5 Spending Traps to Avoid at the Supermarket


Be wary of these costly setups to save more at the store.

Shopping at Eye Level: Shelves positioned directly within sight are often stocked with pricier brands being the ones that can afford the prime real estate. Scope options on higher and lower shelves to be sure you're scoring the best deal.

Shopping from Mid-Aisle Displays/End-Caps: These displays are new points of entry designed to engage consumers so they spend more time considering the product. Studies show that the more time consumers spend with a product, the more likely they are to buy it.

Shopping Specials and Deals: Special signage implying a deal along with pricing ending with the numbers “.99” encourages shoppers to believe they're getting a deal — even when they're not. The next time you reach for an item sold as "two for $5," check the price of a single item to confirm that it's a deal worth straying from your grocery list.

Shopping at the Checkout Aisle: The final frontier of impulse shopping is packed with items that distract and resemble afterthoughts, from travel-size goods to little splurges ranging from seasonal candy to magazines. Ignore the items in this aisle unless it's a must-buy item you already had on your shopping list.

Shopping Seasonal Aisles: Most supermarkets have a department stocked with seasonal items toward the front of the store: holiday decorations or six-packs stocked next to fresh-cut flowers and coolers greeting empty shopping carts. These displays are designed to distract consumers and get them to slow down — both triggers for impulse shopping.

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