5 Sneaky Supermarket Tactics To Make You Spend More (And How To Avoid Them)

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Are you a savvy shopper?  Grocery stores make use of some simple but sneaky tactics based on researched shopper behaviour and psychology to try and get you to spend more money while shopping. Here’s a quick overview of what they are and how to avoid falling for them.

Also read: 13 Easy Ways To Save Money At The Supermarket

Trick #1: Higher Priced Items At Eye-Level

Girl standing in supermarket aisle holding jar of baby food


Putting higher priced items at eye-level is a great way to encourage you to buy them. They know we’re less likely to look above and below our eyeline and more likely to grab what’s most easily accessible.

How To Avoid:

Always check the shelves above and below to see if there’s a cheaper version of the same. It’ll only take a few more seconds and could shave a load off your checkout bill.

Trick #2: In Store Bakeries

Multiple freshly baked baguettes in a row

This genius tactic means as you walk through the store your senses are assaulted with the tempting aroma of freshly baked goods. Hard to resist right?
This is designed to make you feel hungry, and research has shown that hungry shoppers spend more money.


How To Avoid:

Never do your shopping on an empty stomach. If you’re not at all hungry when you do your shopping you’re less likely to fall for this one, and won’t be tempted to add extra impulse buys to your shopping cart.

Trick #3: End Of Aisle ‘Bargains’

supermarket aisle with text overlay 'special offers'

The classic bargain trap. Those tempting displays at the end of each aisle with the deals and discounts, put there to catch your eye and entice you to spend more.

How To Avoid:

Remember, it’s only a bargain if you were going to buy it anyway. Still check the price on the regular shelves to make sure you’re getting the best price. If you don’t need it or probably won’t use it, walk on by.

Trick #4: Bigger Trolleys

Row of empty chained together shopping trolleys

The bigger your shopping cart, the emptier it will look with the shopping in. This makes you think you haven’t picked up that much so you’re more likely to carry on adding more shopping, only to get to the checkout and discover it’s more than you thought and those reusuable bags you brought with you (well done on remembering them by the way) aren’t gonna carry that shopping home.

How To Avoid:

For small shops use a basket – the weight and having to carry it will discourage you from adding too much shopping!

For full shops simply make sure to stick to your list.

Trick #5: Items By The Checkout

woman at supermarket checkout with checkout assistant smiling at her, man behind waiting with groceries

The ultimate impulse grab!

This little trick is to put those things you might pick up on impulse just by the checkouts – a magazine, some chewing gum, a snack perhaps. A last minute attempt to get you to spend more than planned.

How To Avoid:

If you’ve finished your shop, you should already have picked up everything you planned on buying, so don’t get tempted at the last hurdle.

Stick to your shopping and turn a blind eye to those well placed displays.

Conclusion – Shop Savvy

These five tactics might seem small and obvious, but they’re well thought out plans to keep businesses making as much money as possible.

Next time you’re shopping keep an eye out for these simple tricks and you won’t get sucked in to spending more than you planned.

Also read:

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