Supermarkets use a bunch of tactics to try and get us to part with our cash. Here’s how to dodge their tactics, and how to spot the genuine deals.
We’ve all gone to the supermarket for a couple of essentials and ended up with things we didn’t need. You might not even realise you’ve fallen for some common marketing ploys. So apart from avoiding shopping when you’re hungry, how else can you spend less when you shop?
Bend and stretch
We don’t mean you should start working out in the supermarket, but sometimes you'll pay less by avoiding the items stocked at eye level. By reaching up or crouching down, you might find cheaper options. For example, expensive branded items are usually placed at eye level, whereas cheaper non branded items might be on the lower shelves. Or you might find small pack sizes at eye level but better value large packs on the higher shelves.
Buy one, get one free - but only if you need it and it won’t go to waste
BOGOF offers are tempting - getting something for free is always nice. But if you buy something perishable ensure you’ll use the second lot before it goes off. BOGOF offers are best on non-perishable items that you'll always need, such as toilet paper. Avoid offers that try to entice you to buy unhealthy items like sweets and fizzy drinks. BOGOF offers will be banned on items like these will be banned in most stores in 2022.
Make a list and stick to it
The best way to avoid temptation is to know what you need before you go shopping. With a list in hand, find what you need and don’t look at anything else. Supermarkets use clever product placement to make you walk through the store to buy basics such as bread and milk. Food placed at the end of aisles is put there on purpose to grab your eye as you walk past. If you stick to what’s on your list you can avert your eyes to anything else.
Avoid temptation at the checkout
Also falling under the ban, but not until 2022, is the placement of items at checkouts, such as chocolates and energy drinks. How many of us have added one or more of these items to our baskets or trolleys while we wait in the queue? When you realise that they’ve been put there with the sole purpose of tempting you, it should be easier to resist. By using self-serve checkouts, you can avoid this particular marketing ploy.
Get to know when your supermarket reduces its food
Most supermarkets reduce perishable items each day in an effort to sell them before they go off. Different stores have different ways of doing this and at different times of the day. You may notice that your store makes reductions in the evening. Other stores might reduce things in the morning so getting there when it opens could be best. It may take a few trips to time it right (or see if an employee can tell you the best time), but you can save money this way. As long as you need the item in the first place. Discounted bread can be a good buy, as you can freeze it when you get home.
Be wary of special offers
Vouchers sent to you in the post or by email are designed to get you to shop when you might not need to. These can be useful if you were going to do a shop anyway, but don’t buy something you don’t need just because it’s on offer. Some offers are not necessarily a good deal. You might only be saving a few pennies off the usual price. Shop at a store because of the prices and not only for the offers or loyalty schemes they offer. Prices are usually adjusted to take into account any so-called rewards.
Get cashback for doing your usual shop
Some supermarkets are on cashback sites so you could save a little money by doing your usual shop. Check the cashback available on each site first. Make sure you can’t get it cheaper by shopping directly with the supermarket in the first place.
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