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Do Grocery Stores Manipulate You?

How Grocery Stores Get You To Spend Your Money Even When You Think You Are Being Thrifty!

Do grocery stores manipulate shoppers into buying certain products? Of course, they do. And their plan works. Every item in the store is placed where it is by design and not randomly. What do you see first when you walk into a grocery store? You see the products they want you to buy. They are the items near the entrance. They are on the display shelves at the front of the store and near the checkout counter.

But it doesn't stop there. Most people go into the store for what are called staple items, meaning milk and dairy products, bread, juice, and meats. Where are they located? Strategically at the very back of the store. And why are they there? Because you have to walk past everything else in the store to get to them. And you will probably pass something that you will to pick up on the way to the back of the store, and then again on the way back to the checkout register.

There is a definite reasoning for the placement of merchandise on selected aisles and what is put on eye level shelves as opposed to the bottom and top shelves. Stores are arranged in well thought-out patterns designed specifically to entice the shoppers to buy additional or more expensive products.

Shoppers end up picking up more than what they go into a store intending to get, whether it's ice cream, candy, potato chips, sodas, flowers, or beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages. Can this be avoided? Sure it can, but you have to focus on your spending and not get captured in the grocery store's trap.

Remember, the people who operate grocery stores know more about marketing and how to get people to spend their money than you do. They have many years of experience displaying their products and they know how to set the bait, how to advertise, and how to get shoppers to come into their stores. They offer discounts and coupons to entice you to come into the store and then display other more expensive products knowing that you are likely to buy at least one or two of them while you are there.

Discounts and coupons are great sources for saving money if you go strictly for the discounted or couponed products and not get lured into buying the more costly items or those that you don't need.

Remember that not all specials and sales are good buys. Stores offer displays for 10 for $10 for certain products. If you look more closely, those items, may actually be $1 each, or less, on any given day. Check prices carefully.

Here are some ways to help keep you focused on your spending.

  • Make a shopping list and don't deviate from it if you can.
  • More than anything, don't go shopping when you are hungry. You will be enticed to buy cookies and other goodies. The smell of freshly baked cookies and pastries, fried chicken, and other foods will draw you to the bakery section of the store.
  • Don't linger. If you linger in the store, you will be more inclined to pick up items that you can live without.
  • Name brand products are great, but if you want to save money, try store brand or not so well known brands. Some of them are made by the same name brand companies you see but are sold under the store brand name. They taste great, and are often cheaper than the name brands.
  • Remember, the most costly items are often located near the checkout register so you may buy them instead of cheaper brands in another section of the store.
  • Be wary of paired items like chip and dip. Stores will pair a higher priced item with a cheaper item so you grab both of them together.

The bottom line for saving money is preparation. Make a weekly menu and buy your groceries accordingly. Keep an eye out for sales on the products that you need and refrain from letting your grocery store influence how you spend your money.



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