Stores have tricks they use to get you to browse longer and add more items to your cart. By knowing the tricks that grocery stores use, you can avoid falling for them and save money at the grocery store without even using coupons.
Sales flyers – Not everything in the sales flyer is actually on sale. Manufacturers will pay grocery stores extra to feature their items in the ad even if they aren’t offering the products at a discount. Not everything in the flyer is a great deal!
Fresh flowers – Grocers put the flowers near the entrance to the store for a reason. Seeing and smelling flowers increase your mood by as much as 40%. A great mood could equal a lax wallet.
Symbolic – Grocers put items together in pretty packaging to make you buy more. In the fall, you might see apples sold in cute, handled bags. The bags look farm fresh for a reason!
Freshly sprayed produce – Those cool water jets that they spray on produce aren’t just to keep the produce fresh. It also inspires you to pick more produce because it looks inviting, like it just came from the farm.
Hard to find items – Sometimes the grocery store hides items on purpose. Instead of making an item easy to find (like a specific type of cheese), they will hide it to make you look harder and hopefully put more varieties in your cart.
End cap displays – Most customers go around the perimeter of a store when they shop. They add special end cap displays to entice you to go down that aisle and add more to your cart. They will also make you think everything on the end cap is part of the weekly sale, but in reality they have added extra items that compliment the sale item. If peanut butter is on sale, you might find full priced jelly on the same end cap.
Hot coffee – Think that coffee is really free? Nope! They hope you will fix yourself a cup which will make you walk slower and browse more.
Banks and ATMs – they are to remind you to get out more cash so you can spend more cash.
Bakery – It isn’t near the front of the store for convenience! By seeing fresh baked items, they hope you will buy things you weren’t planning on buying.
Pharmacy – They add a pharmacy to a grocery store because you have to wait to get your meds filled. Why not wait and browse and buy things you don’t ‘need’ while they fill your prescription.
Dairy products and meat – These are located at the back of the store because you NEED them. Why not have you walk past eye appealing displays to get to them? You might just add more to your cart if you do. Ever say “I went in for a gallon of milk and spent $40?” This is why!
Checkouts – Yep. They really do put the candy and small toys at the check out counter to drive you crazy and drive your bill up as you try to keep kids entertained as you check out.
Kid’s eye level – Ever wonder why all the kid friendly snacks are towards the bottom of the shelf? It’s because little kids will see the festive packaging and add it to your cart.
Generic items – People that buy generic products will hunt for them, so stores put them out of the line of sight so they don’t encourage others to purchase them.
Free samples – These are another marketing gimmick to get you to purchase items you had no intention of adding to your cart before you tasted them.
Eye level – The eye level space is prime real estate for brands. Most people don’t look at the top of bottom shelf when they are shopping. Brands actually pay a premium to be featured at eye level.
Convenient packaging – Grocery stores will offer food packaged in convenient sizes to make you think they are a great deal. You’ll find pre-cut chicken and pre-made hamburger patties in the meat department and new products on the shelf that are marked as “on the go” packages. When you could buy the bigger packages and make your own smaller servings and save a good bit of money.
Price gimmicks – Items are priced 2/$5 and 10/$10 to trick your mind. The mind thinks getting 10 items for $10 is better than getting 10 items for $1 each.