Did you know that supermarkets are perfectly honed marketing environments to seduce you into spending more than you should?

Here are some of the commonly used supermarket tactics.

* Regularly bought items tend to be spread all over the store so that you need to walk past many tempting goodies before you can complete your shopping.

* Impulse buys like treats and magazines are usually placed near the check-out counters. This is a last attempt to grab your cash while waiting to pay for your groceries.

* The most profitable stock is usually placed at eye-level to entice you into picking them up. Stick to the age-old adage “look high and low” for sensible buys.

* Sale signs are usually placed near the store entrance to entice you in. Be conscious that similar signs and displays are used elsewhere in the store to promote deals even when they are not on discount.

To fight back and save on your grocery shopping, here are five tips.

1. Try dropping one brand level on everything you buy. If you can’t tell the difference in taste or quality between a premium or home brand, then why pay more for it, stick to the cheaper one.

2. People are often loyal to branded washing powders, shower gels or other cleaning products – but ask yourself whether there is any difference if you trade down to a cheaper brand? Often they are made in the same factory.

3. Never shop when you are hungry because you are more likely to buy things you don’t need because you are feeling peckish.

4. If you pop into a supermarket to buy a loaf of bread, don’t pick up a basket because you will generally tend to fill it. If you only need a loaf of bread, just buy the bread and leave.

5. Just because a supermarket lists an item is “on offer” doesn’t mean it is necessarily cheap. A commonly used tactic is to increase the price per item when products go into multi-buy offer and exaggerate the original price to make the special offer price seem much cheaper.

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