I spend a lot of money at the grocery store. Granted, there are usually six of us, and I try to buy quality food. I also occasionally fall prey to the super sale, the "ooh, I'll try that" trap, or the pleas of small and bored children. It's even worse when I don't have a meal plan or a shopping list, but even with those two tools, I often end up making some unplanned purchases.
One line of self-defense is knowing the strategies and tricks the grocers use to lure you into making those extra purchases. The grocery stores are trying to make a profit, and even the not-for-profit commissaries are competing to keep your business so that they remain viable. I've recently stumbled across a variety of articles that discuss different ways that supermarkets work to make your trip more expensive and more complicated.
At Bankrate.com, Cynthia Brodrick exposes some Grocery Store Ploys. I thought I knew a lot about the ways that supermarkets seduce their customers, but I'd never heard of some of these. Who knew that certain music makes you buy more?
One tip I'll add: be scrupulous in checking your prices at the commissary case lot sales, especially if you are a serious couponer. There are great sales to be found at the case lot sale, but there are also many items that aren't much of a savings, and are actually more expensive if you could have used a coupon in the regular store.
Learning about grocery store strategies will help you resist the lure of the fresh bread, pretty flowers and so-called sales. A little reading can help you save some serious dollars.