14 Grocery Shopping Secrets That Make You Spend More Money

Today we're going to talk about grocery shopping secrets and the untold truth of how grocery stores get you to spend more money. Grocery stores indeed use tricks to get you to spend more money. Once you know these tricks, you can avoid them and save more money.

1. Cage-free eggs are not cage-free

The first trick that they use that kind of makes me sad is that when you see eggs that say cage-free eggs, you know they're usually like double if not triple the amount of the non-cage-free eggs.

Factories can make the cages bigger, which isn't that big, and then they are considered cage-free. So when you see cage-free eggs, don't necessarily think that is better.

2. Grocery cart sizes are bigger

Over the years, grocery stores have made carts bigger and bigger and bigger. I saw one account that said grocery carts are 25% bigger than they were ten years ago. This is so the bigger your cart, the more food you buy.

If you are going into a store, I recommend using a little hand-held basket, but sometimes that is not possible. This is one of the main reasons I only go grocery shopping when I have a specific list.

I always try to buy as many groceries as possible for grocery pickup, which eliminates my impulsive buying even more.

Shelves at the grocery store

3. Eye-level items are costlier

Grocery stores put the pricier items right at eye level so that you buy those pricier items first. Always make sure that you look up and down for the more generic or less expensive versions of that item.

4. Making you wander the store

Grocery stores move stuff around in the store, and it's usually the stuff that is bought the most, so you have to look around the store more to try to find it to buy it.

Again, if you do online shopping and grocery pickup, this can be avoided. The more you walk around the store, the more you buy something.

5. Pricing for multiple items

Another trick many grocery stores tend to do is make a sale that says Buy 10 for $10 or Buy 5 for $10. You only need to buy one for most of these stores to get the sales price. You only have to buy one, and you'll get it for a dollar. You don't necessarily have to buy ten.

So make sure you check the fine print for all the different types of sales that your grocery store might do.

Bakery items at the grocery store

6. They appeal to your senses

Have you ever wondered why the floral and bakery departments are always closer to the entrance of a grocery store? They want to appeal to your senses and make you hungry. The more hungry you are grocery shopping, the more you will buy.

7. Odd-numbered pricing

Many sales items always end in nine or some sort of odd number, also seven. That's because, subconsciously, you think you are saving a lot more money than you are when the item ends in a nine or a seven rather than an even number.

I don't know why this is, but subconsciously, scientific test after scientific test has proven this, which is why grocery stores do this.

8. Creating urgency

I'm sure you've seen signs that say limited time only or special buy. This creates a sense of urgency in you to buy the item. What you don't know is a lot of times, limited time could actually be months, or they make a limited-time offer several times a year.

So try not to be fooled by the limited-time sales offers or the special buy sales offers.

Milk, butter, eggs, and other essentials

9. The essential items are at the back of the store

Things like milk and butter always tend to be in the back of the store because if you walk all the way through the store, you'll probably see something else you want to buy. Again, this is why I always advocate for online shopping.

10. Spraying vegetables

I always thought spraying the vegetables was to keep them fresh and alive, but it is to make them look more shiny and fresh and appealing, so you buy them instead of keeping them fresh longer.

This mist can grow bacteria because the tubes where the water has a ton of yucky stuff in them, which is being sprayed onto your vegetables. So that just gives you another reason to when you get your vegetables home, make sure you wash them.

11. Free samples

Another one that they use all the time is giving out free samples. Have you ever noticed that when you're not hungry and eat a little bit of something, you end up getting hungry?

That's why they do it! They want to get you hungry while you shop. Studies have shown that when they give out free samples at grocery stores, consumers buy more.

Free samples at the grocery store

12. Kids' items are at eye level

Really pay attention to this next trick when you go to the grocery store and have kiddos with you. They tend to put the more loved kiddo items at the kiddo's eye level. Kids affect shopping decisions, and stores use that to their advantage.

13. No clocks

Take a minute to think about this one. Have you ever been in a grocery store and you saw clocks around? Nope. That's because if you don't know what time it is, you will lose track of time. The longer you're in the store, the more you'll spend.

14. Slow music to slow you down

I always wondered how they picked out the music that plays at grocery stores, and it turns out they use slow music to slow you down. The slower you go, the more you're going to buy. A study found that the slower a grocery store plays its music, it increases its sales by 40%.

Grocery shopping secrets

Now that you know these grocery shopping secrets, you can save money when you shop. Have you noticed any of the secrets when you've been grocery shopping? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.

Join the conversation
2 of 54 comments
  • Jan58126766 Jan58126766 on Jun 08, 2023

    I learned early in life, now 70, that the essentials' are at the perimeter of the store. So I tend to stay there. I will go into one of the aisles, if there is something I need there. Also, always check multiples fr the expiry dates. One more tip, always check the price per volume - the large jar of peanut butter may NOT be the best value, two smaller ones may cost less, and they do try to confuse by using different volumes, ie, quarts on some and ounces on a different size.... grrrr - that basic education pays off!!!!

  • Lashun Lashun on Jun 10, 2023

    This was awesome and extremely helpful. I will pay better attention to my grocery shopping.