Home > 2016 > Personal Finance

9 Money-Saving Tricks Grocery Stores Don’t Want You to Know

Advertiser Disclosure Comments 2 Comments

Grocers often spend countless time and resources researching to know how you shop and then may use this data to get you to buy more. I’ve figured out some of these tactics — you may want to read them before you shop so you don’t fall victim to spending more than you intended.

1. Purchase Limits

Many retailers will place limits on products, noting how many each customer is allowed to purchase. Some times, these products are not on sale, they just add limit wording to the signage. When people see this, they may think there is a limit on the purchase because it must be a hot product. This could make them feel like “if this is a hot product, then I should buy it so that I don’t miss out”.

Money-Saving Tip: Only purchase the items you have on your list. You should also check the original price of the item before you buy to make sure that it really is on sale and a good deal, not just a marketing ploy to get you to spend money.

2. The Upper & Lower Shelves

The most expensive products are typically placed on the store shelves which are at eye level. Most people are in a hurry and will purchase what is right in front of them. If you look up and down the shelves, you can often find store brands and other brands, which are usually less expensive.

Money-Saving Tip: Scan up and down all shelving to compare items and help ensure you are getting the best price.

3. Two-For & BOGO Deals

When retailers say that you can get something for free, you may purchase an item you originally did not plan on buying. You might also buy additional items that you did not need, just in an attempt to save money. There are times when these offers can save you money, but they are often an attempt to just get you to buy more.

Money-Saving Tip: Know the stores’ regular prices. You can usually see the original price by looking at the sticker underneath the sale tag on the shelf. You can then determine if the the sale is a good one or not. It is usually not a good idea to buy more of something you really did not need, just to save a buck.

4. When Size Matters

If you are looking for items in your grocery store, it’s a good idea to check the size and price. For example, you may see a 64-ounce bottle of ketchup on sale for $3.25, which appears to be a good deal. Take a look at this per unit. At this price, you are paying $0.051 per ounce. If you look at the 40-ounce bottle priced at $1.99, you will see you are paying $0.0498 per ounce. There is not too much difference per ounce here, but it all adds up and you get more for your money if you purchase a 40-ounce bottle instead.

Money-Saving Tip: Know the prices in the other stores for your favorite items. Compare sizes and quantity before you buy to ensure you are getting the best possible deal.

5. The Fancy Display

Some stores hire experts to create magical displays. Sometimes, the display is so unique or artful that it makes you feel you need to have the product they are selling. When people see the display images, which often features happy and beautiful people, they feel they too will be happy and look good if they buy the item.

Money-Saving Tip: Spending too much money on things can put you in debt — which will likely make you more unhappy.

6. The End Caps

Sometimes stores will simply relocate items within the store to try to capture the buyer’s eye. When people see items on display, they tend to assume the item is on sale. Sometimes it is, but there are times when it is not.

Money-Saving Tip: When you see something on an end of aisle (end-cap) display, consider taking a moment to find its original location in the store and check the regular price. Sometimes it is not on sale at all.

7. Charge Accounts

You may see a display that offers you a designated percentage of savings when you open a store credit card account. But it’s good to remember that opening a charge card will do more than give you a discount — it will affect your credit. (To see how your credit is looking, you can view two of your credit scores for free, updated monthly, on Credit.com.)

Money-Saving Tip: It isn’t always a good idea to sign up for a store credit card just to save money — unless you can be sure you will be able to pay it off right away. In fact, if you sign up, you should be able to turn around immediately and pay off the balance on the card without having to wait for the statement to arrive. When you shop, consider sticking with cash because you can see how much you have to spend right there and are less likely to overspend.

8. Clearance Takes Time

How often do you notice that the clearance section of a store is an absolutely disaster? If it is disorganized, most people will pass on shopping and will move toward the other items which are easier to look at.

Money-Saving Tip: If you want to find good deals, make sure you are patient enough to weed through all of the clearance items to find that treasure you have been searching for.

9. Last Minute Add-Ons

Those little items — foods, magazines and other trinkets — are placed in the checkout line for a reason. You are going to be standing there and will read the covers and may think you need to buy that magazine. Or, if you are waiting for a while, you might be hungry and be tempted to grab a last minute snack.

Money-Saving Tip: Just leave those items alone and do not add them to your shopping cart. It may take some self-control, but those little purchases can quickly add up.

Do you have any money-saving secrets you would like to add?

Image: gilaxia

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • Jenny C.

    When out shopping for grocery deals don’t forget to factor in the gas (& time) costs driving from store to store picking up those advertised savings. The gas will add up and negate those savings.

  • Lee Delong

    i’m a great shopper.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team