What The Grocery Store is Thinking

I spend a lot of money at the grocery store.  Granted, there are usually six of us, and I try to buy quality food.  I also occasionally fall prey to the super sale, the "ooh, I'll try that" trap, or the pleas of small and bored children.  It's even worse when I don't have a meal plan or a shopping list, but even with those two tools, I often end up making some unplanned purchases.

One line of self-defense is knowing the strategies and tricks the grocers use to lure you into making those extra purchases.  The grocery stores are trying to make a profit, and even the not-for-profit commissaries are competing to keep your business so that they remain viable.  I've recently stumbled across a variety of articles that discuss different ways that supermarkets work to make your trip more expensive and more complicated.

At Bankrate.com, Cynthia Brodrick exposes some Grocery Store Ploys.  I thought I knew a lot about the ways that supermarkets seduce their customers, but I'd never heard of some of these.  Who knew that certain music makes you buy more?

At the Greenest Dollar, Heather lists some Grocery Store Tricks and How to Avoid Them.  I love the IPod idea!

In Grocery Store Tricks and How to Avoid Them, Mrs. Fussypants at Divine Caroline reminds us to check those prices when they ring up, especially on the items that are on sale.

One tip I'll add:  be scrupulous in checking your prices at the commissary case lot sales, especially if you are a serious couponer.  There are great sales to be found at the case lot sale, but there are also many items that aren't much of a savings, and are actually more expensive if you could have used a coupon in the regular store.

Learning about grocery store strategies will help you resist the lure of the fresh bread, pretty flowers and so-called sales.  A little reading can help you save some serious dollars.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.