The old joke about wanting to pick up one thing at Target, but going home with $100 worth of stuff you didn't know you needed is true for grocery stores for me, too. Even when I have a list. And that's just the way they plan it. True. Story!

Here are my favorites from the list of ways grocery stores get you to buy more stuff from Business Insider.

1 - Free Samples

  • I NEVER take free samples, but I know almost everyone else does, and they generally hand out samples of the unhealthy food we love, which sparks our appetite, and boom. You're shopping hungry.

2 - Flowers and Prepared Food

  • You walk into a grocery store and you smell flowers. And their hot-and-ready-to-go deli. Both are near the front to spur your appetite and push you to buy more. Maybe you weren't planning on picking up fresh-cooked meatloaf and mashed potatoes, but now...boom, into the cart.

3 - They've Changed Your Shopping Carts

  • They look the same, but a lot of grocery stores have bigger baskets on their carts. More space to put food, and the food you have looks like a tiny amount compared to what you're used to. A great visual marketing technique. Next time, try one of those small top/bottom carts, or a hand basket.

4 - Prices Ending in .99

  • I don't think anyone is immune from this one. It isn't $4...its $3.99!  You're saving a whole cent! But yeah, it gets me, too. I try not to be caught, but, every. Darn. Time.

5 - Reward Cards


  • I think this one is kinda maybe a thing. Experts say people that use reward cards spend more. I don't know anyone that buys more because they have a rewards card, but I do know people that will only buy stuff at STORE A because they get the gas discount by using their reward card. So, you're not buying any extra stuff, but you are spending that money with them instead of someone else. Which is good, but in my book, I think it doesn't belong on this list.


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