Do you ever wander through the grocery store and end up spending more than you were budgeting for? Don't beat yourself up over it — supermarkets actually have several different strategies to trick customers into blowing bucks.
Be on the alert and watch out for these sneaky psychological tactics the stores will try to use on you:
#1. 10 For $10
Ten for $10 sounds like a great deal. However, you'll get the same savings even if you only buy one item, according to The New York Times. A grocery store survey recently found that people bought way more items when they saw 10 for $10 deals vs. five for $5 and one for $1 sales. Even if you aren't buying 10 items, your mind will trick you into thinking that the item is such a great deal that you end up buying more of it.
#2. Growing Carts
No, you're not shrinking; it's the grocery carts that are growing. The larger the cart, the more likely you'll end up spending more, so try to stick to a hand basket instead. Research found that when the size of the cart doubled, consumers bought 40 percent more.
#3. Pre-Cut Vegetables and Fruits
Pre-cut veggies look so attractive, with their colorful packaging and promise of less work (no need to wash or chop!). However, they aren't exactly a good deal. CBC News found that pre-cut veggies and fruits can be a lot more expensive than the whole items. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
#4. Items at the Checkout Counter
Ever wonder why all those magazines and yummy candies are crammed in the front of checkout counters? It's one of the supermarket's tricks to get you to succumb to last-minute purchases while you're waiting in line.
#5. Where Is Everything?
You think you have the layout of your local supermarket down pat, then you find out they changed shelves again. Darn it.
The stores are actually doing it on purpose, because if you don't know where the items are, you'll end up spending more time in the store … and more time to browse means more chances to tempt you into buying more items.
#6. Eye-Level Trick
Items that are placed at eye level on the shelves tend to be pricier name-brand goods, which are the products the supermarkets want you to buy. Check out the lower shelves for the similar items that have lower prices and fewer markups.
#7. Fragrant Items in the Front
Flowers and other pleasant-smelling items like baked goods are often put in the front of the supermarket, so you'll be sniffing sweet scents when you first walk in. This will not only put you in a better mood, but it will also trigger your salivary glands, making you more prone to impulse buys.