I thought I would start out the Trim Your Grocery Bill series by informing you of some of the tactics grocery stores use to entice you to spend more. Now, these tactics are great for their business and actually quite smart, but not so good for those of us who would like to decrease our grocery bill!
These store tactics work because so many of us are impulse spenders. How many things do you come home with every time you go grocery shopping that you didn’t intend on buying when you were still at home? I’m guilty and I’m sure almost all of you are!
Here are 5 sneaky ways grocery stores get you to spend more:
Buy 1 Get 1 Free – Everyone loves getting something for free! You may be wondering what’s so bad about this? To be honest, nothing…if you were intending on buying that product anyway. If you weren’t intending on buying the product, you do get a free item, but you’re still spending extra money that may not be in your budget, to get the initial item so you can get the deal.
Free Samples – One word…Costco. Free samples are down almost every aisle in Costco! Combining the smell and taste of these samples, they’ve pretty much got you. Those tasty treats will be haunting you even if you don’t purchase them at that moment. You might see them on sale somewhere and suddenly you’re off to the store. Costco isn’t the only grocery store I seen free samples at though, they just stand out in my mind. My advice? Don’t buy, just consider them a nice snack or perk for shopping. (unless of course, you had intended on buying that product anyways!)
Giant Shopping Carts – Most grocery stores provide shopping carts for your convenience. By providing shopping carts of the gigantic variety, they’re hoping you’ll fill your cart to the brim with stuff you “can’t live without”. Make sure you bring a shopping list to keep yourself on track. If you’re needing only a few items, leave the cart or shopping basket at the door.
Store Layout – All you need is some milk. But since the milk is all the way in the back of the store, you happen to stumble across some great deals and you remembered you could maybe use some bananas. While you were intending on spending only $4 or so for the milk, you ended up paying close to $20 with all your extras included. The grocery store didn’t place the milk at the back because they weren’t sure where else to put it…they want you to walk through as many aisles as possible so that you buy as much as possible. You’ll actually notice that all the daily necessities are placed in far, out of the way locations. Same idea here, they want your eyes to see all the great things they have to offer in hopes you’ll be enticed to spend above what you had intended in the first place.
End Caps, Clearance Bins and Checkout Stands – End caps are the shelves at the end of every aisle. You’ll find new items on “special” that the manager would like to bring your attention to on these shelves and are more often than not profit the store and not you, the consumer.
Clearance bins. Looking through the items, you’ll find something you never knew you needed since it’s now on sale! Score! When you bring the item home you may realize you really didn’t need it and spent money needlessly. One final thought on the clearance bins, the sale price might not actually be a steal. Double check the regular price to make sure you’re actually getting a significant discount.
Checkout stands have high-profit impulse items like chocolate bars, gum and magazines placed around and near them. While we wait our turn in the checkout line, the store has a captive audience and know if they place as many different products into this area as possible, they’ll earn a large amount on impulse sales.
I’m fairly certain that there isn’t one of us that hasn’t been tricked into spending more than we intended at the grocery store. I know for a fact that I’m guilty!
Have you been suckered by one of these tactics? Are there any other sneaky ways the grocery store will entice you to spend?