Revealed: Retailer Tricks

Retailer Tricks

Retailers use a number of tricks to get you to part with your money. The minute you walk in to a shop, you are targeted to spend money that you didn’t plan to. The same applies when you visit a store online.  The ways in which they target you are very clever. So clever in fact that you are unlikely to notice that you’re being influenced. Just knowing these tricks could be enough to help you avoid them. Doing so will save you money that you never planned to spend in the first place.

 

Big ‘SALE’ signs

We like to think that the retailers are helping us out by having huge ‘Sale’ signs dotted around the shops. The fact is quite the opposite. As you make your way towards the lovely red sale sign you will pass lots of items that aren’t on sale. Unless you are intentionally making a beeline for the sale section then you will probably buy some more expensive items on the way there.

 

The Honey Trap at the Front of the Shop

Whenever you visit a supermarket you will notice that the first products you see as you walk in the door are the ones that you really do not need. These tend to be cut flowers, expensive chocolates and other items that you didn’t plan to buy when you walked in. Strengthen your will power, save yourself money and walk straight past.

 

The Ailes are arranged so that you see More than you Need to

When was the last time you went in to a supermarket for the ingredients to a recipe and saw everything next to each mother in the same aisle? The chances are this has never happened. The reason for this is that you are then forced to walk around the shop. When you do that, you see more tempting products and offers than you’d ideally like to.

 

Goodies at Eye Level

The shops know that you’re more likely to but something that is at eye level. If you want to save money then when you’re in the right part of the supermarket, look above and below your normal eye level. You will find that you are then avoiding the most expensive products. Why else do you think the economy branded items are always so low down?

Sometimes the item at eye level may appear to be a cheaper price, but it could be in a much smaller package so the unit cost is higher.

 

Wide, Spacious Aisles

Have you ever gone to a supermarket and thought that they are wasting space by having such wide aisles? Surely they could sell more products and make more money if they put more shelving in? The opposite is in fact true. Aisles are intentionally made spacious so that you can take your time and see more of the tempting products on display. If the aisle is crowded, the chances are you’ll just grab what you need without looking for too long, so you’ll buy less. Resist the temptation to browse – get what you need and then get out.

 

Happy Shoppers Spend More

You don’t have to be happy with the shop, the products or the service in order to be in a vulnerable money-spending state. You just need to be happy. Which is why you’ll often find upbeat music being played as you peruse the aisles. There are lots of special offers and lovely bright colours, what’s not to be happy about? How about the fact that you’re so happy that you’re not looking at the prices.

 

Odd Pricing

If you’ve ever wondered why items are never priced to the nearest pound then here’s why. Something that costs £3.95 doesn’t seem anywhere near as expensive as something else that costs £4, yet there is only 5p difference in the price. At the same time, something that costs £1.15 doesn’t sound a lot more than something that costs £1. We’re being fooled with more or less every product like this.

 

Tiny Pricing

A common psychological trick that retailers use is to have small price tags on items. It is thought that numbers that are written in a large font appear bigger in amount to us. In the same way that a smaller font will look like a smaller number. It sounds ridiculous but studies have shown that this works. Avoid stores with very small fonts on price tags.

 

“While Stocks Last”

The phrase “while stocks last” and “today only” are known as perceived scarcity, and this concept is used more than you’d think. The retailer makes you believe that the offer is only for the chosen few who grab it in time. You feel lucky to have found it so you buy more than one, even though you probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t on offer. You may not have even wanted that item at all!

The way such offers are displayed makes it look as though they have a limited quantity – often with a dedicated promotional stand. The truth is if something’s on offer there are plenty in the warehouse and as soon as the promo stand empties someone will be right along to fill it back up.

Other tricks include “Maximum of 3 per customer”. When you see something like this how do you react? You think that it must be an exceptional deal if they’ve limited the number you’re allowed to buy, so you buy 3. See what just happened?

 

Baskets Hard to Find but Trolleys are Everywhere

Have you ever noticed when you go to a supermarket that you can hunt for ages to find a basket, yet there are often hundreds of trolley right near the entrance? There’s a reason for this. If you’ve got a trolley you are more likely to buy more, as strange as that sounds.

 

Smaller than you Thought

Clothing retailers love this trick, and they refer to it as vani-sizing. They size clothing incorrectly so people trying it on think they are a size smaller than they really are. How does this work? Well if you’re a size 14 and you try on a size 12 top that fits you are likely to be very happy and therefore buy it. Remember retailers just want you to be happy.

 

Beware of Samples

Nothing in this world comes for free. Remember that next time you see the free samples stands at the end of the supermarket aisles. They actually serve two purposes. Firstly to rope you into buying something that you may otherwise not have wanted. Secondly, to slow you down. You were just going to walk straight past that aisle, but the sample stand has slowed you down giving you plenty of time to have a look and see what’s there. Very sneaky.

 

Impulse Purchases

So you’re queuing at the checkout, and the chances are even if you know what you’re doing you’re going to spend quite a lot of money on the weekly food shop. This is why there are often small, cheap items along the checkout queues. You think “I’ve just spent £50, what’s another £1?” so you put those sweets in to your trolley. It may only be a pound, but it’s a pound more than you intended to spend.

Cleaning Products that won’t Clean out your Bank Account

Save money on Cleaning Products

We regularly spend a fortune on cleaning products which bumps up the cost of our weekly shop. What if there were cheaper ways to keep your home clean? Fortunately there are. Using these methods will save you money on your weekly grocery shop.

Cheap Cleaning Products for the Kitchen

 

Kitchen Towels

While kitchen towels are very handy and convenient, they can actually be a huge waste of money. Even if you’re savvy enough to buy yours from the pound shop as opposed to the supermarket, there is a far cheaper way. And that is not buying them at all. You can use a wet sponge instead of kitchen roll. And you can use a wet sponge over and over again. Not only is this good for your budget, but it’s also great for the environment.

 

Antiseptic Detergents

Antiseptic detergents seem to be quite a new thing, as they weren’t around 20 years ago. People managed to live without them then, which means that you don’t really need them now. Normal detergents work just fine. If you’re really worried about germs, then you can just use good old-fshioned bleach. Just dilute it a little bit so that it’s not too strong.

 

Drain and Plughole Unclogger

If you’ve got a smelly drain, then the chances are that you may have blocked it slightly. Waste cannot fully drain so it lingers and causes an unpleasant odour. Drain and plughole unblockers and fresheners are not only expensive, but they are a complete waste of money. If you have something clogging your drain, then 30-50g of baking soda will do the trick. If that doesn’t work, then a good old-fashioned sink plunger will.

 

Oven and Stove Cleaner

Oven cleaners are marketed as miracle workers due to their ability to remove grease and grime. One of the main ingredients in most household oven cleaners is corn starch. You can buy corn starch on its own very cheaply. Simply mix this with some water to make a paste and you can use it to clean stove tops, ovens or anywhere else that tends to attract grease.

 

Cheap Laundry Cleaning Products

 

Washing Machine Cleaner

It amazes me why a washing machine would need cleaning when it manages to clean load after load of dirty clothing. Specialised washing machine cleaners are pricey. If you really feel that your washing machine needs a clean then 500ml of vinegar in a normal wash cycle will do the trick.

 

Fabric Softener

Despite what the countless TV advertisements would have you believe, you really don’t need fabric softener at all. It serves no real purpose other than to make things smell nicer when they come out of the machine. For a much cheaper alternative why not make your own? Simply add 125ml of vinegar to your rinse cycle and add a couple of drops of essential oil.

 

Stain Remover

Vinegar has already been mentioned quite a few times because it is so good at cleaning things. Rubbing vinegar into stains before washing in the washing machine is much cheaper than buying expensive stain removing products. Vinegar will remove most stains quickly. For more oil stains you can try using washing up liquid – which is designed to remove grease. Chalk is also great for removing oily stains.

 

Whitener/Colour Restorer

There are plenty of products out there that claim to keep your clothes as colourful as when you bought them. There are also products that claim to restore the whiteness of your white clothes. While a lot of these do work well, they can cost a small fortune. Just add some baking soda to your whites before washing them in the machine and they will come out looking as good as new.

Cheap Bathroom Cleaning Products

 

Air Freshener

As well as costing you money, air fresheners tend to contain harmful chemicals and ingredients. Good old fashioned potpourri is ideal for this purpose and it can always be rejuvenated with some essential oils when the scent starts to wear off. If you like to spritz up rooms with air freshener then you can make your own very cheaply. Add some essential oil and a table spoon of vodka to some boiling water and put it in a spray bottle.

 

Toilet Cleaner

If you want to do a good job of cleaning toilets then nothing can rival bleach. You can buy scented bleaches relatively cheaply from most supermarkets. However normal bleach will work just fine and it is even cheaper. If you’re looking for a more natural option than bleach then mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 4 tablespoons of white vinegar for some excellent toilet cleaning power.

 

Face and Body Scrub

If you regularly buy a face or body scrub from the supermarket then you will realise how much they can cost. You can use a face cloth or flannel to do exactly the same job as face scrub and it can be used time and time again for many years. If you want to make your own face scrub then use equal amounts of sugar and olive oil (or coconut oil if you prefer), and a few drops of essential oil. This face scrub is as luxurious as anything you’d get from the shop and you know exactly what’s in it. The cheapest and most natural option however is simply to wash your face with nothing but warm water.

How to bag a cheap flight


When it comes to avoiding stress and staying fit and healthy, a week or two away in the sun can be just the tonic. Jetting off for some well-deserved R&R is never cheap, but you can save yourself some money if you get yourself a really good deal on your flights.

Book early or wait?

There is really no ‘best time’ to book flights. Obviously, if you have to go during school holidays or on bank holidays you can expect to pay more, but the actual time of year you book makes no difference.

The best strategy is usually to book as far ahead as you can because this will enable you to get the best seats at the best price, rather than waiting until the last minute and having to just take what you can get. Don’t forget to use comparison websites too. Many of them have dedicated travel sections where you can source the cheapest flights for your destination with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Bear in mind that weekday flights are usually cheaper than the weekend and travelling outside the main holiday seasons will be cheaper too. Sometimes, if you are prepared to change planes and take a slightly circuitous route to your end destination this can work out slightly less expensive.

Make the most of package deals

Depending upon what you want, it can be cheaper to book a package (flight and accommodation) than to book each one separately. Often you can get packages at cheap prices if you book last minute too. An added advantage is that packages are usually sold with ATOL cover to offer you protection should there be a problem with the airline or hotel.

Extras

Don’t get conned by airlines offering extras on top of the headline price of the flight. Think about what you actually need – checked baggage, an aisle or window seat, food and drink, can you check in online and print out your boarding cards at home?

Once you’ve found a flight with a low-cost airline, proceed as far as the final booking screen, adding extras as you go. Now compare the true cost of the flight with a ‘full service’ carrier where all these extras are included in the face value price.

Pets: 10 Ways to Save Money on your Cat or Dog

Save Money on your Pets

Approximately 45% of UK households own at least one pet. In total there are thought to be more than 13 million dogs and cats in the UK. The average dog costs around £833 per year, and the average cats round £675. Pets don’t come cheap so they are a real financial commitment. Here are 10 tips to help you save money on your cat and dog.

 

Buy Better Quality Food

Premium quality pet food will cost you more money initially. However the return on investment is well worth it. Ensuring that your cat or dog is eating the right food will improve his overall health. This in turn will mean less trips to the vet, and will therefore cost you far less in the long run.

The optimal diet for dogs consists mainly of raw meat with a few vegetables. This is what dogs eat in the wild so it’s what they should eat at home too. Cats should eat a diet of 100% raw meat or poultry. Be sure to buy raw food from a reputable retailer so you know that it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients.

 

Make your own Treats

Dogs and cats love treats, but they tend to get expensive. It’s a good idea to make treats yourself at home. Not only will you save money but you will also know exactly what is in them. You can supplement your pets diet with the right vitamins and minerals by making your own treats, and it’s fun to do as well.

 

Join Loyalty and Rewards Programs

If you regularly buy your pet food from the same place then it is a good idea to join a loyalty or rewards program. Doing so will ensure that you save money every time you buy food for your dog or cat. Over the course of a year the savings will add up.

 

Find a Reputable Vet

When it comes to finding the right vet for your pet, be sure to shop around. Just because there is a vet near to your home it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good one. Look for online reviews and talk to local people with pets. You can then find out where the best veterinary practices. If anything ever happens to your beloved pet you will be pleased to know that they are in the safest hands.

 

Insure your Pet

Insurance and saving money seldom come hand in hand. But when it comes to your pet in many cases it pays to insure him. A vet bill for something as minor as a fracture easily cost hundreds of pounds. Anything that requires surgery can often cost in excess of £1,000. Then there is the medicine and antibiotics afterwards. Insurance is relatively cheap if you do it from day one. If you ever need to make a claim you will be glad you took out a policy.

 

Shop around for Pet Insurance

When choosing pet insurance make sure you get the correct level of cover. Typically there are two types – annual and lifetime. Annual will cover a condition for a year, whereas lifetime will cover it for life. Conditions such as epilepsy tend to require lifelong medication so it may be worth paying a few extra pounds a year for lifetime cover.

 

Ensure your Pet gets Exercise

Like us, our pets tend to get lazy if we let them. Ensure they do not by giving them regular exercise. If you have a dog then walk them regularly. For cats, ensure that they are let outside every day. If you have an indoor cat then it needs to have equipment for exercise and entertainment. Ensuring your pets are well exercised will reduce the chances of ill health and give them a much happier life.

 

Groom your Pets Regularly

Grooming your dog or cat regularly will not only keep them looking their best but it will also strengthen the bond between you. In addition to this, regularly having contact with your pet will mean that you spot any abnormalities in good time. This can be the difference between life and death if you happen to discover any health complications or potential problems. The breed of your dog or cat will depend on the grooming that he needs.

 

Buy Cheap Pet Toys

The pet toy industry is a big one. Consequently some toys cost a small fortune. A cat will be more than happy with a cardboard box, a ball of string or a feather on a stick. Dogs will chew large sticks for hours. Puppy toys are unnecessarily expensive so consider buying children’s soft toys instead. Remember that no toy can substitute regular playtime with a caring owner.

 

Don’t Pay for Boarding

The chances are you already know someone who will willingly look after your pet when you’re away. This will save you money on pricey boarding kennels and catteries. By leaving your pet with someone you know and trust it also gives you peace of mind. More importantly your pet will be less stressed if he can remain in his own familiar environment while you’re away.

 

Owning a pet is one of the best returns on investment in terms of the happiness it can buy. Just by following the above advice you can save hundreds of pounds every year, making owning a pet even more of a joy.

Eat well for less!


Let’s face facts, shall we? It can be very expensive to eat well. Even those people with the best intentions can struggle to make healthy and nutritious meals without splashing too much cash. Obviously this isn’t ideal for women who are interested in losing weight and getting fit. Luckily, there are a number of tricks where you can pinch those pennies and stick to your diet at the same time. Here are just a few you’ll want to try.

Coupons

Once upon a time you could generally only get coupons by cutting them out of the newspaper. While you can still do this, it’s probably more practical to search for vouchers online instead. These can offer big discounts at several well-known supermarket chains.

Shop around

Always resist the urge to shop at the nearest store. Instead, try visiting different shops to track down the best offers. Additionally, you could end up losing extra weight if this means you have to walk an extra ten minutes or so to make it to another store.

The reduced aisle

The reduced aisle is your friend, don’t forget that. Throughout the day supermarkets and other smaller shops begin to slash the prices of their fresh stock that is nearing its use by date. Often this will include healthy items such as fruit and vegetables. Many places reduce the products at the same time each day, so once you’ve discovered the routine you should be laughing all the way to the bank.

Use the leftovers

Make an effort not to let anything go to waste. If you have leftovers from you dinner, either stick them in the freezer for a later date or save them for your lunch the next day. This should mean that you can stretch your budget even further.

Come Dine With Me parties

If you have friends or family who are also dieting, how about throwing dinner parties like on Come Dine With Me? Since everyone gets a turn, you should find that you’re only buying food once but getting fed well on multiple occasions.

Ka-ching!

Finally, a way to be healthy and still have money leftover! For more information on how you can save cash, check out our website.