Save money on groceries: ‘Supermarket tactics’ could be tricking you into spending more

Single mum calls going to the supermarket 'painful'

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Saving money is imperative for households across the UK as rising costs hit the nation, particularly when it comes to food. A recent survey by think tank The Food Foundation found that more than two million adults in the UK cannot afford to eat every day, with millions of others admitting they are now eating smaller meals.

Though having a plan of action before heading to the supermarket is certainly one way to avoid overspending, there are some “supermarket tactics” which could trip you up along the way.

According to experts from Money Saving Expert (MSE), supermarkets have a job “to make us spend” and are “perfectly honed” to “secure us into buying and spending more”.

However, being aware of the tricks retailers have at their disposal could make a world of difference when it comes to your monthly spending.

Based on its research, MSE found supermarkets have four key “tactics” they use to incite spending from customers.

Placing treats, magazines and newspapers at the check-out

One common strategy retailers use to encourage “impulse buys” is by placing treats, such as chocolate bars, as well as magazines and newspapers near the check-outs.

MSE explained: “Placing them near the till gives stores one last attempt to grab our cash.”

Grab and go items can work to entice customers while waiting in a queue, or force them to make a split-second decision while cashing out.

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There’s a reason behind the store layout

Supermarkets aren’t only laid out for organisational purposes.

According to MSE, the store layout is also set out in such a way as to make customers walk the entire distance of the store for essential groceries.

It explained: “Regularly bought items tend to be spread around the store, so we need to pass many other tempting goodies to complete our shopping.”

Placing profitable products at eye-level

According to Modern Retail, placing items at eye level is an “effective way of encouraging sales” because it makes “life easy for shoppers”.

Furthermore, research by Dotativ found nearly 80 percent more products will be selected in comparison to the bottom shelf.

By placing the most profitable stock at eye level, or children’s eye level if it’s targeted at them, it can draw customers to them at a much faster speed.

Using sale-type signs for full price items

Another easy way to trick customers is by using big, bold signage which imitates those used during sales.

MSE explained: “Seedless grapes and other attractive treats are usually near the store entrance, often below cost price, to entice us in.

“Similar signs and displays are used elsewhere to promote deals, even when they’re not on sale.”

Be wary of bright colours on signs and be sure to read the small print before jumping headfirst into a purchase.

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