Shopping Tips

Title Tip
Compare Unit Pricing The biggest package isn't always the most cost-effective. Stores know that consumers want to buy in bulk, and so they mix it up: sometimes the bulk item is cheaper, sometimes it's more expensive. The only way you can be sure is to take a calculator. Our grocery store posts unit pricing for most items, which makes comparisons easy.
No Cart or Basket If you're dashing into the supermarket to pick up milk and bread, don't use a basket. Baskets induce people to buy more. If you're limited to what you can carry, you're more likely to avoid impulse purchases. Only use a basket (or shopping cart) if it's absolutely necessary.
Stay Focused The more you interact with something, the more likely you are to buy it, says Paco Underhill in Why We Buy: "Virtually all unplanned purchases come as a result of the shopper seeing, touching, smelling, or tasting something that promises pleasure, if not total fulfillment." Do you know why grocery stores place those displays in the aisles? To intentionally block traffic. They want to force you to stop, if only for a moment. It only takes a few seconds of idly staring at the Chips Ahoy! to convince you to buy them.
Shop Around the Edges Health-conscious shoppers know that the perimeter of the store is where the good stuff is. The baked goods, dairy products, fresh meats, and fruits and vegetables are generally placed along the outside edge of the supermarket, while the processed stuff can be found up and down the aisles. But shopping the edges isn't just healthier - it's cheaper too. Stock up on the fresh food first, then venture to the middle of the store.
Switch From Name Brands Be willing to experiment. You may have a favorite brand of diced tomatoes, for example, but does it really matter? Go with what's on sale for the lowest unit price. You may find you like the less expensive product just as well. If you try a cheaper brand and are disappointed, it's okay to return to your regular brand.

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