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5 Things Your Grocery Store Doesn’t Want You to Know

No doubt you’re a pro at clipping coupons, finding sales, and comparing prices. However, even the most seasoned shopper may be shocked to discover a few secrets that your grocery store is hiding. While grocery stores may seem like your friend, the main objective is to get you to spend as much money as possible—often disguised as a sale. So read on to learn how to recognize a great deal from a marketing trick.

  1. The power of suggestion: Grocery stores will often list sale items as “10 products for $10.” Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to actually buy 10 to get the deal. Most grocery stores offer the sale prices whether you buy one or 20, and this is just a tactic to get you to buy a larger amount (and spend more money). And in the rare case you have to buy the listed amount to get the deal, ask yourself if you really need that much of a certain item. If you’re not going to use it, your savings are going down the drain.

  2. Sales run in cycles: Most of us see a great deal and get the sudden urge to buy as much as possible. Relax, and only buy what you actually need for that shopping trip. This is an easy way to go over your grocery shopping budget, as the thrill of the save tends to influence our buying patterns. Chances are, any given item will go on sale again, so you don’t need to stock up on any given trip.

  3. The store brand isn’t always the cheapest: It’s true that store brands are generally lower in price than name brands, but do your homework first. If there is a coupon available for a particular brand, it may end up costing you less than the generic version.

  4. Scanners make mistakes: Don’t just flip through the gossip or news magazines during check out. Pay attention to everything as it rings up, and make sure all sale items ring up with the sale price. And don’t feel embarrassed to point out any discrepancies; after all, it’s your hard-earned money!

  5. Items in the flyer are not always for sale: Tricky, right? Most grocery stores would lead you to believe that items in the weekly flier are on special. However, many times items are featured in a flier just because they are in season, or because it’s a certain holiday. For example, during Thanksgiving, a flier might advertise turkey, canned pumpkin, or cranberry juice, just because it’s in high demand. Get to know your prices, so you’ll know if you’re actually getting a deal.