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You budget carefully, load up your coupons and head to the supermarket to score some real savings. But how often do you get to the checkout stand and find that you still have more than you intended. It’s probably not all your fault. Supermarkets have a variety of tricks they use to encourage you to buy more than you planned.

On rare occasions i go with Cheryl to the supermarket. It’s never the most economical trip for sure. Coupons are irrelevant to me once I hit the isles. I just can’t resist all the opportunities to buy. As someone who studied marketing, I know many of the tricks, yet I still fail to resist.

I came a across an article in Business Insider that illustrated 15 ways stores trick you into buying more than you intended. I thought I knew many of these. You might most of them too. But seeing them so well illustrated with photos really helps you understand what you are up against.

Some of these tactics have been obvious for a long time. The impulse items at the checkout is apparent to all, yet it is still the highest profit margin area in the store. I recently read that Albertson’s is pulling all their self-checkout registers out of the store and going back to human checkers. They say it is for friendlier customer service, but I’m betting they believe they will more than make up the additional staff costs with impulse sales.

Product placement is another key feature that stores analyze. Eye level shelves are reserved for the most desirable and highest profit margin items. There are two “eye level” shelves to look for. Kid level and adult level.

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Some tactics are more subtle. The invention of the shopping cart was made to be much larger than what people typically bought at the time they were introduced. It’s kind of like packing for a trip. No matter the trip length I always seem to wind up with a full suitcase.

I won’t give all the tricks away because you will want to check out the pictures and descriptions yourself.

I will admit I learned something new. Did you know that, all things being equal, there is one side of the aisle that will sell more product every time. Humans, for all our diversity, are really pretty predictable. Those sneaky retailers use that to their advantage.

I was always impressed with Cheryl’s discipline (another reason I don’t go along, I blow her plan right out of the water.) Most impressive to me was her use of a small calculator. She would keep a running total of what was in her cart to match against her budget.

Times are tight for everyone. Coupons seem to be all the rage. But what else can a person do to stretch their dollars?

Use the comments below to share you tips with others.

15 Ways Supermarkets Trick You Into Spending More Money

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