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How to avoid supermarket traps and save money

Did you know that supermarkets have many tricks that they use to get you to impulse buy, and spend more money. They hope that the average consumer is not aware of the tricks of the trade. Here are several tricks, and how to avoid them.

1. Supersize Carts - As soon as you walk in the door you see the first trick. Shopping Cart sizes keep getting bigger and bigger. It is the store's hope that having a bigger cart, you will fill it up with more stuff.

2. Piped In Music - Do you notice the music over the loud speaker? The store is hoping that you don't. They often play slower tempo songs, so shoppers unconsciously shop at a slower pace. The longer you are in the store, the money you will spend.

3. Advertised sales that are not - A lot of times the store will put an item in their weekly flyer, so the shopper will feel like they are getting a deal. The truth is many times the items are not on sale or the price will only drop a couple of pennies.

4. 10 for $10 sales - This type of sale is very popular at many supermarkets. The stores are very happy when some customers think they need to buy 10 of the items to get the sale price. This is definitely not the case. Each item is on sale for only $1, and you can buy only one if desired. Another thing to watch is some of these items are actually marked up a few cents to be included in the sale. That $1 item might actually be .89 when not "on sale".

5 The cereal trick is probably well known by most parents of small children. The store puts the cereals with smiling faces, and toys inside at a child's level. They are hoping that parents will give in to the whining and begging of their children, and buy the cereal.

6. Delayed by Displays - Have you noticed that some stores puts a display in the aisle making it harder to get by. This trick is to slow you down, and notice the item. Even if the display is not in the aisle, they may arrange them in such a way that it draws your attention.

7. Pairing - Many times stores will put items that go with another item nearby, even if it is not it's normal location. They put dips near chips, parmesan cheese near the pasta sauce, and other typical pairs. They are hoping that when you pick up one item, you will pick up it's pair as well. The pair item is very often not on sale.

8. Endcaps - While loss leader deals can often be found on the endcaps, other more expensive items are on the endcap as well. Instead of impulse buying what is on the endcap, be sure to check the aisle to see if you have the best priced item.

Shopping tips that will help you to save

1- Shop alone if possible. You are more likely to spend a lot more money if you bring the spouse and kids.

2. Bring a list and stick to it. If you follow a list, you are less likely to impulse buy.

3. Use cash. You are less likely to buy a lot of extras if you know you have only a certain amount of money to spend.

4. Don't use a cart, or if you do use the smallest one available. If you are only buying a few items, you might be able to skip the cart all together. Carry those items, so it is more difficult to pick up items you did not intend to buy.

Buy being aware of the tricks, and using smart shopping strategies, you really can save money on groceries.

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