Beware of Impulse Items: Supermarket Savvy
Each Monday, we’ll be giving you tips and tricks to shop smarter and become more Supermarket Savvy. Because supermarkets, for all their wonderful convenience (everything from apples to ziti under one roof!), are designed to get you to spend. We’ll give you an insider’s look at how items are priced and how stores are organized — because when you’re Supermaket Savvy, you save! Take our advice, and there will be no more instances of running into the store for “just a few things” and exiting a bewildering $50 later.
This week’s tip: never buy single-serve items. Those cute little “miniature” snacky things, which are typically available near check-out lanes or deli counters, are known in marketing lingo as “point of sale” or “impulse items.” And acting on impulse adds up. Impulse items are priced sky-high simply because they’re convenient.
How high? I always knew impulse items were pricey, but even I didn’t realize how inflated their prices were until I did a recent comparison at my local store.
A single-serving bag of chips by the register was $1.09, while a full-sized bag of the same exact chips was $3 over in the chip aisle. How big of a price difference is that? Calculate the price per ounce, and you get a difference of 57 cents. That doesn’t sound like much, does it? But when you put it a different way, it’s eye-popping. You’d have to spend $9 on the little bags of chips by the register to get the same amount of chips available for $3 in the snack-food aisle just six steps away. (Yes, I counted!)
Need even more convincing on how much you pay for the “convenience” of snagging a bag of chips in the check-out lane? For each step you take toward the chip aisle (in my store), you save a dollar. I’ll happily earn a dollar per footstep, and I’m guessing most of you would, too!
Until next week….shop smart, shop savvy!