It happened again – I overspent at the grocery store. I went in to Trader Joe’s for toilet paper and came out with 3 bags filled with grapes, cheese, Brussels sprouts, Cookie Batter (Oh. Em. Gee.), vodka, coconut water and a bill for $87. What happened?! Supermarket traps is what happened. I looked it up and according to a recently article by MSN Money, it’s a real thing. Stores use strategies to get you to leave with more than you went in for. Have no fear, friends. The ladies at Bargain Babe are here to help.
5 tips for avoiding supermarket traps
1. Stick to the outer loop: All of your essentials, not to mention the healthier items, like bread, milk, fruits, vegetables and meat are on the outer circle of your store. The rest is aisles of processed, overpriced stuff you don’t need. Trust me. Don’t even look those Cheez-Its in the eye.
2. Bulk isn’t always better: Read the tag on the shelf. It will tell you the price per pound, ounce, liter, etc. Then do the math and make sure the “bulk” purchase is really a better deal. Most of the time it’s not, unless you are somewhere like Costco. And if you are at Costco, you darn well better stuff your pockets with free samples so if they are ripping you off, it all evens out in the end. I kid. Kinda.
3. Steer clear of endcaps: It is someones JOB to dress the end of the aisle with beautiful displays of fancy full-priced items like Cinnamon Sugar Triscuits (these exist and they are delicious and don’t buy them) and Bounty Big Rolls. Put on your blinders and keep trucking.
4. Look up/look down: Shelves are stocked so that the higher-priced items are eye level and the bargains are above and below you. I. DID. NOT. KNOW. THIS. Take the time to check all brand and generic prices for the item you are shopping for.
5. Scan the scanner: My mom taught me early on – know what every item in your cart costs and watch the register. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have caught an item scanning for more than the shelf listing. Okay, I can begin to tell you – 9 out of 10 trips to the store. True story. And it’s not the cashiers fault – computers make mistakes (gasp!). Just pay attention, and you can avoid being overcharged.
Another great way to save on shopping is to build a grocery stockpile.
What are your favorite ways to save at the supermarket?