Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Teaching Tuesday: Avoiding Supermarket Gimmicks!

We all know the advice about not to go shopping when you're hungry because you buy a lot more, and we've heard about trying to shop alone (like that happens!), but to be perfectly honest, any place that you choose to shop is a "for profit" establishment.  That means they want your money!

Everything about your shopping experience at most major grocery chains is designed to entice you to spend.  Yes, designed!  Everything from the shiny packaging of new products, to their strategic placement on the shelves, to the delectable aromas emanating from the bakery and deli departments.  It's all meant to be one huge consumer temptation!

How can you avoid falling into these traps?

  1. If you have the option, shop at a no frills store, such as Aldi.  You don't have all the conveniences you would at a large chain, but you do pay for those conveniences!
  2. Stick to the "loss leaders".   These are those items that are deeply discounted each week.  They usually appear on the front page near the top of a store's ad.  They are so cheap, in fact, that the stores may actually be selling them at a loss instead of a profit, but that is a gimmick they use to get you into the store.  They hope that once you are in, you will purchase a lot more, preferably buying everything you need for the week while you are there.  Don't!
  3. If the bakery smells tempt you, don't shop early in the morning.  If you can't resist the smells of the deli, don't shop at lunch or dinner time.
  4. Don't grab the first thing you see!  Items marked "on sale" and placed on endcaps are not necessarily "on sale".  Manufacturers pay the stores for those product locations in order to get more sales.  Instead, go down the aisles.   Once you are down the aisle, don't grab the things at eye level.  Those are the most popular, most pricey brands.  Look low and look high to find better deals.
  5. Mind your unit prices.  You may see two packages side by side that are the same price.  Before you make a decision, check the package sizes.  One may contain more than the other, making it the better value.

Do you have any more advice?  Please share a comment below!


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