How Grocery Stores Trick You Into Spending More

While reading an article in the Huffington Post, they offered a list of ways grocery stores try to trick you into spending more money.

Let’s face it; grocery stores are in the business of making money not to save you money.  They are not there to offer a kind handout of melons for your own good.  They are there to sell you food, and if they can sell you the $4 bottle of salad dressing, they are going to do that before they sell you the 98 cent bottle.  But, you can beat them at their own game if you are aware of their tricks and forms of consumer manipulation. Do not fall for these grocery store tricks!

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Eye-Level Equals High Prices.

Many of you know this already.  They always put the most expensive items at eye level.  I am guessing they base that eye level about the 5 foot 3 and 3/4 inch eye level person because that is where I see them!  Look up and even more importantly, look down.  I can’t tell you how many times I have had to climb on the shelves to retrieve something I needed.  I often think about how I wish I had one of those grabber things to carry in my purse.  People are generally in a hurry when they go to the grocery store, so they grab the first peanut butter that they see rather than taking the time to search for a better option.


Snack Reward For Good Behavior.

This is just playing dirty.  Especially when you have kids.  I can’t tell you how many times I would grab a bag of M&Ms at the end of my shopping trip as an award for good behavior…FOR MYSELF!!!  And now, they are playing even dirtier by offering healthier alternatives to candy-like trail mix, dried fruit, jerky, and organic candies.  That throws temptation to a whole other level!  I have been there.  Try not to pay attention to it.  Don’t even look at those great snacks.  Now would be the perfect time to check out Instagram or pull up the blog.  Maybe also read this post.  I got your back, friend.  I am here for you!!!


A Slow Musical Groove.

The music store’s play is purposeful. Research shows that a slow, relaxing sound pumped through the store will assist you in taking your time so you will buy more.  The article suggests wearing headphones with upbeat music to keep you happy and moving.  My friend Becky always wears headphones when she grocery shops but I am not sure if its because it gives her an hour to listen to an audiobook or podcast, if she wants to block out the music, so she doesn’t spend more, or if she just doesn’t want to talk to anyone!!!  This is something I have never done.  I like to concentrate on what I am doing, and I think music in my ears or someone speaking would be a distraction for the task at hand.  I also think that it might come across as rude to other shoppers.  Do you think its rude when others are listening to music while shopping?

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The Grocery Store Floorplan.

It is deliberate to put all the fruits and vegetables at the very front then have the meat and dairy in the opposite corner.  Then you have to walk through the entire store to get there, passing by the bakery and all the snacks.  It’s all a ploy to get the yummies into your cart.  Some stores are even set up so you can only go one way and then to get back to where you came in, you have to go all the way around.  Coincidence?  I think not.  My Aldi is set up so the first things you see are the chips and candy and you HAVE TO go by them to get to the rest of the store.  I see what you are doing, there, A.  I see you.  Stay strong.  Shop the fresh stuff and skip by as much of the processed aisles as you can.


Free Food Samples.

Some stores are known for this.  I remember growing up, my mom and I would take a whole day and shop all the different stores for all of their deals.  We would strategically hit the stores with the samples about lunchtime so we wouldn’t have to eat lunch.  This is a true story!  Bj’s and Price Chopper had samples.  But we were untouched by their manipulative temptations unless they were giving out coupons that my mom could combine with a coupon that she had in her box.  Then we double-crossed them, and we were the manipulators of the system.  I rarely buy the product that the sample person is giving out.  Most days, I don’t even take a sample.  I feel that I have conquered this part of the game.  My mom was strong, Jedi strong.  The force was with her.  And she has passed that down to me.

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Pretty Prepackaged Foods.

You think “Ugh – hate chopping onions!!” and then you see those onions all perfectly chopped wrapped in a foam tray covered in cellophane wrap and you think “YAY!!!”.  Except have you ever done the math?  It’s more than twice as much to buy that onion already chopped.  Is it worth it to you?  TWICE AS MUCH!  They do the same thing with the fruit.  Because it is so much harder to eat an apple whole, so they need to slice it for you?  Plus, you know they have put something on all those fruits and veggies, so they stay looking so good, right?  Next time you are there, check the prices before you buy.  And check yourself to make sure it is worth it.

Here is hoping that you take all of these manipulation tactics with you the next time you head to the grocery store.  Bring your headphones and stay to the outside of the store.  Watch for samples and put your blinders on in the check out aisle.  Look up, look down, and cut your own celery.  Let me know if you have saved any money.  Good luck.  Stay woke, people.  Stay woke!!!

Please consider checking out my FREE eBook, Groceries Under Two Hundred to save more money at the grocery store. And read more about saving money at the grocery store with a budget.








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