Saturday, October 8, 2011

8 Ways To Avoid Sneaky Supermarket Tricks: Part 1

Healthy Eating Tips: Grocery Shopping

8 Ways To Avoid Sneaky Supermarket Tricks

Enjoy a healthier and cheaper trip to the grocery store with these easy tips.  Below are the first 4 tips.
By The Editors of Prevention

You walk into a grocery store expecting to buy only the items on your list, yet you leave with a cart full of extras you may not really need—and a considerably lighter wallet. An accident—or lapse in judgment? Actually, the store setup is likely to blame. “You want to get in and out quickly, but the folks in charge want you to linger as long as possible, spend as much as possible, and ideally spend it on the highest-profit items,” explains Ali Benjamin, co-author of The Cleaner Plate Club: Raising Healthy Eaters, One Meal at a Time (Storey Publishing, 2011). How, exactly, do they make you stick around and load up on items you never meant to buy? Here are eight ways to guarantee a healthier (and cheaper) shopping experience every time.

1. Skip The Supersized Carts
“We don’t feel like we are done shopping until we have some sort of visual cue—like a full cart,” says Benjamin. So the trick is to look at the cart like a dinner plate. “Choose the smallest cart you can,” says Diane Henderiks, RD, a personal chef and culinary nutritionist in Oakhurst, NJ. “It’s like choosing a smaller dinner plate—only here you’ll save calories and money.” Or, ditch the cart entirely. “Our studies from Project Brandwashed show that a typical family needs only what they can carry,” says Martin Lindstrom, author of Brandwashed Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy (Crown Business). “I tell families to have kids help carry items.”

2. Bring A C-Note—And Leave Your Credit Cards Behind
Cash is king when it comes to avoiding impulse buys. “I know that I spend way less when I use cash rather than credit,” says Benjamin. And the research proves her right—Lindstrom advises shoppers to use a 100-dollar note for grocery purchases. “We find it emotionally harder to break a larger bill, so we spend less,” says Lindstrom. “We don’t have an emotional connection with numbers on a credit card statement

3. Watch Out For “Health-Washing”
You may not read labels with as critical an eye in a store like Whole Foods as in, say, Super Target®, says Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg, president of Monetized Intellect Consulting, Inc, in Brooklyn, NY. “The atmosphere in Whole Foods Market® makes you feel like everything in the store must be healthy,” he notes. “In Target®, you’ll look at the calorie count on the same package of granola you buy without thinking in a ‘healthy’ grocery store.”

4. Listen To The Piped-In Music
Typically, the store manager is piping in music to keep you on her schedule. “Slow hours mean slow music—they want you to linger and buy; fast music at the busy hour means they want moving, moving, buying,” says Ginzberg. “And it’s not unusual to hear, say, Spanish music if salsa is on sale.” Tote your own tunes to set your pace, but opt for pop or house music—really! “If you’re using a music player and headset, it removes you from sensory stimuli,” says Linstrom, “and if you play music you don’t like at a fast beat, it will shorten your trip—and make you shop in a more rational way.”


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