7 Spending Traps to Avoid at the Grocery Store

Grocery stores are getting smarter and smarter with making more money in sales by noticing their shopper’s tendencies and using those to their advantage. Have you ever had a shopping list with just a couple of items and left with half a shopping cart full? It’s likely because you’ve fallen for a one or more of these traps they set to get you to purchase more.

Many of us have set some financial goals and are adjusting and fine-tuning budgets for a fresh new year. Here are some ways you can avoid falling for traps to spend extra money at the grocery store in and have more money in your wallet in 2021.

1. Huge Shopping Carts. Try to get the smallest basket or cart you can. Pushing around a big shopping cart when you only have a couple things on your list will naturally make you feel like you forgot something and you will likely fill your cart with more things than intended. 

2. Enticing End Cap Displays. They want us to think that if something is on an endcap it is on sale, but this is often not the case. Try checking the aisle with that product to find a better deal and don’t just assume and grab.

3. Shopping at Eye Level. Grocery stores have become very smart to capitalize on people’s shopping habits by purposefully placing higher-priced items at eye level since you are more likely to grab something right in front of you. Make sure to look high and low to see all the products and compare prices before you put something in your cart.

4. Bigger is Better. Consumers naturally believe that by purchasing the largest option for a certain item, they are getting the best value. That is not always the case. Make sure you look at the per-ounce price or do the math quickly on a calculator on your phone to find the best value and price.

5. Product Pairings. They make it convenient for you when you are getting an item to pair it with something that goes together like cheese dip next to the tortilla chips, or hot fudge hanging on the door of the ice cream freezer. Avoid grabbing the product pairing unless you have it on your shopping list. If you do want to buy the chip dip, try to at least go to the designated aisle with all the options so that you get the best deal instead of the likely pricier option they want you to buy.

6. Cheap Checkout Items. The checkout aisles are the last chance they have to get you to shop so they fill it with cheap and enticing products to tempt you when you are bored waiting in line. Do self-checkout if possible. It is known that self-checkout decreases sales and most of the time these lanes have little to no additional product to buy. 

7. Fancy Seasonal Displays. Try not to fall for checking out the holiday display. This is meant to catch your eye and slow you down. The more time you spend in the store, the more money you spend. Try to avoid looking at the charming Christmas decorations or the bright, colorful beach balls and pool floaties in the summertime. Stick to the list!

Do you have any other tips to help avoid spending more unintentionally at the grocery store? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments below.

  •   www.money.usnews.com
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  •   www.foodnetwork.com

    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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