the net weight had gone drastically down would you keep buying them? The answer would be no. Just like any other business you have to find ways to cut back so you don’t take in less profits. It should start with not giving out prizes to the girl scouts. The would cut 10 to 15% of the cost.

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