Between 40% to 60% of our shopping purchases are impulse buys – purchases we had no intention of making when we first entered the grocery store. One of the most notorious impulse traps is the check-out counter.
Here grocery stores understand they have a captive audience as we patiently wait to pay for our purchases. It is here where they tempt us with a variety of candy bars, chips, and magazines.
Here are some simple ways to avoid these temptations and save money.
Candy and Snacks. Grocery stores place every variety of candy bars, peanuts, and potato chips right in front of our faces as we wait to check out. The best way to resist these temptations is to make sure you don’t go shopping hungry. Hungry shoppers are much more likely to grab a snack or two while in line.
Personally, I keep small snacks in my glove compartment. Usually gum, candy bars, chips, or energy bars that Ive picked up at the local dollar store. Knowing that I have something to eat close by allows me to pass on supermarket temptations.
Magazines. Here is an especially subtle trap. Why do grocery stores place magazines near the cash register? They simple understand that magazines are masters at creating riveting headlines that make people want to read the articles inside.
Hooked by a magazine cover headline, we start reading an article but of course don’t have enough time to finish. So what do we do? – we simply place the magazine with the rest of our purchases. Another $3.99 against our food budget. If we buy just 2 magazines per week, we have just spent another $32 per month or nearly $415 per year!
To avoid the trap realize that most magazines have the very same articles posted on their websites for free! Get caught reading an article you cant finish, simply go to the magazines website and finish reading it, without taking a bite out of your budget.
Alternatively, get a subscription to those magazines that continue to tempt you in line. While most magazines cost between $2.99 to $4.99, most magazine subscriptions can be purchased for $1 or less per issue. Common places to take advantage of cheap subscriptions include the magazines own website, Amazon.com, and websites like mags4cheap.com and magazines.com.
By taking simple steps to avoid check-out temptations, you can save literally hundreds of dollars per year.