Did you know that, despite your best intentions, grocery stores have made a complete science of ways of getting you to spend more than you intended? Arm yourself with these facts, and you will save yourself money!
- Checkout aisles: it's no secret that these contain the most popular “impulse buys”. From candy bars to sodas to magazines, the checkout is designed to be the last chance to get the maximum amount of money out of you. Whether it is the magazine that you are casually leafing through as you wait your turn, or the chocolate bar that your child will DIE if he doesn't get…or even the fundraiser of the month. Most of these items are not on sale (and some are even ridiculously priced…we are conditioned to think of magazines as priced at $3-$4 per issue. My local store has recently started putting those $14 “special editions” at the checkout!)
- Endcaps: Did you know that manufacturers pay to be placed on an endcap each week (as well as to featured in the weekly grocery circulars)? We think that if it is on the end of an aisle, with a big “SALE” sign, it must be a great price. Want to know what was on an endcap at the store when I went the other day? Boxes of cereal that were regularly $2.79, marked down to $2.50.
- The Bakery and Coffee Shop: there is a reason that these are placed right near the entrance to your store. They know that if you walk in and smell fresh coffee brewing or fresh bread baking, it will tantalize your tastebuds, make you suddenly hungry and entice you to spend more
- The Deli Area: while I will be one of the first to attest to Boars Head Roast Beef, buying your cold cuts at the deli counter can cost you 2-3x what it should. Look for deals on lunchmeats and cheeses in the meat and dairy sections. In many cases, there are even coupons for them!
What are your “danger areas” in the grocery stores?