Marketers have researched consumers and their buying habits. Being aware of their strategies can help you become a smart shopper. Here’s what you should know so that you can save money the next time you make a trip to the supermarket:
– You shouldn’t assume things that are displayed at the ends of the shelf are on sale. They’re prime real estate in a store. And even if they are displayed as a bargain, it is likely the prices are still too high. Look for things at the middle of the aisle.
– Things that are placed at the lower part of the shelf are usually cheaper. More expensive brands usually invest on better placement. However, in kids sections, the prime real estate is lower on the shelves where those little eyes may see them quickly.
– The freshest products may be placed deeper. Things near their expiration date often placed at the front so they can be sold quickly. When you want to buy dairy products, meat, vegetables and fruits, sometimes looking a little deeper may give you fresher products.
– Items that are on fliers are not always sale items. You shouldn’t assume that if an item makes it to the fliers, it is on sale. Many times products advertised aren’t on sale at all. Always track the prices of frequently purchased items to know whether you have a great deal on your hand.
– Watch for “loss leaders.” They are usually displayed prominently on the supermarket circulars and occasionally on the back. They’re discounted heavily and the supermarket takes a “loss” with the hope that consumers may come, buy more items with ‘positive’ profit margin and offset the loss. One important clue that a product is a loss leader is that you have a limit on the amount you can purchase.
– Smaller package sizes can be more expensive. Some manufacturers often use smaller packages to boost profits. The best way to compare prices is to look at the quantity vs. cost. Always have a calculator ready at hand to determine cost per ounce or per unit price to allow you make an informed buying decision.
– Use loyalty programs efficiently. Supermarkets claim that loyalty programs are a good way to save money. Even so, grocers know that loyalty programs only good for getting you to spend a lot more in the process. It is likely that stores with frequent shopper cards use higher markups. Keep track of the price to determine whether a loyalty program works in your favor.
– Don’t take the direct route. There is a reason why milk, eggs, meat, and other basics are located at the back of the store. Supermarket designers place inessentials, like snacks or clothing, at the direct route to the basics and staples, so customers will linger just a bit longer and pick up a couple of things. If you find it difficult to resist those products, avoid them.