How to avoid being tempted by the sneaky spending tricks used by supermarkets

NZ 17/03/2022

Any regular household shopper knows how easy it is to pop to the supermarket for a simple ‘bits and bobs’ shop and come home with five carry bags and a small fortune missing from your bank account. 

With grocery prices on the rise, navigating the aisles has become more stressful than ever as we try to get the best bang for our buck. 

Yes, that head of lettuce really does cost $6, and no, you’re not seeing things - even though your face mask is making your glasses fog up. 

Thankfully, the clever people at Consumer.org.nz have identified some tricky ways supermarkets try to get you spending EVEN MORE each time you’re in-store. 

Take notes, people: We’re arming ourselves with inside information next time we get behind the wheel of a trolley. 

Pricey items will be at eye level
Supermarkets tend to place their best earners right where we can see them, and that means manufacturers will pay up in order to get their products face-to-face with consumers. 

Next time you’re scanning the shelves, try glancing down lower to see if there’s a better deal on the same item. 

Discount signs and promotional flags
There’s a lovely rush that comes when you see your favourite shampoo is on a two-for-one deal, right? Wrong. 

Sure, it can be good to stock up, but remember, you only needed one bottle in the first place. Those ‘specials’ are designed to get more items in your trolley than you ever intended. 

While you’re dodging those deals, make sure you also keep an eye out for the ‘Great Price’ or Everyday Value’ flags - they don’t necessarily mean that product cost any less than it did the day before, or the week before that. 

Knowing the ways supermarkets try to get you to spend more will help you save when shopping.

Pretty product displays
Who can blame you for being enticed by an impressively-built pyramid of toilet paper or a promotional tower of chocolate bars? No one. But do think twice before you wander past and grab something from one - was it really on your list, hmmm? 

The dreaded checkout treats 
It’s been over an hour, you got lost looking for those very specific batteries the kids need for their remote-control-whatever, and you’re starving and tired. 

Those sugary snacks right by the checkout are looking pretty tempting, plus - didn’t you need another reusable bag? 

Look, we’re not here to tell you not to buy yourself a little post-shopping pick me up, but if you want to save some coin, try and find a snack-free checkout.

Also, don’t forget the golden rule: Never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.