Lost in the Supermarket: Men Without Lists
Men are shopping more, but women still make the grocery decisions.
Getting More From the Store continued...
Some of these cues result in impulse buying. A true impulse buy
is hard to resist. That's because it's not a conscious act.
"Impulse buying is an emotional, almost out-of-control sort
of desire to grab something right now without much thought for its
consequence," Mick says.
But cues also get us to make unplanned purchases. This isn't
necessarily a bad thing. A big red arrow, for example, may alert us to a good
buy on our favorite kind of soup. We may not have planned to buy soup, but we
can save a little by picking up a couple of cans now, so why not?
On the other hand, these are the kinds of sensible-seeming
decisions that later make a person -- or a spouse -- say, "What were you
Here are the experts' tips on how to get more from your trip to
Values aren't price tags. "You can't leave your values at
the front door," Mick says. "If you are mindful about what you choose
in relation to your goals and values, you should be able to get out of the door
with a basket of goods that comes closer to the satisfying and fulfilling sort
of products that are best for you."
Train yourself to plan ahead. "Know what you are going to
make for the week," Hutchinson says. "Do your diet planning
before going to the store. Shop for what you planned for -- or at least
for your general style of cooking."
Pay attention to pricing. "People don't really pay
attention to pricing," Hutchinson says. "We all forget to send in the
rebate coupons. And a lot of time there are little shelf pullouts that
influence our purchase, but which we never actually use. We are influenced by
things we think affect the price -- even a sign that claims 'good value.' Or we
assume better price because of large size - something that's not always
Don't shop when you are hungry. "When people go in hungry,
lots of things look good. And you can't eat all that stuff," Stewart
Stick to your list. "Going in with a list of the things you
need and sticking to it will result in you being a more disciplined
shopper," Stewart notes.
Clip coupons. "Clipping coupons is a really good idea,"
Stewart says. "Marketers know that the vast majority of coupons go
unredeemed. But you can get very substantial savings -- and some grocers will
double the coupon. So there is an opportunity for very significant
Don't browse if your list is short. "If you go in for milk
or bread and end up doing a tour of the store -- there is a reason the store
wants you to do that," Stewart says. "The more real estate a retailer
can get you to traverse, the more likely it is you will buy something on
impulse. So if you are trying to control your spending, don't be a
Try brand X. National brands cost more, and you may find you
like the store brand better.
Don't buy too many perishables. Sure, fresh fruits and
vegetables are healthy. "But you could buy a shopping cart full of healthy
foods and then, if you're going to be going out for a hamburger, they'll perish
in the refrigerator," Stewart warns.