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7 Secrets to Outsmart Your Supermarket

Look Past the Super Marketing to Protect Your Wallet and Your Waistline

115 Comments




 
4/21/2009 12:59:37 PM

BELLAROSSA33's SparkPage
Kalany- that's funny :)

This article is great. Another reason NOT to go grocery shopping when you're hungry is thats also probably around peak grocery times. I like to go at 10pm if possible to avoid the crowds. The checkout process at the store by me is so irritating that it kills any inclination towards the junk food.
MARKSTAR
4/21/2009 12:10:36 PM

I'll grant you that grocoeries do know how to entice you to make "add on" purchaces. That they know how to market their products using our psychological cues based on our tradtions of what to eat for particular seasons and holidays, for example, turkey for Thanksgiving, ham for Easter and hot dogs for the 4th of July. I would argue that they are only supplying us with our cultural wants, we want to share in our common traditions. We must remember that when we try to control our eating habits and our budget it is from our own needs and that what may be ok for somebody else is not ok for us. People who eat food that is based on cultural traditions are responsible for their own health and that we ahve made a decision to take better care of our selves. Food manufacturers are not evil people they are just rtying to make a living and in doing so they have to make certain that people will continue to purchase thir product. That means that traditional foods are loaded with tasty fats, sugars, and salts. The food producer are equallu happy to provide you with whatever you want tor your diet or budget. The new culture of eating healthy is becoming so popular that when you purchase a product that is listed as "Healthy" supply and demand theory says they will charge more for that more popular want. Groceries plan their purchases of what foods they want to market in advance of the season that you may be facing when you are shopping. "Add On Sales" are part of any shopping experience, buy a new stereo and they want to "add on" the extra cost of a extended warranty or extra batteries. The sale items might be something that they are wanting to unload because of a surplus of that particular item.
When it comes to eating, planning your grocery trip and sticking to your list is important. If you see something that you might be tempted to add on to your list take the time to read the nutrition list that can sometimes be all that you need to help you to put that item back on the shelf. Remember that you can be apart of the party and can be making your own new holiday traditions on what to eat.
I personally shop this way. I don't stock pile food in my pantry or frige. I don't purchase more than I intend to eat for that week. Before I go out I check my refrigerator and freezer to check what I have and make a mental note of it. I walk the entire grocery for just for the exercise when I select my food I will often leave one thing off, so I can walk the store again. The "Twenty Items or Less" line is my friend. I grant you that not every body can do this but is has worked for me.
4/21/2009 10:15:27 AM

SPARTANJAI's SparkPage
When I was little, my mom used to take us to the grocery store with her. If we wanted a cereal, we had to read the ingredients and determine if sugar was one of the first 5 ingredients, if it was, the cereal went back on the shelf. No fuss, no fights, no whines, we knew what we could and couldn't get and it worked great!
4/17/2009 4:35:32 PM

GARDENBUG8's SparkPage
I'm a detail person. I've made a computerized list of my normal purchases in the order of their grocery store aisles. Print several copies of these, keep them in the pantry/kitchen shelf; I highlight my list during the week noting the items I need to buy. When I go shopping - I just look on the list for the next thing I need. Bypassing all those "marketing" tricks, my shopping goes much more smoothly!!
4/16/2009 2:40:19 PM

POKEYMOM3's SparkPage
Great article. One that will definitely be used next time and each time I go to the market or anywhere else that employs these "eye catchers".
4/16/2009 10:39:24 AM

SARAHTAIT's SparkPage
I am a BIG grocery store junkie and tend to fall for all the tricks of the trade. This article was really good to help me avoid all the temptations-I mean I already knew what tricksd they used to get me to buy stuff but having a way to help avoid that lure is so helpful to me. Thanks for the practical advice in this great article.
4/16/2009 7:28:39 AM

YOUNGAGAIN3's SparkPage
I work in a grocery store. Yes, we use marketing to sell our products as any business would do. I for one would like to keep my job. I fall prey to some of our own marketing, but I am responsible for what I purchase. I wish more companies would market for the health consious consumer.
4/15/2009 12:54:33 PM

JIBBIE49's SparkPage
Great article.
MLIZ1987
4/15/2009 11:28:55 AM

My boys are old enough to where the trip to the store has lost its lustre, especially if we are stopping on our way home from school. To help the trip be faster, we divide up the list and they help me get what we need in record time. They want to be in and out, and know exactly how many items were on the list at the start (that's their gauge to how long this trip might take), so it cuts down on my "browsing" and helps limit the extras that can sometimes find their way into my cart! I don't add as many treats when I have to answer the question, "Mom, why did you get that? It's not on the list!"
4/15/2009 10:51:01 AM

NEKABEY's SparkPage
Well what helps me at the grocery store is sending my husband. he is a cheap "o" so I don't have to worry about him buying anything we don't need!
4/14/2009 6:30:17 PM

MOM2ACAT's SparkPage
I make a list and stick to it; the only exceptions I make is if I spot an unadvertised sale on fresh produce.
4/14/2009 5:24:27 PM

LAURIEBRD's SparkPage
Love these tips, Sarah! The more people are aware, the better they can stay within their limits and not end up coming home with something they wish was not there to tempt them!
MYTWYLA
4/14/2009 3:12:06 PM

As someone who has always had to watch my budget I am not tempted to buy things that are not on my list. Now that my husband and I are retired on a fixed income we have to be even more frugal. On the other hand making the super markets out to be some evil monster doesn't serve much of a purpose. These stores are trying to make a profit, if they do not they will close. The profit margins in the grocery business are very small and they depend on volume. Shoppers need to take responsibility for their own actions. We are not fat because of grocery store marketing. If we are shame on us.
4/14/2009 2:22:41 PM

CARLI_MAE's SparkPage
Another common practice the major chains use is advertising items as though they are a great deal, when in actuality, the price is nothing other than the typical retail price you'd find just about anywhere. Additionally, if you compare the "sale" item to similar ones of its kind, you'll often find a better deal as well as a better, more wholesome product!
KALANY
4/14/2009 1:56:06 PM

Scam. I do not think this word means what you think it means.

None of these are scams. You are getting exactly what you paid for. They're not even terribly sneaky as marketing tactics go.

My tactic? WALK to the grocery store. Trust me, when you have to carry that ice cream/watermelon/whatever home on foot, it doesn't look so yummy. Then I treat myself with just one of the expensive fruits I wouldn't normally buy, and eat it on the way home.

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