6 Grocery Store Tricks They Don’t Want You To Know About

Grocery shopping.  Is it ever anybody’s favorite time of the week?  No, but it has to get done.  So, we go.  We look for ways to save money.  And, many times we walk out feeling victorious.  But, did you know that grocery stores have tricks up their sleeves? Yep.  They have strategies of their own, all designed for you to spend more money.  The good news with this is that a little knowledge goes a long way.  Here are some grocery store tricks to watch out for.

They Put High Margin Departments Near  The Door

Walk into most grocery stores and you’ll usually find the same things.  The meat counter.  The bakery.  A floral department.  Fruits and vegetables.  Is this because all grocery stores are designed by the same person?  No.  It’s because these are very high margin items.  Since you don’t have anything in your basket yet, you won’t be as careful about saving money since you haven’t spent any yet.

They Place More Expensive Items At Eye Level

Off brand items or sale items will often give you the best deal.  But, keep an eye out for how they’re placed.  Many times, you have to look around for them.  They might be toward the floor.  Grocery stores generally reserve items at eye level for higher priced items.  The easiest things to find are the ones that they figure you’ll put in your basket.  Especially if you’re in a hurry.

Impulse Buys Are Placed In Main Aisles

Next time you walk through the main aisle of a grocery store, pay attention.  You’ll often find items that you might not otherwise buy.  You’ll find lots of snacks.  Soups and other items that you might stock up on.  Wine.  All of these things are items that you might not have on a list, but can tempt you as you walk by them.

Make You Walk Through The Store

Milk, eggs, and bread are usually part of almost every grocery store trip.  Sometimes they’re the only things people need.  For that reason, they’re usually located far away from the door.  Grocery stores put common items strategically away from the door and the checkouts so that you have to walk through the store to get to them.  What happens when you walk through the store?  You see lots and lots of other items.  Grocery stores hope you end up with a few extras in your cart.

Run Out Of Items

Everybody knows the frustration of going to find a sale item and finding only an empty shelf. I know it’s one of my pet peeves. I used to think it was because they didn’t stock fast enough.  Now I’ve started to think they might let empty shelves sit empty on purpose.  At least for a while.  Why would they do this?  So that you buy a replacement item, at higher cost, of course.  They figure that many people won’t want to bother with coming back later or a rain check.

Give You Coupons

Why would this be on the list? Coupons save you money, right?  Well, only if you’re using them on items you would buy anyways.  Now that stores have apps and rewards cards, they can tailor their coupons to individual customers.  You’ll start to see items that buy frequently appear in coupons.  Grocery stores hope that you’ll buy these again and again, even if you don’t need it at that time.  So, if you’re not careful, coupons can make you spend money you wouldn’t need to otherwise.

These are just a few grocery store tricks to watch out for.  I’m sure there are others.  Savvy shoppers will understand the tricks that grocery stores use and account for them in their strategy.

Readers, what grocery store tricks are you aware of?  How do you stay on top of things?  Do you think you’re good at avoiding them? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

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8 thoughts on “6 Grocery Store Tricks They Don’t Want You To Know About

  1. The junk food is in the middle of the store, and the real food is arranged around the floor’s perimeter. True, staples like milk and juice are placed at the back of the store so as to lead customers through the more profitable junk food aisles; the response to that, if you’re vulnerable to potato chips and packaged gunk, is to walk through the produce department (usually along an outside wall) to get to the back.

  2. Yes, yes and yes. Learned all of these when we moved to a house that’s walking distance to a major grocery store. We shop there every week, and we got to know the exact location and time where they will bring out items on sale. We’re usually one of the first ones to be there on a given day and time.

  3. Ugh! My biggest pet peeve is when they run out of items. Our Safeway is very busy and the good sales disappear really quickly. The other stuff, I learned to live with. I still get tricked and buy junk food/expensive stuff occasionally.

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