Even the best of thrifty grocery store shoppers know it's true: the supermarket can feel overwhelming at the times when we are at our weakest, like when our stomachs are about to eat themselves with hunger or we get swept off our feet by a sale that is too good to be the real deal. But those who shop with a purpose at the market, whether it is to do a monthly stock up on bulk foods or just to pop in for a few items, are far more savvy spenders than those who tend to wander around the inside aisles of the shop waiting for something to catch their fancy. Here's why that grocery store phenomenon is true, and here's what you can do to avoid the trap of over spending.
1. Supermarkets are getting smarter than ever. As part of clever marketing techniques and eye catching tricks to encourage customers to make more purchases on a whim, grocery stores typically place low-cost high-desire items right next to the checkout counter. This way, you will be face to face with the tantalizing items you turned down so far in your shopping trip, and are attracted to their small size and corresponding price. Grocery stores sell most of their sweeties and non-essential items of that type to those who grab a chocolate bar or fizzy drink as they are checking out. By avoiding this trap and turning your back to the temptations, you'll not only save your small change, but save your arteries as well.
2. Another way that supermarkets are well versed in knowing the psychology of their shopper is demonstrated by the location of where certain items are placed. For instance, sale items that the shop must soon get rid of are often placed on the end cap of the aisle where they will be seen and noticed by patrons. Most 'junk food', processed food, and dried cereals, soups and pastas are all placed in the inner aisles of the store, while fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, and dairy are often located around the perimeter of the shop. Make it your rule that you will only shop around the outside aisles of the store, and if you still need something from the inner portion you'll pick it up right before you are ready to check out. That way, you hopefully won't find yourself drooling over some boxed food without having stocked up on vegetables and fruits first. And because the most dramatic sales often happen on processed, dried food, you won't be as tempted to purchase these things that you don't really need just for the sake of price.
3. Speaking of purchasing food that you don't need, that is a big no-no for any savvy shopper. Non-essentials should never be in your cart; that is, don't buy something because it is on sale if it is not something that you would have paid full price for. Chances are that it won't even be worth the half price that you are paying for it if it wasn't something that you were already missing in your daily diet. This goes especially for buy-one-get-one-free sales which may tempt you to stock up for cheap on things that you would never normally buy. Just because you can get a lot of it for a small amount of money doesn't necessarily mean that you would want any of it to begin with. Smart shoppers have their list of essentials for the week's or month's meals written out with them before they even go to the store, and stick to it without straying to see the most dramatic savings.