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Grocery Marketing Ploys: Avoid the Tricks, Get the Treats

Jun 24, 2008
How many times have you strayed away from your budget by buying two packs of soda because of an offer to save 20% if you buy two? It's just an extra buck or so, you tell yourself. A dollar past your budget may not be much, but with this habit of buying-more-to-save-more, there is a danger of you mishandling your budget for the week, which might translate to bigger financial blunders.

Grocery stores know just what to do to make you buy more, and sometimes they are not so honest. Know how to identify them so you can avoid being tricked off your budget. The following are some of the most common tricks grocery stores resort to in order to boost their profits, as well as some solutions to help you stick to your budget.

Bargains and Sales

Have you ever bought something you don't really need just because they're on sale? You sacrifice a small part of your budget and tell yourself that it's okay. After all, you bought it at a fraction of its original price. Not! You should know that the comparison of prices - the original and the sale price - is often manipulated, with the original price inflated. People rush to buy items because they think they're saving much by the doing so when in reality, they don't save anything but a penny or two. So the next time your see a big bargain banner, don't be fooled by the comparison price. Take the item's original price, as well as its sale price and compare with similar items to check if the items really are on sale. Establishing a base knowledge of regular priced items will help you verify whether the sale is indeed a bargain.

The Numbers Game

A sticker saying "Get 5 for only $5" or "Buy Two, Take One Free" may sound appealing. But before you grab those items, ask yourself: "How many of these do I really need?" There is no use buying five items when you only need one.

Ask the grocer if you can purchase the item on the sale amount - that is, $1 each - without having to buy all five. Sometimes, this is allowed, but grocers do not advertise it just so you buy more. Also, do get a hold on the unit price, so you know if there are actual savings.

Free Samples

Free samples are supposed to be just that - free. But why people feel as though they are indebted or obligated to purchase the product after getting a free sample escapes logic.

The next time a sales agent approaches to hand you a free sample, try to enjoy it guilt-free! But if you have a feeling that you'll have a difficulty not purchasing from the agent after the free sample, just refuse the free item.

These are just some of the most popular marketing strategies used in grocery stores. But whatever marketing ploy you encounter, the trick is to simply relax and inspect. Also, don't forget to bring your grocery list and to stick to it. Bringing a calculator will also be a good idea so you can keep tabs on the amount of your purchases even before you get to the counter.

You should also have a couple of wallets or money clips, so that you can take a separate one with you for when you buy your groceries. Having a separate money clip will make it easier for you to bring just the budgeted amount and to leave your cards at home so you avoid unplanned purchases.
About the Author
Heading to the grocers? Make sure you have your budgeted amount safely tucked in one of those handy-dandy money clips. Check out the leather money clips and magnetic money clips from ExecutiveGiftShoppe.com.
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