In this blog, I will be outlining 12 money-saving secrets that stores won’t tell you. Being aware of these secrets will help you avoid overspending each time you’re out shopping – your bank balance will thank you at the end of the month!


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12 Money-Saving Secrets That Stores Won’t Tell You



Have you ever gone to your local supermarket to quickly replace an item you’ve run out of, only to leave the shop with a full bag of shopping? It’s happened to me on so many occasions and it’s exactly what retailers want.

Shops are in the business of making money by any means necessary. ­As consumers, we should be aware of this fact and understand when we’re out shopping, the retailer is not our friend. Their sole purpose is to get us to spend as much money as possible with them. Encouraging us to buy things we hadn’t set out to buy by enticing us with irresistible offers.

In this blog, I will be outlining 12 money-saving secrets that stores won’t tell you. Being aware of these secrets will help you avoid overspending each time you’re out shopping – your bank balance will thank you at the end of the month!


1. The Importance Of A List


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In the words of Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Making a list before you go shopping will help you think ahead about the purchase you’re going to make. You’ll be less susceptible to impulse purchases and have the chance to set specific shopping goals. The store you’re visiting has a plan for your money, so you should too! Have your list and don’t deviate from it.

2. Beware Of 2-For-1 And Buy-1-Get-1-Free Offers


I’ve fallen for these offers more times than I care to admit! Be particularly careful of this when it comes to perishable goods. So many times I’ve thrown food away because the expiry date has passed before I had a chance to consume the item. This could have been avoided if I didn’t buy more than what I needed simply because it was on offer.  If it’s not on your list and you don’t need it in excess don’t make the purchase just because it’s on offer.

These deals are designed to get you to spend more than you had planned. Look under the sale sticker for the original price and then determine if the deal is good or not. If the item wasn’t already on your list or is more than you planned to spend, then it’s probably not actually saving you any money.


3. Constant Change In Product Location


Money Saving Secrets That Stores Won’t Tell You

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Just when you think you know your way around your local supermarket, you go in there one day and everything has changed. The bread has moved from aisle 2 to aisle 5 and the milk has moved from aisle 3 to aisle 6. This is intentional. Retailers do this on purpose to keep you moving around the store, scanning the shelves and ultimately spending more money.


4. Expensive Products Positioned At Eye Level


Food retailers do this intentionally as we naturally look at the items that are at eye level when browsing through shopping isles. When shopping, look at the upper and lower shelves as this is where you’ll find the cheaper alternatives.

Just because the food at the lower and upper shelves is cheaper, this doesn’t mean the product quality is any less. More often than not, you’re simply paying extra for the brand name. So even when your favourite brand is on special offer it still may not be comparable by price to the cheaper alternative lower down on the shelf. Scan up and down the shelf to find other brands or sizes that may be a better value.


5. Size Matters


Money Saving Secrets That Stores Won’t Tell You


It’s important to pay careful attention to both the size and price. Don’t just assume that the larger bottle or item labeled “value pack” is actually a better deal. My husband taught me about the price per unit on the price tags and it literally changed the way I shop forever! I’ve circled in red on the picture above the price that I pay attention to, this lets you know what the price of a single item is and makes it easier to compare prices and find the real deals.

When you start shopping this way you’ll be surprised to learn that the smaller bottle of ketchup may actually be a few pennies cheaper per ounce than the larger one. Little-by-little, those savings can add up!


6. Ignore Beautiful Displays


Retailers are experts at creating magical displays, highlighting their products using enticing surroundings and images of beautiful, happy people. You might see these displays and long to recreate that happy scene in your own life, but the reality is things won’t make you happy and over-spending will usually have the opposite effect.


7. Beware Of The Small Items Around The Till


The point of purchase area also called the checkout is the one place that all customers need to pass through to exit a store. Retailers know that regardless of whether we’re buying something or not, this area is their last opportunity to make a sale or additional sale(s).

It’s for this reason that impulse items and tempting goodies such as confectionary, magazines, jewellery, sunglasses, and fragrances that you did not plan to buy are displayed purposely near the checkout. Stick to your shopping list and don’t fall prey to the retailers marketing tactics!


8. Turn Left Not Right


Retail shopping studies have found that most people turn right when they enter a store. It’s for this reason that you will find the most attractive displays and tempting new items and offers on the right side of the store. Retailers place additional displays here to lure you into spending more. It’s important to focus on your list and don’t get distracted.


9. Watch Out For “Limit” Wording


Some stores use clever tricks like purchase limits. For examples, a sign may read “limit 2 per customer” to make you think an item is a popular product or a great deal, when it may not be. Check the original price of the item to see how good the savings really are. But ultimately if it’s not on your original list, then it’s not for you.


10. Clearance Items Always At The Back


Money Saving Secrets That Stores Won’t Tell You

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It’s no secret that the best deals are in the clearance section of retail outlets. It’s for this reason that the clearance section is always inconveniently situated at the back of the store. Retailers want you to walk through displays of all the new, regular-priced items before getting to the real deals. When looking for what you need head to the clearance area first to find the best deals.

The clearance section usually resembles a jumble sale so that you have to weed through a mess before getting to what you actually need. Take your time and be patient. It can save you money in the long run! This only applies to items that were on your initial list. Clearance or not, just because it’s a great deal doesn’t mean you need to have it.


11. Intentionally messy clearance area


Have you ever been to the clearance area of your favourite clothing retailer to sift through the garments on offer, only to turn away after a few minutes due to the piles of clothes on the floor and the disorganised sales rails? Mission accomplished. It’s really hard to conquer the clearance area in some stores because they are designed to make you not want to spend time there.

Retailers know that buyers want to easily find the size, price, and item neatly displayed. They intentionally create the frustration of the poorly marked and poorly organised clearance area to tempt customers toward the beautifully displayed and perfectly organized full-price merchandise.

Try and avoid shopping when you’re time-strapped for this reason so that you don’t make rash decisions. Instead set time aside so that you can efficiently sort through the clearance and find what you need.


12. Pay with Cash



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Retailers would prefer customers to pay with credit and debit cards. Many stores will even offer you generous discounts to lure you into opening a store credit card account with them. These retailers understand that if you pay with plastic, you are likely to spend more.

If you know you don’t have the discipline to clear the balance straight away, steer clear! Paying with cash is one of the best ways to stay on track with your finances as you can’t spend money that you don’t have.


In this post, I detailed 12 money-saving secrets that stores won’t tell you. It’s one thing having the knowledge but it’s something else applying the newly acquired knowledge.  Were any of these secrets new to you? Are there any more secrets that I haven’t mentioned in the post that you know of? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts!



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External Resources:

As well as drawing on personal experience for my blog posts, I also get inspiration from other amazing bloggers. Here are a few blogs that inspired this post.

12 Money Challenges To Help You Save More Money This Year

8 Different Money Saving Challenges to Try