Most of us have all stood in line while checking out at the grocery store and thought “wow, this is probably going to be really expensive.” You shake off the thought and proceed to check out but when the cashier is finished swiping all of your items, the total amount you owe pops up on the screen and your earlier thought is confirmed.
You think about what in the world you bought that could make the price so high and even consider putting some items back but you decide to swipe your card and spend the money anyway. There goes another $100+ down the drain again. It’s no big deal though. You’ll do better saving money next grocery shopping trip, right?
This could happen to anyone. While you’re shopping you might be thinking that everything is so inexpensive. How could you possibly spend over $100? But you have to take into consideration how these stores make their money.
Next time you need to pick up a few things, remember that stores have researched and executed several ways to make you spend more money than you usually would. We list 7 money traps that you can avoid when you go shopping so that that final amount won’t shock you in a bad way.
- Seasonal Merchandise: Stores use seasonal merchandise to trap you into spending. They strategically place these items toward the front of the store so that you are forced to look at them. With flashy colors and fun objects surrounding them, they try to draw you in. If a giant pumpkin and fancy new carving kit is not on your shopping list, steer clear.
- Endcaps: “Endcaps” are the front and the back of every aisle. Manufacturers and companies will pay a lot of money to have their merchandise placed here for customers to see easily. These endcaps full of products you don’t need will catch your eye but just keep moving.
- “SALE” or “CLEARANCE” Items: If you’re like me, you are always looking for a good sale to save money on items that you want. But these “sale” and “clearance” signs aren’t really what they seem. Usually you can find these items somewhere else for even cheaper or the store just marked down their prices because their expiration date is almost up and they need to be sold quickly.
- Placement: Stores purposely put items in a specific place on their shelves. They will place more expensive items in the middle area because that is what is at eye level. Instead of picking the item from the middle, look on the other shelves around it and see if you can get the same product for cheaper.
- Samples: Samples are always a fun part of a shopping trip because you get to taste a little bit of food white you shop. You have to remember that they are only giving out free samples because they want you to enjoy the taste and buy that product. Avoid trying samples until the end of your shopping trip so you aren’t tricked into buying something you don’t need just because you are hungry.
- Travel-sized Items: These products are smaller versions of normal size products you usually by. They are usually around a few dollars and seems really cute and practically. While they seem like a good idea, they are just ploys to make you spend more money. Instead, invest in some small containers that are reusable and make your own travel-sized items from the products you already have at home.
- The Checkout Aisle: After you’ve done all of your shopping, the checkout aisle is the last aisle you will encounter. Store back these aisles with fun and tasty products to draw your attention and make you add them to your already full shopping cart. How many times have you been waiting in line and added a pack of gum, a soda or a magazine to your cart just because you caught yourself looking around? If you are dying to know why Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are having marital problems, instead of buying the whole magazine, while you are waiting in line skip to that part and read the juicy (probably fake) gossip. Or you could simply Google it when you get home. This way you haven’t wasted money on a magazine but you know what is going on in Hollywood.
Instead of adding unnecessary items to your cart while shopping because of where they are strategically placed, make a grocery list before hand and only buy what you need. If you don’t have an idea of what you need when you start, you may end up with things you definitely don’t need.