Supermarket Tricks and How to Avoid Them

Supermarket Tricks and Family Shopping
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Gustavo Fring

Every time that we walk into a supermarket, we are bombarded with psychological traps to get us buying food and often more expensive brands. After all, supermarkets are in business to tempt us into spending as much money as possible. Therefore, it always helps to be aware of some typical supermarket tricks so you can keep more of that money in your pocket.

To begin with, think about the supermarket design. Have you noticed that fresh produce is always near the front door in most supermarkets? Nearby you might also observe that the highest priced ready-made salad dressings and prepared salads are often strategically placed within reaching distance. The less expensive salad dressings are in an aisle further away. This is one of the common supermarket traps to get you buying the most expensive salad dressing while in the produce section while also helping you pick up fruits and vegetables first so you don’t feel as guilty later when passing the bakery area, candy or frozen desserts.

How can I forget about the bakery and those specific supermarket traps that can deliberately reel you in? Usually, a delicious aroma permeates the air and vicinity with all those gorgeous containers showing pies, beautifully decorated cakes and cookies are on display. The delectable scent can pull you over to a farther section, passing the filled display with baked goods to throw into your grocery cart before you even reach the counter.

Another devious method in supermarket design is always making sure the essentials like milk and breads are further back into the store. In order to pick up those basic staples you need to walk past aisles or displays with other food products that you could also add to your shopping cart, which is also another of these expertly thought of supermarket traps.

Something else I never failed to notice are store brands or generic products get the worst shelf placement. Reserving the easy to reach shelves at eye level is prime supermarket real estate for their most expensive, name brand products.

Refrigerated sections that usually hold the milk and eggs or even the frozen food aisles often have displays in them. The reason to crowd those aisles more is to get you lingering around those products a bit longer. The more time that you spend there, you may also discover that you wanted to try something else or new.

Though you won’t see supermarkets now giving out free samples due to this pandemic, offering free samples is an excellent way to win customers over to buying whatever they just sampled. Adding a coupon with the sample only makes it more likely that you will immediately buy that product, especially if you sampled while you were hungry.

One thing that I truly hate is buying items that I know are on sale only to have the register charge full price. This is another of those sneaky supermarket traps of not updating their computer with the sale price. You can say that it was a genuine mistake if it happens occasionally, but when it occurs too frequently or the store doesn’t change it when you return, then it is intentionally and just another of those sneaky supermarket tricks to increase the store’s bottom line.

The end caps of the supermarket aisles can often be set aside for store sale items. However, you need to be careful because this is not always the case. You need to check the store circular to see if those items are featured or, perhaps, ones intended for the following week or just a new location.

Supermarkets often use those cards to get points off of gas and coupons loaded onto it while shopping. Yet, another of those cunning supermarket tricks can occur when using the card on an advertised sale item such as a free weekly perk only to find that the particular flavor isn’t scanning. It may be the same brand, size, type with no mention of any flavor in the advertisement, but you find it is not a free item as it was advertised as the weekly perk when trying to buy it. This happens to me quite often at one store in my area. As a result, I rarely shop in that store.

As you proceed to check out of the supermarket, you always come face to face with a section of candy, a small refrigerator with sodas, water, teas, and magazines. The supermarket knows that waiting is usually involved. So what does a hungry or bored customer do? They can pick up candy bars, soda and a magazine as well, which is another of those supermarket traps that you can fall into.

I hope you found this post helpful and it opened your eyes to just some of these supermarket tricks and how to avoid them. The price of everything in this economy is hard enough without businesses making it that much more difficult.

If you want to read further on this subject, I hope that you read my earlier post with other helpful ideas on how to slash your grocery bill.


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