Supermarkets can still trick you

Here`s a list of other ways large stores can trick you into spending more as a follow up to my previous article (http://www.castanet.net/news/Money-Ramblings-of-a-Financial-Underdog/104825/How-supermarkets-trick-you).


Supermarkets trick you into being hungry

Ever noticed how grocery stores always have a pastry stand right next to the entrance? They are there for a reason – to make you hungry. Hungry people buy more food – and grocery stores want to make you hungry while you’re inside so you buy more items. Nothing like freshly baked muffins or croissants in front of you to get your stomach going. All of a sudden, you’re buying a giant frozen lasagna to take home and eat right away.

My grandma always told me – never go to the store on empty stomach. Boy, was she right.


They hide cheap products

Have you ever noticed how more expensive brands are always located at the level of your eyes? Since more expensive products have better margins (translation – more profit for grocery stores), they tend to place them just where you’ll see them right away – at your eye level. These are the products people tend to grab first – if they don’t take their time and look around. Some of the best deals I found at Real Canadian Superstore were always located almost at foot level – where people rarely look. More expensive brands actually pay for prominent location inside the store – because they know a lot of us grab the first thing we see without looking at other items.

Supermarket music?

There’s a reason why most stores play music – and not just grocery stores. Quiet music relaxes you while you’re inside, and your mood improves. All of a sudden you slow down, and let your guard down. You start walking around and humming music while checking out the products. This almost always results in increased shopping.

This is actually widely used inside shopping malls. Almost all clothing stores play their own music picked specifically for the target audience of this specific store. If the store sells hip clothes and targets young shoppers, they’ll play recent hits. If the store is all about older and more sophisticated audience, they’ll play easy listening or some soft jazz music.


Impulse buying

So, you’re almost done. You’ve loaded up your cart, and you’re heading straight towards the exit. But first you stop at the cashier and wait for him or her to scan all your purchases. Take a look around – around yourself you’ll find inexpensive items (chewing gum, chocolate bars, drinks, magazines etc.). These are the items people like to reward themselves with for a long and painful process of shopping. When you’re spending $100 on groceries, a small chocolate bar doesn’t seem like a lot, and you grab it as a small reward for yourself. And that’s exactly why it’s there!


Morale of the story?

If you don’t have unlimited amount of money (and who does these days), pay attention to your shopping habits. Mrs. Financial Underdog always writes down a list of items we need before we head out – and this list only drives our shopping as opposed to letting the supermarket drive our purchases. You have to be aware how supermarkets trick you into spending more.

Once again, I have nothing against big stores and supermarkets, but unfortunately, we’re at the opposite sides in this war – they’re fighting to take as much money away from me as possible, and I’m defending my money – my little soldiers – from them.


Did you know about these? Leave me a comment with some of your own thoughts!


I hope you enjoy my column. Please leave a comment on this (even just to tell me how wrong I am), by visiting http://moneyramblings.com/how-supermarkets-trick-you/. Also, let’s chat on twitter: https://twitter.com/MoneyRamblings

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About the Author

As somebody who grew up in a poor family, I lacked common knowledge about money from day one. If you can think of one dumb thing to do with your money - I did it. No paid college education for me. No inheritance, no financial help from my parents.

I may be a financial underdog, but through building good personal finance habits and educating myself about how money works, I hope one day to achieve financial independence for myself and my family.

Yes, I do believe an average person can enjoy a wealthy lifestyle as a result of smart decisions. Given enough time and proper education, anybody can change their financial future for the better. This can happen even if you start very late into the game - but your financial habits have to change.

If you'd like to know more about my struggles and wins with money, feel free to visit my website http://www.MoneyRamblings.com where I ramble about everyday money issues.

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