You all know the scene: you finish your grocery shopping, go through the check out line, lift your gaze to see your total amount, and come to find out that you have spent three times more than what you were expecting too.
While you have some say in how much you purchase, larger groceries stores are actually scientifically designed to increase consumer spending- in fact they have perfected it. Everything from product placement, advertisements, and shelf space to lighting, temperature, and music are crafted to maximize time spent shopping, as well as spending.
To help outsmart the system here is a list of 10 simple things you can do when grocery shopping:
- Prior to embarking on your trip to the grocery store, make a grocery list of everything you will need for the next few days and STICK to that list! Straying means extra spending on things you don’t necessarily need.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Stores are designed to fill the aisles with the more processed items while the staple items (eggs, milk, produce, meat, and bread) are on the outskirts.
- it is no coincidence that you have to walk through aisles containing cereals, snacks, candy, and frozen meals to get to the milk or eggs
- Bring cash only. While this is a pain in the butt it holds you accountable to only purchase needed items
- COUPONS. My mom taught me the value of a good coupon early on. Stores such as Shop rite, Stop and Shop, and Stew Leonard’s have coupon booklets that come in the weekend papers or have them accessible at the front of their store. It highlights sales, as well as offers coupons on food, hygiene products, and drink items.
- Bring the reusable bags with you! Stores such as Trader Joe’s allow you to enter a raffle for discounted groceries when you bring their store bag with you to shop.
- Sign up for the store savings card that gives you discounts on foods throughout the store. You can even attach it to your keys so you never forget it!
- Plus on your receipt it shows you how much money you have saved throughout the year. Time to give yourself a pat on the back!
- Get in and get out. The less time you spend in the store, the less you buy. Strolling through the aisles leads to unnecessary purchasing
- Eat before you shop. Shopping hungry leads you to buy more because your mind is fixated on eating the foods you are looking at.
- Look at the price tag. Apples for $1.00/ pound? Seems like a score, however the weight of those apples add up quickly leading to a higher price than anticipated.
- Use the self-scanners. Stop and Shop has a self-scanning tool that you can bring with you during your shopping trip. You can scan the items while you shop and keep a running tally on how much you are spending before you get to the checkout line.