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6 tips to avoid impulse buying at the supermarket

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We’re all guilty of impulse buying, particularly during the weekly food shop. Despite entering the supermarket with a list of healthy ingredients and good intentions, we always seem to leave with an armful of naughty treats.

While this may cause you to call your resolve and shopping skills into question, don’t be too harsh on yourself as it’s not your fault. Supermarkets make us do it. Or at least they try. From start to finish, grocery shopping is a cunningly orchestrated process. Every feature of the store, from the floor plan and shelf layout, to the smell of freshly baked bread, is designed to lure us in and satisfy our animal instincts for fatty, sugary and salt-laden foods.

Giving in to temptation can add pounds to your shopping bill and waistline. But if you enter the supermarket with a game plan, you should be able to make it through your next trip without reaching for that family sized tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Here are six top tips to help you avoid the supermarket impulse buy:

Plan ahead for success

Plan your meals for the week ahead before leaving the house. Make a shopping list and stick to it once in the store. It might take a bit of effort beforehand, but it’ll save you wandering the aisles aimlessly looking for inspiration. This is when you’re most vulnerable to impulse purchases.

Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry

We all know this. But do we follow it? It’s almost a guarantee that if you shop for groceries while hungry you’ll end up buying items you don’t need to satisfy an immediate craving. When we’re really hungry, we have a tendency to reach for convenience items, which aren’t usually the most nutritious choices.

Stick to the perimeter of the store

The outer aisles of the store are generally where the natural, whole foods are located, such as vegetables, fruit and dairy. The goal is to buy and eat food in its most natural state because this is how it provides the most nutrition. So, try and do the bulk of your buying on the perimeter. Most of the foods found in the inner aisles are processed, containing large amounts of fat, sugar, salt and additives.

Watch out for bulk items and promotions

Sales that encourage us to buy more of something at a cheaper price are highly-effective supermarket sales tools. But these types of sales wind up causing us to overeat, or waste much more food than we normally would. That buy-one-get-one-free offer on doughnuts may seem like a great deal, but not if there’s one of you and eight of them. The advice here is don’t buy more than you need.

Limit your shopping to a certain amount and pay in cash

It’s easy to throw extra items in the trolley and exceed your calorie allowance when you’re swiping a credit card. By only bringing a set amount of cash to the shop, you’re more likely to stick to the essentials.

Consider online shopping

If you’re weak-willed in-store, another way to avoid temptation is to buy online. While typically a little pricier than your neighbourhood supermarket, you’ll save money by buying only what you need, and you’ll save valuable time as well. Online grocery shopping also eliminates the instant gratification of impulse buys, which makes them less satisfying and less likely to overtake you.

Treat yourself in other ways

Rather than throw that family sized bar of Dairy Milk in your trolley, why not treat yourself to a Castle Thai Spa facial, massage or body scrub? Our treatments are calorie free, but just as luxurious. Call us on 0131 629 0794 to book yours today.

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