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Grocery Guide for Beginners - How to Save Money while Shopping

Updated on July 12, 2012

Everyone needs to eat, so that means everyone needs to make many trips to the grocery store in their lifetime. The problem is this, the grocery stores have learned that we need them. Why is this a problem? Because the grocery store has developed many ways to sneak into our pockets and steal our money. Well maybe not to that extreme. They are really good at making us buy products that we really don't need, or really didn't want. The grocery store is sly in arranging the aisles to make it's customers buy impulsively. I am going to share with you some of the secrets the grocery store doesn't want you to know about, then the next time you go to buy your food you won't fall for their sneaky marketing tactics.

Grocery Store Layouts

The grocery store is designed to keep you inside. When you walk through the doors it is set up to make you walk completely through almost every time. The layout is generally the same from one grocery chain to the next. 

There are four essential corners to the grocery store layout.  By placing the four essential categories of customer needs in these corners allows them to get you walking through the entire store.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables
  2. Bakery and Deli
  3. Meats
  4. Refrigerated and Frozen Foods

So in a sense as you walk through the entrance doors the layout is pushing you around the store in a well designed manner, this way you are going to your main areas while having to pass by every thing else.  The other design secret is that you have to walk past the food aisles to get to your cleaning supplies, baby supplies, and even pet supplies.  The reason for this is so when you go to purchase a bottle of dish soap you are more likely to buy six other items you didn't need when you walked in.

By paying close attention to your regular grocery stores layout you can be extra cautious not to fall for their sneaky marketing.


Grocery Store Food Placements

The way the grocery store stocks its selves is another sly way to get you to spend more each time you visit. The items that are most eye appealing are placed right in front of your eyes. If you were looking at a shelf in the cereal aisle all of the name brand pricier boxes are literally smacking you in the face. If you want to save yourself money you need to look down toward the bottom shelf. You will most likely find all of the generic labels on those bottom shelves. Another trick is to place cheaper items in a less orderly fashion than the name brand ones. While the more expensive items are all lined up perfectly, the generic cheaper ones will be stacker in a more unsightly manner. This is also an important tip to remember.

If you have children be extra careful. The grocery store will be targeting them and targeting them tough. All the items with the cartoon characters and other interesting pictures or shapes will be right there calling out to them through every aisle. Pick me, Pick me.. The checkout aisle is a prime example of this type of marketing, all the candy a kid could ever want is right there at their finger tips. My advice to parents is buy a good pair of horse blinders and then the stores plan to hijack their minds will not work!!!

How To Save Money Grocery Shopping

 You need to make a great grocery list before you drive to the store.  You can do this by looking through your store's weekly flyer to see what is on sale.  You should also plan a menu for the week, decide what meals you will cook, and what items you will need to purchase to make those meals.  Also check your cabinets for items you may already have, and for items you will definitely need.  Write your list down on a piece of paper, DO NOT depend on your memory.  You want to purchase every thing you need so you do not have to make separate extra trips for one item.

When you go to the store have your grocery list ready and any coupons you may have for your items listed.  You need to be a 100% strict grocery list follower.  By being a strict shopper it means you will only purchase the items on your list, and you will not make any impulse purchases.  If you can get through the entire store with the exact items you listed and no extras you can consider yourself a winner.  A winner in the battle of the grocery store marketing expertise!!!!

In the event you do need to make an extra trip follow this advice, only take enough money to purchase what you need to buy.  You will not have to worry about picking up anything extra because technically you can't afford to.


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