Ever feel like you can’t find what you need at the supermarket? That’s by design.
Supermarkets are intentionally designed to make you linger longer. The idea is that if you spend longer looking for the items you want, you’ll stumble upon more “specials” and “deals,” which will tempt you into impulse buying.
Some supermarkets go even further – fresh produce is one of the first things you’ll see because it is visually appealing. If the store offers fresh bread, they will bake it during peak hours so that the smell fills the store. Other supermarkets will even use artificial “fresh bread” smells to tempt you.
It’s all an attempt to make you buy more than you should, but there are simple ways to counteract these clever tactics.
First, choose a store you like and stick with it. Once you learn the layout, you’ll find it easier to navigate. You should also try to shop when the store is the least busy so that you can get in and out faster. In general, weeknights between 4 and 7 and weekends tend to the busiest times. Sundays are a double whammy – not only are they busy, but most stores don’t receive deliveries on Sunday, which means produce, bread and milk will not be as fresh.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, make a list. Sticking to a list will eliminate impulse buying and help you stay focused. Avoid anything on sale unless you actually need it.
The key to protecting your wallet and your diet while grocery shopping is just to stay focused. Stay focused on what you actually came to buy, and on what kind of diet you want to have. Remember – if you didn’t think you needed it before you walked in the store, you shouldn’t think you need it after you leave.