5 Sneaky Ways Supermarkets Get You to Spend More

by POPSUGAR Smart Living on 9 July 2012 3 comments

Do you ever wander through the grocery store and end up spending more than you were budgeting for? Don't beat yourself up over it — supermarkets actually have several different strategies to trick customers into blowing bucks. Be on the alert and watch out for the sneaky psychology tactics these stores will try to use on you.

RELATED: 12 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer and Save Cash

10 For $10

10 for $10 sounds like a great deal. However, you'll get the same savings even if you only buy one item, according to the New York Times. A grocery store survey recently found that people bought way more items when they see 10 for $10 deals vs. five for $5 and one for $1 sales. Even if you aren't buying 10 items, your mind will trick you into thinking that the item is such a great deal that you end up buying more of it.

Growing Carts

No, you're not shrinking; it's the grocery carts that are growing. The larger the cart, the more likely you'll end up spending more, so try to stick to a hand basket instead.

Pre-Cut Vegetables and Fruits

Pre-cut veggies look so attractive, with their colorful packaging and its promise of less work (no need to wash or chop!). However, they aren't exactly a good deal. Consumer Reports found that pre-cut veggies and fruits can be a lot more expensive than the whole items. The team noted that a $1.50 six-ounce bag of shredded carrots costs about five times more than a similar amount of whole carrots.

Not to mention, these pre-cut veggies and fruits go bad faster than their whole counterparts.

Items at the Checkout Counter

Ever wonder why all those magazines and yummy candy are crammed in the front of checkout counters? It's one of the supermarket's tricks to get you to succumb to last-minute purchases while you're waiting in line.

Where Is Everything?

You think you have the layout of your local supermarket down pat when you find out they changed shelves again! Darn it. The stores are actually doing it on purpose, because if you don't know where the items are, you'll end up spending more time in the store. More time to browse means more chances to tempt you into buying more items.

This is a guest contribution from our friends at SavvySugar. Check out more useful articles from this partner:

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Nora Dunn's picture

Awesome tips! Here are some more tricky traps that the supermarket have ready for you:
http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid...

Guest's picture

Another things are loyalty cards - you tend to go to the same supermarket and spend your money in there.

There is plenty of tricks and you know? I love them and quite happy to there, time after time and spend my money.. : -)

Guest's picture

Its crazy the lengths stores will go to to make you spend more. All that time and energy going into rearranging the whole grocery store just to make you waste more time looking for what you want?! Another trick I've noticed besides the fact that the carts are so big, is that the baskets are getting smaller and smaller! This means you can't fit what you want in a tiny basket, even if it is just a few items, so you're forced to grab a cart which means you'll (naturally) buys more than you originally wanted to.