We try a lot of things to stick to our budgets. Mostly just, not going out, never walk by a shop window and trying to pre-plan all your meals. Which means a pretty solid grocery list and then trying like the Dickens to avoid all temptation. Hello, Shortbread Creams on special, you sweet devils.
As it turns out, all you needed all along was to be short. Or particularly tall. Just definitely not average height.
How does this work? Because merchandising is all aimed around placing those delicious impulse purchases at eye level, but if you’re not on everyone else’s eye level you can complete your carefully curated shopping list while remaining blissfully unaware that a short way above your head is all the delights you wish you could have.
“There’s a whole field of research dedicated to supermarket merchandising and taking advantage of consumer behaviour,” says bringer of this fun news, MyBudget founder and director Tammy Barton, “Cheaper products are rarely at eye-level – you need to be willing to bend your knees or crane your neck, which is where you’ll often find bulk items that have a lower unit cost.”
Ok, I kid you not, I wrote my opening paragraph before I’d finished researching so I really just proved the point. I love Shortbread Creams, I always try and resist, but then they get those flashy ‘on special’ tags and all hope is lost. You best believe I’m bending my lanky legs so I can reach down to the shelf they’re on.
I’m only just realising that I do this.
And who are we to resist a good bargain? In the supermarkets, as in all shopping life, they know how to work simple psychology magic on us mere mortals so we buy more.
As consumer research psychologist Kit Yarrow explained, discounts switch our rational brain into an emotional one. Suddenly discarding all intentions of a budget to an intense fear of missing out on something we perceive to be greater value and putting the focus on what we’ve ‘saved’ rather than the extra cash we’ve spent. It’s tricky stuff!
So if you are of average height, maybe just play it safe and walk around the shops on your knees? Or just go online, I guess.