1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Spotting Fake Deals in Grocery Stores

Learn the Common Ways Grocery Stores Entice Customers to Buy


Couponing is just one way to save on groceries. Another way is to know how to tell when the price on a product just looks like a good deal and when it really is a good deal.

Manufactures and grocery store management spend a lot of time planning promotions that will look great to shoppers, but fall short in helping shoppers save. But helping shoppers save really is not their job. Their job is to make money and be profitable.

Being able to recognize the common practices used to entice shoppers to buy helps us when we are trying to keep the cost of our groceries down.

Product Grouping

Products grouping is when an area is set up with an assortment of different products that are often bought together. Generally there is a theme or holiday that ties all the products together.

For example, the island may be set up with products that are commonly used for Thanksgiving meals. Shoppers will see bread crumbs, stuffing mixes, green beans, mushroom soup, dried onions, common holiday seasonings and pie fixings.

Some shoppers believe that stores do this because it is more convenient for customers, but it is really being done to increase impulse buying. What won't be in the display are the products from the brands that offer the best prices. If shoppers want the best prices on stuffing mix they should be down the aisles and looking on the lower shelves.

Product Placement

If you want to sell me something from a store shelf, would you put it on the middle shelf where I can see it, or on the bottom shelf? Of course the answer is on the middle shelf where it can be easily reached.

Stores will usually put their better priced products on the middle shelves and make shoppers reach or bend to the bottom shelves for the products that are on sale. Keep this in mind when you are looking for the good deals.

Don't Let the Package Fool You

Many shoppers spend their hard-earned money on air. This is due to manufacturers putting products in big packages to make it look like there is a lot inside when what is really filling the top is nothing but air.

Also, manufacturers often decrease the volume of products rather than up the prices, but the never change the packaging. Unless a shopper is paying attention they may not notice that they are spending the same money for less product.

The best way to know if you are getting the best price is by comparing the unit prices on the products that you buy. Don't let the size of the package fool you.

The Grocery Store Flyer

When checking out your weekly grocery store flyers, do so with caution. Many of the so called sales could end up costing you too much money.

In the article, "Grocery Store Deals Advertised in Store Flyers," we take a hard look at the most common advertised sales that we see in the weekly store flyers and show you how they really aren't such great deals.

The Price of Convenience

When trying to spend less on the things that you buy it is important to buy them at the right stores. A popular trend in grocery stores is to stock areas with non-food items like school supplies, small appliances, football apparel and accessories.

This can be very convenient to shoppers, but they won't get out cheap. These products generally have the highest markup than any of the other products in the store.

Are You a Savvy Shopper?

For a fun way to find out if you know some of the tricks of the trade that stores and manufacturers use to convince shoppers that a product is a good deal when it isn't, take the Are You a Savvy Grocery Store Shopper? quiz.


The more involved shoppers are in comparing store prices, shopping with coupons and paying attention to unit prices, the easier it becomes for them to spot the real deals.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.