Tuesday, June 9, 2015

5 Ways to Shop Smarter in a Supermarket

Have you ever gone to the Supermarket to pick up a carton of milk and end up leaving with two grocery bags full of goods?  I know I have.  While buying unintentional things may be satisfying, the extra items take up space in your home, not to mention cost extra money you did not plan on spending that day.  Here are 5 Ways to Shop Smarter, and spend less money, in a Supermarket:

1. Pay in Cash instead of using a Card

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research tracked the grocery-shopping habits of 1000 houses over a six month period.  The study found that shoppers who paid with a credit card spent 59%-78% more on their grocery bills than shoppers who paid with cash.

2. Snack before you Shop

This is a rule I should follow more often.  When you are hungry, everything looks good.  There have been times where I have been mindlessly grabbing food and putting it into my cart.  Eating something, even if it's just a piece of fruit or granola bar, will temporarily take the hunger away from you so you can focus on what you went to the Supermarket for.

3. Shop on Weekday Nights

Most people, including myself, shop on the Weekends.  If it's possible, consider going on a Weeknight instead.  There will be less people around, which means you will be able to get in and out of the aisles faster.  According to Progressive Grocer, only 11% of Americans shop on Wednesdays.  But the other days of the workweek are also effective.

4. Have a Grocery List

This may seem obvious, but having a grocery list can help keep you focused on why you are at the Supermarket and what you Need to buy.  Nowadays with our smartphones, you can just write your grocery list on a Note or Memo, so there is no "I forgot my Grocery list at home" excuse anymore.

5. Beware of Samples

We have all been there.  You are just strolling through the store when you come across a table with an employee behind it, advertising a new product and offering a free sample of it.  "It's free.  What do I have to lose?" you think.  You try the free sample, and unsurprisingly, it's delicious.  The employee mentions how the store is running a sweet deal this week only on the product, and entices you to buy it.  Only when you get home do you realize that you now have 3 Family Size bag of Chips, with the expiration date a month away.

Moral of the Story: In store samples are marketing tactics designed to get you to purchase their product.  The smell of fresh food and drink, along with a special promotional price, is effective at  encouraging you to buy the product.  Proceed with caution.

Source: Eat This Not That Magazine Spring 2015