The minds behind supermarkets are nothing shy of cunning. From the way that stores are laid out, to the positioning of items on shelves, each decision made has had a thorough plan set in place, all with the aim of making you spend more money. According to the BBC, the average person in the UK makes 221 trips to the supermarket per year, making so many people prone to succumbing to the ploys that are ready to make your bank figures fall. Check out the following pointers of how supermarkets catch your eye, and hopefully make you think twice before thinking that ‘deal’ is worth it.


The ways in which stores are laid out is the main trick into encouraging consumers into spending more money. Generally, the eggs and bread are positioned further away from the front door as these are items which people tend to ‘pop in’ for, yet pass through other aisles which could potentially catch their eye on an offer. 

In the larger supermarkets that have in-house bakeries, they are generally situated at the back of the store to make the smell of freshly baked goods circulate, enticing you into having a craving for something tasty, and therefore spending more money and time in their stores. 

In terms of the positioning of the fruit and vegetable aisles, they are often found near the entrance so that when you move to different aisles, you feel less guilty about picking up that tub of Ben and Jerry’s that is half price, or getting a two-for-one offer on cheese. 

More expensive items will always be put on eye-level shelves when 30p sweets tend to run along the bottom. The Guardian states that 90 percent of parents who have shopped with their kids have given into the last-minute begging of chocolate bars, and spent that little bit more when paying for their shop. Although this isn’t directly related to many university students, it gets you thinking about times where you might have spent the extra cash. 


Watch out for the deals which are plastered left, right and centre. The more often you go to the same supermarkets, the more aware you will be of the original price of items, so when a pizza that is usually £2 gets put on promotion to ‘get 2 for £4’, you’ll know it’s all a scam. It’s sometimes difficult to pinpoint which deals are a bargain and which are a ploy, but by taking time when doing your shop you will begin to notice that you spend less money compared to others.  

Do also note that certain supermarkets purposefully leave up out-of-date promotions on their shelves. This means that the two crates of Stella for £16 isn’t actually on offer anymore, and they’ve actually gone back to being £10 each. It’s all done intentionally in the hope that you don’t double-check your receipt and walk away having spent more money than you were told you’d need too. Always check your receipt.


Something which I’ve noticed myself is that doing your weekly shop online saves time, money and a lot of arm ache. This method is only beneficial when a few of your housemates can club together and split the cost, as the cost for delivery can be quite expensive depending on what time slot you chose. Tesco, for example, charge £7 for delivery on a Saturday afternoon, compared to £2 at around 9pm on a Tuesday. 

Although a little more on the pricey side, Ocado give a 30 percent discount for first time deliveries – split that between a few different people and that could result in a nice amount of freebies!  

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