Wanna save some serious moolah on your groceries without dealing with pesky coupons? Well, guess what? It’s totally possible! We’ve dug up a treasure trove of more than thirty sneaky supermarket tricks that grocery stores use to make you spend more. And the best part? We’ve got thirty super easy and practical ways for you to outsmart them and save tons of cash.
Grocery stores have come up with lots of clever ways to make you want to buy more stuff. Knowing their tricks and coming up with your own ways to navigate around them is one of the most awesome tips you’ll ever learn for saving cash on your groceries!
As soon as you step into a store, you get lured into spending loads of cash. Supermarkets go all out to figure out ways to tempt you into filling up your cart and make you wanna stay longer! They pull out all the stops to make sure you’ll buy, buy, buy!
But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We know some of the tricks that those sneaky grocery stores use to get you to spend more than you intended. And we’ve got some suggestions to help you avoid their pricey traps. From making a list before you go, to shopping the perimeter of the store, we’ve got you covered. Next time you head to the grocery store, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to shop smart and save big.
SLASH YOUR GROCERY BILL | SUGGESTIONS FOR AVOIDING THOSE CLEVER SUPERMARKET TRICKS
Go Shopping Alone – Even though supermarkets have those cool shopping carts just for kids, it’s actually better to leave them (and anyone else) at home. Why, you ask? Well, when you’re on your own, you can shop at your own pace and make smarter choices. Having others with you can slow you down and make you buy stuff you didn’t really need. So go ahead, grab your shopping list, and conquer the supermarket all by yourself. Your wallet will thank you!
Use a Smaller Shopping Cart – Try using a smaller cart or a handbasket instead of one of those big carts! Why? Because those sneaky stores actually want you to grab a big cart. They think if you have a huge cart, you’ll fill it up with more stuff and end up spending more money. But we’re too smart for that, right? So next time, go small and save big!
Don’t Fall for the Smells – As you walk through the aisles of your favorite store, you may suddenly get a whiff of something delicious. The aroma of freshly baked bread or roasted chicken may make you feel like you just have to have it. However, before you give in to the temptation of buying everything that smells amazing, remember the reason behind it. Many industries use scents to entice customers into buying more. While it may seem harmless, it’s important to be aware of these tactics and make conscious decisions. Take a moment to consider if you really need the item or if it’s just the smell that’s tempting you. Don’t let your senses be fooled!
Avoid the Visual Traps – As you walk down the aisles of the grocery store, you can’t help but notice the brightly colored bouquets, the glistening fruit, and the amazing displays that seem to greet you at every turn. These visual temptations can be hard to resist, especially when you’re feeling hungry or indulgent. However, the key to avoiding these traps is simple: stick to your shopping list. With a little discipline and a reminder of what you truly need, you can navigate the store with ease and avoid the temptation of these eye-catching distractions.
Where Earplugs if You Must – Next time you walk into a store, take note of the background music. If it’s slow and melodic, or something you find yourself tapping your foot to, beware – you may be falling into a common shopping trap. Retailers use music as a way to manipulate your shopping experience, slowing down your pace and causing you to shop for longer periods of time. By recognizing this tactic, you can approach your next shopping spree with a new sense of awareness. Keep your guard up, and don’t let the stores take advantage of you!
Keep Your Hands to Yourself – Did you know that touching something makes us feel like it belongs to us? That’s why you gotta be careful when you’re shopping. Don’t touch anything unless you’re willing to take it home with you. Trust me, you might find yourself attached to that cute stuffed animal or shiny new toy car! So, remember, keep your hands to yourself until you’re ready to make a commitment. Happy shopping!
Remember Nothing is Free – Did you know that those free food samples at the supermarket aren’t actually free? It’s true! They are given to you because the people running the store know that most of us don’t expect to get something for nothing. It’s a pretty sneaky trick, but it works really well. Once you’ve taken a bite of that yummy sample, they’ve got you hooked, and you’ll most likely want to buy a whole package of whatever it is they’re selling.
Turn Left – The natural flow of traffic in most grocery stores has you turning right when you walk in the doors. Be a rebel and turn left instead, it will save you money. Our natural way of looking at things is from left to right, for instance when you read. Going against what is our normal behavior, like turning right, causes our brains to have a bit of misfire, which causes us to make impulsive decisions, again leading us to spend more money.
Don’t Go Shopping on an Empty Stomach!
A growling tummy can lead to impulse purchases.
Another Reason to Go Left – Did you know that when you walk into a grocery store, you might be led towards the produce department first? Yup, it’s true! The reason for this is that the store wants to offer you healthy options right off the bat. That way, you don’t feel guilty about buying a whole bunch of junk food later on. So, next time you’re in the store, remember to turn left instead of right.
Avoid the Wet Look – Did you know that those misting systems in the produce department are actually a trick? Yes, they make the fruits and veggies look pretty, but they don’t actually keep them fresh. In fact, all that water can make them rot faster! So next time you bring your produce home, make sure to give it a good dry to make it last longer.
Prepare Your Own Produce – Produce departments want us to think that they are doing us a big favor by packaging produce for us. Sure it might seem that way, but that bag of salad, a bag of apples, or those sliced onions are costing you, and it’s costing you quite a bit. By choosing your own produce you are able to pick the freshest vegetables and the quantity that you will actually use, not to mention slicing onions yourself isn’t really that hard.
Go Big – We tend to determine how much we’ve spent based on how full our cart is. When we fill it with smaller items, your cost will be high. But here is a neat trick, load your cart up with bulk items, like toilet paper, cases of soda, or water first, then grab the smaller items. Your cart will appear fuller but it cost near as much.
Watch Your Step – Ever wondered why some stores have bumpy floors in their fancy food section? Well, it turns out they want to keep you hanging around for longer! They’ve installed textured flooring to make your shopping cart vibrate and slow you down. Yup, they’re hoping you’ll spend more time and money on those yummy gourmet treats. Sneaky, huh?
Don’t be Fooled by Deceitful Displays – There are many displays throughout the store that are designed specifically to catch your eye. Don’t assume because they’ve put a balloon arch over the display that it’s on sale.
Don’t Make Eye Contact – When you’re strolling down the cereal aisle, have you ever felt like you’re being watched? Well, turns out there’s a sneaky reason for it! Those cool cereal characters like “Tony the Tiger” or “Captain Crunch” were actually designed to make eye contact with you. It’s all because science says that making eye contact builds trust and gets us to buy more. So keep your eyes peeled and watch out for those cereal mascots trying to catch your attention!
Got Milk? – Ever wonder why the milk section is always tucked away in the back of the store? Well, it’s because milk is like the superstar of the grocery store. People go out of their way just to grab a carton of it, and while they do, they end up passing by all sorts of yummy treats. Sneaky, right? Those stores know that once you see all those tempting goodies, you just can’t resist throwing a few extra things into your shopping cart – cha-ching! But hey, don’t get too distracted! Stick to your game plan and don’t let those sneaky snacks sway you. Happy shopping!
Read the Fine Print – 10 for $10 sales don’t always mean that you need to buy 10. Read the fine print, if it doesn’t require you to buy all 10, then buy only what you need. This tip applies to all sales not just the 10 for $10 ones.
Don’t Fall for the Price Game – Retailers are pretty tricky when it comes to pricing! They’ve figured out that if they slap a price tag of $19.99 on something instead of just $20.00, it can make us feel like we’re saving more than just a measly penny. Sneaky, right?
Size Doesn’t Matter – A trick that many supermarkets use is with the size of the writing on the sales signs. Research shows that consumers perceive smaller writing with cheaper prices. Crazy, right?
Compare Unit Prices – Don’t be fooled! Just because one price is lower than another doesn’t mean that it’s the best value. Manufacturers have little packaging tricks that they use to make you think that you are getting more than you actually are. When comparing prices be sure that you are looking at the unit price, it’s a more accurate comparison.
Beware of Bundle Displays – Avoid displays that bundle complimentary products, such as graham crackers, chocolate bars, and marshmallows. Products displayed like this create the perception that they are on sale, when actually they aren’t, they were created to entice customers into impulse purchases.
Shop the Deli Sales!
Take advantage of weekly sales, it can be considerably cheaper than the packaged products.
Fresh vs. Frozen – Meat, fish, and seafood found at the butcher counter are often sold at a premium price, unfortunately, they aren’t always of premium quality. What you are actually paying for is the ability to pick and choose which cut you want. Head over to the freezer section instead, you can purchase the same items at a fraction of the price and you won’t be sacrificing quality when you do.
Say No to Imported Cheese – Items found in this section are often marked up twice as much, if not more, than the cheese you can find in the dairy section.
Next Move? – This one personally drives me nuts! In order to get customers to make more impulse purchases, the supermarket will change the location of products or rearrange the whole store. Their thinking is, if a customer has to hunt down the item they came in for, they are bound to run across items that they don’t necessarily need, but want, making them spend more.
Ask the Butcher!
When meat goes on sale, especially roasts, have the butcher cut it into steaks, chops, etc.
It’s a great way to save money!!
New and Improved – Beware of manufacturers’ tricks to get you to purchase their products. Packages that say new and improved might be referring to the packaging and not the product. Questioning how a product got the label “World’s Best” or “Award Winning” is the first step to not being fooled by their sneaky ploys.
Avoid Items at Eye Level – Supermarkets like to place the most expensive items at eye level. The science behind this is that consumers are more likely to buy the first thing that they see. However, a smart shopper knows that the less expensive items can be found on the top and bottom shelves.
You Pay for Convenience -Watch out for bulk items! Just because the package is bigger doesn’t mean you’re saving money. Sometimes, companies make bigger packages just to make our lives easier, but they charge us a lot more for it. Always double-check the unit price for each item before you buy!
Price Hike Shenanigans – Warning! That advertised sale might not actually be a sale. It’s a little shady, but supermarkets have been known to raise the price of an item only to drop it back down to the original price and call it a sale. This is a pretty common practice in the meat and deli departments.
Be Wary of Rewards Club Deals – A lot of stores require you to have a rewards card in order to take advantage of sales prices. This sounds like no big deal, but it could be costing you! Those sales for “club members” make consumers believe that they are special and are receiving amazing deals on items. However, many times there is an item (on the bottom shelf) that isn’t on sale and costs less. Don’t be lured into a more expensive purchase just because it appears to be on sale.
The Final Trick – The last opportunity the supermarket has to reach into your wallet is when you are checking out. Those small, low-cost items, lining the conveyor belt, are there with a purpose, to tempt you into spending just a little more money before you leave.
You’ve just seen thirty sneaky grocery store tricks used to make you spend more, plus thirty practical tips on how to ensure that you only pay for the things you need. Saving money on your grocery bill doesn’t have to feel like a chore when armed with the right information. Savings are only one small step away! So it’s time to start spending smarter today and put some of these savvy strategies into practice at your local grocery store. If you’re ready to really take control of your spending, challenge yourself to use as many of these tricks as possible on your next trip for maximum savings.
Do you have other successful strategies that help keep your grocery bill in check? Share them with us in the comments! Let’s all learn from each other how we can save on groceries.
40 Tips to Drastically Reduce Your Grocery Bill
Learn how to walk out of the grocery store paying less per bag than you ever have. These 40 money-saving tips are guaranteed to lower your grocery bill drastically.
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