If you’ve ever popped out for milk and spent $30, you’ll know the supermarket spending tricks that I’m talking about. It’s not just us, either: a recent study found that around 20% of supermarket purchases are unplanned, and most people have bought at least three things on offer that they never actually eat. But what supermarket spending tricks are in action at the moment, and how do you fight them off?
1. Big CartS
It’s not just you – shopping carts are getting bigger. There is a good reason for it, too. Shoppers who are forced to have a big shopping cart rather than a small one do a lot more impulse shopping, because the trolley still looks so empty. If a shopper is using a smaller trolley, it’s easier to see how much you’ve got. This is one of the newest supermarket spending tricks, and it’s definitely one that you can avoid. Hunt around for a small cart, or use a basket instead.
2. Beautiful EntranceS
Ever noticed that the front of a supermarket is packed with goodies? There’s usually brightly-colored flowers, fresh bread, bakery goodies, special offers, great bottles of wine… and it’s deliberate, too. Displays are put near the door so that the colors and scents can boost your mood, and make you feel like shopping. If you didn’t come to the store for fresh bread or flowers, walk through as quickly as you can.
3. The Long Walk
Ever noticed that essentials in a supermarket are never together? Milk could be one side of the store, with bread and eggs down the other. Stores are laid out so that you have to walk past the maximum number of products on your way to essentials, which increases the chances of you being tempted by something that wasn’t on your list. Give yourself free reign to grab two things that aren’t on the list, but limit yourself after that. It’ll relieve pressure, and you’ll find you still spend less than usual.
4. The Icky Middle
The middle of a supermarket is typically full of boring products such as tins and packet mixes. They are supposed to be uninspiring and boring, so that you’ll grab things from the more exciting aisles instead. Thwart the plan by heading to the boring middle first, and filling the cart with your essentials. Once you’ve got everything on your list, you are less likely to grab loads of unplanned treats.
Ever seen that woman offering a sample of hot coffee, or freshly-cooked pizza, or even a slice of cake? Many people think that this must be a money-suck, but it’s actually great advertising. A manufacturer will pay the supermarket for the stand, and donate the product. Then the store just have to entice people into having a taste, and they are almost guaranteed to buy the product. Especially if it’s a coffee or cake – who’d turn those down whilst exploring the aisles?! Shopping on a full stomach can help you resist the samples.
6. Vision Shopping
Ever noticed that the really sugary cereals are stacked at the perfect eye-level for most children, but healthier cereals are more well-hidden? Or that it’s always the most expensive cereals which have pride of place in an aisle? The products that a supermarket wants you to notice are placed where you couldn’t possibly miss them, and you’ll be tempted by them. It can easily become habit to just grab whatever is in front of you. Instead, alternate shops so that you don’t become too used to the layout.
7. Impulse BuyS
This is one of the oldest supermarket spending tricks, but it’s still pretty successful. By packing waiting areas and checkout zones full of candy, magazines and drinks, supermarkets can play on your emotions. You can fight that boredom, tiredness, sadness – however you feel, just by paying a few bucks for candy. Resist!
These aren’t the only supermarket spending tricks, but they are certainly the most common. Once you’ve spotted them once, they are much less likely to work on you again, so you can save money to spend it where you really need it. Win win right?!