When it comes to feeding my family, there’s a lot of different things I have to consider: time, convenience, budget, taste and more. I’m sure you’re the same. Unfortunately, the supermarkets have a few tricks up their sleeves that can undermine our best attempts at shopping on a budget.
Well, you don’t have to experience that disappointing feeling of spending more than you planned to, anymore! Keep reading to understand a few of the ways that supermarkets manipulate us when we’re shopping.
Luring us with Baked Goods
Have you noticed that a lot of supermarkets put their bakery near the store entry? It’s a trap! The bakery is a high margin department, so getting you to buy more from the bakery on each shopping trip = more dollars for the store. Think of it this way. Your shopping cart is empty and everything looks and smells so fresh and inviting. It’s pretty easy to pick up a couple of extra items to what was originally on your list.
Hiding the Milk
Are the milk or eggs in your local supermarket in the very back of the store? Mine too. They do this because if you’re just ducking in for fresh milk, you’ll have to walk through the whole store to reach them. And what does that mean? Plenty of room for temptation to buy things you never intended to!
Watch this excellent video for a full view of the psychology behind it.
Getting You to Follow the Aisles
Most people follow the same course around the store because the supermarkets have designed their floor plan to encourage you to. Even if you find you only need a handful of things, you probably walk up and down aisles to make sure you don’t miss anything. And in doing so, buy more items.
Putting Brand Name Cereal at Eye Level
Supermarkets take advantage of our habit of wandering the store and looking at the shelves that are eye-level. By placing home brands on the bottom shelves and healthy items on the top ones, we’re immediately drawn to the more expensive (and less healthy) brand name cereals. This type of branding does not happen by accident, brands pay a premium for this type of placement because they know you are more likely to buy products placed at this level.
Offering us Rewards Cards
Although you receive some benefits for having valued shopper cards, they are basically an incentive to keep you shopping at this store time and again. And of course, when they run promotions like giving you extra rewards points if you spend say $200, they are just encouraging you to spend even more with them.
Providing Shopping Carts
Of course, shopping carts makes your life easier when you shop because you don’t have to lug everything around. But you know what else they do? Make you feel inclined to fill up the whole cart. You know, they’re even gradually increasing the size of shopping carts over time. That means you can squeeze a few extra items in (to the detriment of your budget)!
Bulk Deals That Aren’t Always Good Value
It’s so easy to be tempted by those tags that tell you you’ll save money if you buy 2 or 3 of an item. You see, we’re conditioned to find specials and sales appealing. You’re probably better off buying a home brand item than that so-called special, but we see that brightly-colored ticket and it’s like showing candy to a child. We can’t resist.
Now that you know a few of the ways supermarkets are manipulating you be sure to keep them in mind next time you shop. And my final parting tip is, make a list and stick to it, no matter what! The family grocery bill is the number one area the average household can save money. Once you’ve worked out all the supermarket’s tricks the next step is to start actively implementing shopping strategies to cut down your own bad habits.
Jade Emily runs a blog by the very same name at www.jadeemily.com.au. Visit her there to find your new source of inspiration for everything around the topics of design, style, health and beauty.