Is It a Grocery Store or a Racetrack?: Supermarket Savvy
Want to know a simple trick to saving money at the grocery store? Don’t get lost in the aisles. It’s a familiar scene: you just need to duck into the grocery store for a few holiday essentials, only to find yourself stuck inside for a half hour as you hunt for the whipped cream—which is hidden all the way in the back of the store. If you feel like you’re running laps up and down the aisles, this is not in your head—supermarkets are often intentionally set up in “racetrack layouts.”
Store aisles are mapped out to make you walk through every section, because supermarkets want you to see as many products as possible before getting to the ones you need.
Ikea, one of the most successful retailers on the planet, is the master of this layout, with its labyrinthine showrooms. There are secret shortcuts on each floor, but unless you beg a yellow-shirted employee for guidance, you are forced to scurry through the maze and see everything they have for sale. Most grocery stores are organized around the same concept. Bakery and floral departments are by the doors, so that you experience pleasurable sights and smells on the way in, and then you’re shunted into a walking pattern through the store. Soon you’re filling your cart with all sorts of goodies and forgetting what you came in for in the first place.
Here are three steps you can take to protect yourself from buying things you don’t want as you’re marched through the grocery store:
1: Bring a list and stick to it. (Recipe.com’s Shopping List app is a great for this!)
2: Never shop hungry. If you’re hungry when you arrive, immediately buy something to eat — even if it’s an overpriced impulse item. Better to spend $1.99 on a little snack than $50 on products you don’t need.
3. Watch your emotions! Shopping while anxious or depressed often results in overspending, and the holidays are prime time for shaky emotional states.
Until next week…shop smart, shop savvy!