Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tricks grocery stores use to get your money

1. Phantom Sales. Sometimes items are listed in the circular, or have a sales tag on the shelf, but are really only discounted by a penny or two. Keep accurate records in order to see what a real sale is.

2. End caps/displays. Is what's on the endcap the item that was on your list? Sometimes another brand of an item that is an advertised sale will be displayed. Make sure you're getting the one that's on sale!

3. Cross promotion. When you buy your sale item, is there a related item on a huge display next to it? Just because you're stocking up on peanut butter doesn't mean you need to stock up on jelly if it's not on sale. Do you really need to buy a new corkscrew?

4. X for $X deals. My grocery store often has things listed 3/$5, 5/$10 or 10/$10. Unless it says so, you don't need to buy that many to get the deal. My husband used to do this and was actually convinced by the end that he'd wanted exactly three boxes of granola bars. Do the math and buy however many you want/need.

5. Impulse purchases. Prepared meals (like roasted chickens) tend to be near the entrance so when you are frantic at 5:00, you see them as you walk in the door. Is that what you intended to buy? Is something else a better deal? Also, did you really want that candy or magazine?