It's true, there is a science behind the layout of your grocery store. It's aim is to get you to buy as much as your debit card can handle. This is good news for the economy, but bad news for you, if you're overspending.

Real Simple gathered some merchandising gurus to explain why your grocery store is laid out the way it is, how that encourages you to buy things you don't necessarily need and finally how to avoid those shopping pitfalls. If you want to.

Me? I love those shopping land mines. I've discovered some really tasty items just wandering around grocery stores. But that's just me, if you'd like to navigate your grocery store so you get what you need and only what you need, here are some tips about where departments are located and why.

  • Flowers are usually located at the front of the store, so you smell something fresh as you enter. Keep in mind these flowers are super convenient, but not always super fresh.
  • Produce is normally located fairly close to the floral area, again to send that freshness message, grab items farthest back for the freshest ones.
  • Bakery located at back corner, the delicious smells and sights make you hungry and the hungrier you are, of course, the more you'll buy. They suggest having a meal or snack before you even contemplate hitting the grocery store aisles.
  • Banks are also located near the front of stores, so you can grab more cash and then hopefully spend it.
  • Endcaps are stocked with new or popular products, but this doesn't mean they're a good buy
  • Dairy products, meat and eggs are usually at the back of the store, so you get maximum exposure to everything else the store has to offer.
  • Candy, magazines, hand sanitizer, etc. are at the checkout lines, so you have to peruse them as you're waiting to check out

These are just a few of the strategies grocery stores use to get you to buy. Believe me, there are many more. So have a list, a budget, a full tummy and a single-mindedness when you go grocery shopping. Or you'll end up with a cart full of dark-chocolate covered Twix bars, Extra Toasty Cheez-its, and Biscuit & Gravy-flavored potato chips.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, if that is who you are. And apparently, I am.

Source: Real Simple

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