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2.23.2014

Balance Everyday Expenses by Saving Money at the Market

Trips to the supermarket are generally not considered to be stressful, high-pressure events; but when you take a look at what is going on behind the scenes, the business seems more focused than a walk in the park.  That's because supermarket operators are in the business of landing as much of your shopping spending as possible, encouraging you to buy everything from them, whenever possible.  Your relationship with your grocer need not be adversarial or based on false promises, but there are ways to protect yourself from spending too much at the market.  Saving money at the supermarket starts with an informed approach, which doesn't take anything for granted.  Instead of allowing your supermarket manager to have his or her way with your wallet, stay proactive, protecting your own supermarket shopping interests.

Stay Informed About Consumer Goods
Ignorance leads to poor outcomes across many of life's activities, including trips to the supermarket.  Shoppers that have no sense of what is going on in the retail marketplace furnish easy targets for manipulation, allowing merchandisers to lead them through their shopping experience without defenses. By staying informed about product choices and prevailing pricing levels, you are always a step ahead of the merchandising companies tasked with convincing you to buy products.  Instead of accepting their offer, because they say it is the best one for you, it is easier to decide for yourself, once a little education is in the bag.  Store displays are placed precisely, landing in the locations best able to stimulate purchases.  By building larger than life retail displays, merchandisers seek to get shoppers' attention, making products seem grander than they really are.  It is natural to fall for extravagant displays carrying promises of lower prices, but the message they are sending is not always one-hundred percent true.  Rather than comparing products by what is on offer and what isn't, it makes more sense to use weights and quantities to contrast the contents of each package.

Shop the Whole Store
Isolating you with the products they want you to buy is a common manipulation technique carried-out by supermarket managers.  Placing a particular brand of mustard right next to the sausages in the refrigerated display case is an example of passive manipulation, steering you to buy a certain brand. Since you are not likely to back track all the way to the mustard aisle, there is a reasonable expectation that you will buy the mustard placed at your convenience.  It comes as no surprise to savvy shoppers that the items placed in your path at the supermarket are not the cheapest versions available. In fact, most of the items displayed individually come from premium classes of goods.  To save money at the supermarket, don't rely on grocers to point out the best products for your budget.  Instead, craft an easy to follow list, mirroring the layout of your favorite store, so that every item can be thrown in your trolley as you pass, so expensive, handy options will not tempt you later on. If your budget is tight and shopping is a struggle, why not try a payday loan to ease your purchasing power.

Eat Before You Go Food Shopping
Busy schedules don't always allow for precise daily planning, but dining before shopping is a good idea for most supermarket visits.  Hungry shoppers make impulse purchases and other budget-busting decisions, so eating ahead of time keeps you on track at the market.  Grocers are in the business of appealing to your appetite and visual sense of what looks tasty.  As a result, shopping on an empty stomach plays right into their hands, allowing them to manipulate your purchases toward items they most want to sell.  To save money at the supermarket, plan ahead by eating a snack or meal before you go shopping.

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