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7 Secrets to Outsmarting Your Supermarket

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MLIZ1987
My boys are old enough to where the trip to the store has lost its lustre, especially if we are stopping on our way home from school. To help the trip be faster, we divide up the list and they help me get what we need in record time. They want to be in and out, and know exactly how many items were on the list at the start (that's their gauge to how long this trip might take), so it cuts down on my "browsing" and helps limit the extras that can sometimes find their way into my cart! I don't add as many treats when I have to answer the question, "Mom, why did you get that? It's not on the list!" Report
Well what helps me at the grocery store is sending my husband. he is a cheap "o" so I don't have to worry about him buying anything we don't need! Report
I make a list and stick to it; the only exceptions I make is if I spot an unadvertised sale on fresh produce. Report
Love these tips, Sarah! The more people are aware, the better they can stay within their limits and not end up coming home with something they wish was not there to tempt them! Report
MYTWYLA
As someone who has always had to watch my budget I am not tempted to buy things that are not on my list. Now that my husband and I are retired on a fixed income we have to be even more frugal. On the other hand making the super markets out to be some evil monster doesn't serve much of a purpose. These stores are trying to make a profit, if they do not they will close. The profit margins in the grocery business are very small and they depend on volume. Shoppers need to take responsibility for their own actions. We are not fat because of grocery store marketing. If we are shame on us. Report
Another common practice the major chains use is advertising items as though they are a great deal, when in actuality, the price is nothing other than the typical retail price you'd find just about anywhere. Additionally, if you compare the "sale" item to similar ones of its kind, you'll often find a better deal as well as a better, more wholesome product! Report
KALANY
Scam. I do not think this word means what you think it means.

None of these are scams. You are getting exactly what you paid for. They're not even terribly sneaky as marketing tactics go.

My tactic? WALK to the grocery store. Trust me, when you have to carry that ice cream/watermelon/whatever home on foot, it doesn't look so yummy. Then I treat myself with just one of the expensive fruits I wouldn't normally buy, and eat it on the way home. Report
The article was helpful. But...The supermarkets aren't out to fool or "get" anyone. They are marketing their wares. Business need to make a profit to stay functional. This article gives soound advice on how to avoid encouragement from marketing tools, that's the good thing. I beleive, it is wrong to make a business appear to be working against the consumer. Report
279837
Great article. I'd like to add my own tip about free samples. I tell a fib. Yes, every time someone offers me a taste of something sweet, greasy, etc, I respond, "No thanks, I'm allergic to that." The demonstrator backs right off & doesn't push or offer coupons. After awhile, the fib will become automatic. You'll see a small table set up with a microwave on top & you won't even care what the item is because you'll be telling yourself you're allergic and can't eat it. This works for me. I hope it helps someone else. Laura Report
I'm saving this article and writing down some pointers to take with me on my next shopping trip. No matter how hard I try to stick to my plan and list, I always wound up with more. This a good shopping article. Thanks for sharing! Report
What a great article! I haven't seen this author on SP before. Report
Agreed, lastchance - the advice about not shopping hungry is GOLDEN. I'm great with the "supermarket blinders" - most displays don't phase me; I shop with a list, but, BOY, if I'm HUNGRY that might all go out the wiindow...

I'm good with mental math so I 'do the math' when something looks like a good deal (the 2-for-1s and so forth), but just about everyone now has a calculator on their cell phone so I'd suggest to DO THE MATH - calculate the price per ounce of a few brands and figure out which IS the least expensive. At Giant they put 'unit pricing' on the shelf label, but at Costco they get sneaky because some items are 'per ounce' while others are 'per pound' or some other unit and you can't compare 'apples to apples' easily. Saves a ton of money if you care to. Report
Agreed, lastchance - the advice about not shopping hungry is GOLDEN. I'm great with the "supermarket blinders" - most displays don't phase me; I shop with a list, but, BOY, if I'm HUNGRY that might all go out the wiindow...

I'm good with mental math so I 'do the math' when something looks like a good deal (the 2-for-1s and so forth), but just about everyone now has a calculator on their cell phone so I'd suggest to DO THE MATH - calculate the price per ounce of a few brands and figure out which IS the least expensive. At Giant they put 'unit pricing' on the shelf label, but at Costco they get sneaky because some items are 'per ounce' while others are 'per pound' or some other unit and you can't compare 'apples to apples' easily. Saves a ton of money if you care to. Report
I think that between the advertisments on TV and in the newspapers and the store displays, they make you feel guilty for NOT buying or making certain certain foods for holidays and occasions. Report
Good article. The free samples I take any more are fresh fruit. Our Wegman's usually offers these treats from time to time. I have a routine when I grocery shop which helps avoid impulse buying. It seems to help and I can look without buying 99% of the time.
Report

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