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Every penny counts: Don't fall for supermarket buy one get one free deals.Have you ever been tempted by an 'amazing' offer while doing your weekly shop?One extra item in the shopping basket won’t hurt, right?
These stores have the ability to sell products in bulk, which often leads to stock clearance, and creates opportunities for savings to be passed on to customers.But don't forget, supermarkets are businesses too and their goal is to make money.
As customers it’s our job to pick up on their money-making tricks and make informed choices on whether these deals are actually 'great'.
Here are my top ten tips to help you avoid these tricks and spend wisely.
1. Watch out for tricky store layouts
Trick: Stores are designed to make us buy - they're big and windy - allowing you enough time to take in the best deals in-between aisles and at the checkout.
Tip: Avoid purchasing goods placed on the corners of rows - stick to the aisles where you can see all the other prices and offers available.
2. Value doesn't always mean value
Trick: Family Value packs claim to include more, usually for a cheaper price - they lead customers to believe they are getting a great deal, however, you can often pick up two of the smaller packs for the same price or cheaper.
Tip: Always check the price per litre or kg against the bigger packets - this can often result in big savings which add up.
3. Smart stacking
Trick: Shelves are stacked with the most expensive products at eye level, with the best deals hidden away in corners you might not look in.
Tip: Take your time - you're better off staying in store for an extra five minutes, than rushing out and missing the cheaper alternative.
4. Don't be fooled by offers
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Trick: In-store adverts tend to trap consumers into thinking they need more than they do - e.g. "3 for 2".
While these deals are great IF you want multiple of the product, nine times out of 10, you only need one.
Tip: Just evaluate whether you really need it. If it is a fresh product, can you freeze it? Do you have the space to store it?
5. Never miss a deal
Trick: Found a great a deal or coupon? Product out of stock? Most of us would just settle for the alternative.
Tip: A handful of the main supermarkets offer a rain check policy so if a product is out of stock you can go up to the customer service desk and get a rain check.
This entitles you to get the product for the deal price when it is back in store, even if the deal has ended.
6. Go loose for less
Trick: There are always great offers on packaged fresh fruit and veg. But while these deals are indeed great, they can sometimes be misleading. How? A lot of the time they're cheaper per Kg.
Tip: Ditch the cost of unnecessary packaging and buy loose.
7. Don't shop hungry
Trick: Most people love the smell of fresh bread or a free sample while you shop. However, these are clever tricks used to heighten your senses and make you buy more.
Tip: It is a great idea not to shop when you are hungry, these tactics are harder to ignore if your tummy is rumbling.
8. Don't be fooled by food pairing
Trick: Ever gone to buy crisps and come home with a dip too? Or how about pasta with some fresh garlic bread when you hadn't planned that too?
Supermarkets pair food that go together in hope you will add the extra product to your trolley.
Tip: Write a list and stick to it. If you know exactly what products you need to buy before you go in, you are less likely to add extras.
9. Last-minute bargains
Trick: The reduced section is often hidden at the back of the store.
Obviously, shops want you to buy products full price however, there are usually some great bargains to be found if you time your visit right.
Tip: Wait until the last minute to grab a deal. If you go to the supermarket just before it closes, they'll reduce any fruit, veg and meat that's nearly expired.
10. Adding extras at the checkout
Trick: This is the last touch point the supermarket has with you before you check out.
They are often full with bright, fun treats which you might be tempted to add in at the last minute. They can be particularly tempting to kids.
Tip: Will power. Keep a snack in your bag to nibble on while you wait for the queue to reduce.
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