Don't Fall For These Grocery Store Gimmicks

Grocery stores often offer fantastic ways to save money, but they also have tricks that sway customers to spend more. Pay attention to these gimmicks and save yourself a chunk of change.

Specialty Cheeses

Unless you have a specific type you’re going for, like an artisan wheel of Brie or a creamy Camembert, skip the fancy cheese section and go straight to the basic dairy aisle. A lot of expensive variations, like “Wisconsin Cheddar” are not that different from a good ole block of Kraft. Less expensive specialty cheeses such as feta or goat can also be found with the basic dairy items.

Bulk Items

Bulk items, like toilet paper, can be a good deal, but sometimes other things aren’t. Buying food in bulk can also mean a great deal will be wasted if you can’t eat it before expiration. Our minds are programmed into a “more is better” mentality. When looking at the shelf tag, you’ll see a unit price in the fine print. Unit price breaks down the exact amount you’re paying per portion measurement. Buying one box of cheese crackers may be cheaper than going for a multipack.

Mark downs

Mark downs are tricky, unless you really know your stuff. Don’t fall for those bright red clearance stickers without doing a quick online comparison. Clearance items may have minuscule markdowns that will trigger an impulse buy, thus causing you to spend money you wouldn’t have. And if you can’t muster up a reason for why you would need the item anyway, just don’t buy it at all.

10 for 10

These types of sales are great, especially when you are getting two or three dollar items for a buck! Often, stores don’t require you to buy the advertised amount to get the discounted price. The same thing goes for BOGO items; typically, one can be bought for half price.

Eye Level Trickery

Are you aware that stores put certain items at eye level for a reason? They prefer customers buy these specific brands because they profit more. Scan top to bottom to be sure there isn’t a cheaper option that you’d rather have. Products that are likely to catch the eye of little ones are placed just as strategically—you may find yourself tossing Disney lollipops in your cart to prevent an astronomical meltdown. So plan accordingly to prevent any havoc.

Big carts

Some stores use huge carts in hopes that you’ll keep piling it in. Tip—if you only need a thing or two, don’t get a cart at all. The adorable mini buggies that have emerged over the past few years can be a good solution too.

Delicious Scents

Have you ever noticed most stores have the bakery at the front? Heavenly aromas pump into the atmosphere 24/7. Placement of the bakery gets shoppers nice and hungry right when they walk in, and we all know what happens next. The craziest things find their way into our shopping bags. Who can resist fresh doughnuts hot out of the oven? Eat before-hand to fight temptation.

Impulse buys

All of those beautiful displays of the newest cookies and snacks, and that tantalizing fresh food bar near the deli can trigger major impulse buys. Make a list and stick to it. Impulse buys can really rack up a serious bill. Fresh food bars that offer salad by the pound can mean you’ll pay a pretty penny for typically cheap stuff. Having a list will keep you financially on track! Then you can make a tasty salad at home for a fraction of the price.

Related Story: Healthy, Affordable Breakfast Options at Trader Joe's

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