Grocery shopping may seem like one of the most boring jobs in the world and that which requires little thought, but if you’re not careful, you may end up spending more money than you intended to.
Grocery shopping is like one of those several jobs in the world which don’t make sense but you have to do it nevertheless. Much like paying bills. Or filing your Income Tax returns. These tasks may seem like they’re pretty routine and require little thought, but if you’re not too careful, they can end up costing you much more than you expected.
Take the case of grocery stores. Most shoppers are unaware that grocery retailers employ a host of clever tactics and gimmicks to lure customers into spending much more than they intended to when they’re out grocery shopping. One of the first things that personal finance experts tell you about how to save while grocery shopping is to make a list of only items that you will need and to stick to that list, no matter what. On the face of it, that doesn’t seem like a really difficult rule to follow, does it? But it is actually pretty hard when there’s a host of sneaky tactics at play in grocery stores that can tempt you to buy things that you really don’t need and end up burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s take a look:
A couple of individuals standing by an attractive make-shift stall and offering you free samples of some newly launched product is a pretty common sight in major grocery stores. And these individuals are the hardest to avoid when you’re navigating aisles of food on an empty stomach. According to experts, this a clever technique that retailers use to get people into spending more. Sampling a product convinces you about its quality and you’re less likely to reject it thinking you may not like it. So the next time you encounter these people, no matter how inviting they seem, avoid them like the plague.
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Items at the checkout line:
Check-out queues can be long and boring. Which is exactly why grocery stores place racks full of magazines, candies, small stuffed toys etc. near check-out counters. Depending on the time of the day, check-out queues can be pretty long and you may get bored standing in the queue. Your natural instinct would be to pick up a magazine to kill the boredom or help yourself to a teeny candy bar or a quick snack to stave off the hunger. If you’re with your kids, they might even throw a last-minute tantrum and make you buy stuff that you’ve been refusing all along from these racks at the check-out counter.
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Buy one, get one or bundled offers:
Under the guise of ‘greater savings’, ‘more value for your money’ etc., grocery stores offer a host of BOGO i.e. buy one, get one or bundled offers on their products. Finance experts will tell you to avoid these at all costs because most retailers often introduce these offers on the lowest-selling products and if you’re not checking the unit price of the competing products, you may end up getting a raw deal at the end of the day.
Stacking cheaper items at the bottom:
If you’re in the habit of finishing your grocery shopping in a hurry-grabbing whatever is within easy reach and without even checking the MRPs of the stuff that you’re dumping in your cart- this one is for you. One of the clever techniques that most grocers employ is that they stack the higher-priced items in the bottom shelves and keep the more expensive items easily accessible and at eye level. Unless you’re looking for a specific brand, always browse through the shelves from top to bottom to lock in a better deal for the product.
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Large shopping carts:
We admit that sticking to a list can be pretty hard when you’re grocery shopping but what makes things worse is while you’re being carried away with all those clever tricks employed by these retailers, you have no way of realising what you’re getting into until you check-out of the store. For instance, when you’re shopping with a basket and dumping stuff in it that you don’t need one after another, after a point that basket will become heavier and you’ll be forced to take a second look at the items and decide if you really need to buy them all. This won’t happen when you are pushing a huge cart around the store. In fact, the amount of space in the cart may actually make you think that you haven’t shopped enough and can still go ahead and buy a few more items. It is for this reason that stores keep a low number of baskets and twice as many carts.
Now that you’re aware of these subtle tactics and strategies that grocery stores employ to trick you into spending more, stay cautious and try sticking to a budget as much as you can while grocery shopping. Do you know how you can save more on your grocery bills? With a Credit Card that gives you great cashback or rewards on groceries. Hit the button below to explore them now.