MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Who hasn't among us gone into supermarket with a list of three or four items and walked out with a cart-full of groceries?
Business professor Narayanan Janakiraman from the University of Texas - Arlington said that's not by accident. Stores spend millions to analyze consumer behaviors which is why Janakiraman said to make sure you're in control. To do that you need to be 'in the know'.
Here's our top five surprising ways you could be spending too much at the supermarket.
1. The first thing you often see when you walk into a grocery store is an item on sale. Produce items are routinely discounted which Janakiraman said is one of the main reasons the produce department at most supermarkets is at the front. Stores use these sales to encourage impulse buying. Studies show that nearly 50 percent of what we get here at the supermarket is unplanned. Some experts say if the start at the back of the store when you go shopping, you're less likely to make impulse buys.
2. Have you ever noticed in the meat section you'll find a display of barbecue sauce or cocktail sauce in the seafood section? This is an example of strategic placement done by supermarkets. Some in the industry call this a "convenience item". However, keep in mind these convenience items are often among the more expensive brands in the store.
3. Be careful not to fall for a store's pricing tactic and buy more than you actually need. Just because it says, for example, "3 for $9" doesn't necessarily mean you need to buy three of these to get the deal. Experts say stores use pricing to create urgency and scarcity in hopes we buy more.
4. Trying to avoid the crowds may actually be costing you. Most retailers know people shop on the weekends so that's when they typically have their sales. Thursday through Sunday is the prime time to find the most sales.
5. Before you leave the store, check your receipt. Sometimes scanners haven't been updated with all the sales. Various studies have shown up to 5 percent of all items at a supermarket are rung up the incorrect price.
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