How to spot the grocery store tricks that make you spend more money

Posted at 9:57 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 01:46:08-04

You go to the grocery store to buy milk and bread, but end up spending $40 on stuff you really didn't need.

Don't feel too bad, it's all designed that way! It's just one of many grocery store secrets that get you to spend more.
Produce in the front, milk in the back and candy at the checkout. It's all by design...and it works!

"There are two or three aisles now for salty snack foods," says nutritionist Lauren Niemes. That's just one of the tricks to get you to spend more.

"Supermarkets have lots of strategies they use to get consumers to buy foods," she explained.

The colorful produce up front puts you in a happy shopping mood. The endcap displays, those at the entrance and exit of every aisle, are full of products that are paid promotions.

"Not always are they good buys. But they are placed there to get you to purchase it," she said.

Often, food products targeting young kids are on lower shelves, which brings us to the checkout lane. It's stocked with sweets for kids to demand.

"So what we see there primarily are candies, in large sizes, and soft drinks," said Niemes.

Her tip: If you must have it, candy is much cheaper back in the aisles. Speaking of cheaper, here's another secret: pre-sliced cheese in the milk section can be half the price of freshly cut cheese at the deli counter. Have you ever wondered why Oreos and Cheerios, among others, seem to have a never-ending variety of flavors? It helps the brand dominate shelf space, so you won't even see the other products.

"So, the more shelf space they have, the more the consumers will see their products, which leads to more purchases," she said.

Another secret: The shopping carts have gotten bigger! Lauren says use the small cart and you'll spend a lot less.   Also, have you ever put something back at the last minute? Some stores have removed the flat shelves in the checkout lane, just to make it harder to do that. So, now you know! Grocery stores are like casinos these days. It's always daytime inside, and its hard to leave. But, knowing their secrets will help you be a better shopper!