Supermarkets are masters in manipulating us, the unsuspecting public, to spend more without even knowing it. They employ no end of sneaky techniques to get us to part with more of our cash than we really want to. Even though over the past few years the wholesale price of basic essentials has been falling the cost to the consumer has rocketed. Here are some of the biggest scams that supermarkets employ to part us from our cash, and how to avoid them.
You might think that you’re going to get better value for money if you buy bigger but this isn’t necessarily the case. Always check the product details before you buy – specifically the price per weight. You’ll be very surprised at what you see. For example, a 400g jar of Hellman’s Mayonnaise costs 41.8p per 100g, but a 600g jar costs 44.7p her 100g. Confused much? The website www.mysupermarket.com allows you to see, at a glance, exactly how much you’re paying per weight for a product.
Special deals such as a BOGOF (buy one get one free), or buy two and get the third free, can be tempting but they very often don’t provide the best value for money. Much of the time the best deals are on items with a short shelf life, or perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables. So consider carefully whether you can eat 3lb of brussel sprouts or 36 satsumas within a week otherwise you will be throwing food away.
This is such a badly kept secret – supermarkets pump the smell of freshly baked bread into their air conditioning units so that the smell can waft through the shop when they aren’t even baking bread in store! Many stores bake their bread early in the morning, however to entice more custom some pump out the smell of fresh baking bread to fool customers into thinking that it is constantly baked all day – sneaky, eh?
Store cupboard essentials, such as bread and milk, are always placed right at the back of the shop. This is done so that customers have to walk past the rest of the produce, and heighten the possibility of impulse buys, in order to get their necessities.
Product placement is everything in supermarkets. The most profitable items are placed at eye level so that you see them before any other products. The cheapest items will be at ground level or at the very top of the shelf. So be prepared to hunt around, and take a folding stool if necessary to reach those bargains!
So next time you go shopping, don’t be tempted by all these little sneaky ways to get you to part with more money than you want to – take a list – and stick to it.