Don Your Way column: The secret spending tricks Doncaster supermarkets don’t want you to know
The other day, I was picking up a few odds and sods of shopping at a well-known Doncaster supermarket.
It's not particularly necessary to name it for the sake of this week's column, but let's just say it has a big orange sign and begins with S.
I'm familiar with most of Doncaster's big supermarkets (and the little ones too), having had reason to call into most of them over the years.
I'd only popped in for a few bits so picked up a basket rather than a trolley to get what I needed.
And that's where the fun began.
Firstly, all the baskets had gone from the front of the store so instead I had to go loitering around the tills until I managed to find one (and not that one that forms the bottom basket which is welded to the stand).
Basket in hand, I set off in search of the stuff I needed, only to find the store had had a bit of a reshuffle since the last time I was in. So there I was, scooting up and down the aisles, expecting to find a bottle of ketchup and finding coffee in its place (before any eagle-eyed supermarket bosses point out that those particular items haven't moved, it was just an example).
Why do the supermarkets (and not just the aforementioned S one) move stuff about?
I'll tell you why. To keep us in their longer and to pass other things, that's why. I recall reading a fascinating piece on supermarket psychology once on the tricks they use.
Fruit and veg on the way in even though it ends up squashed at the bottom of your trolley? That's to make you feel healthy and good as you begin your trip.
Essentials like bread and milk? Generally hidden deep inside and some way apart so you have to go looking for them, therefore passing other things and spending more.
Value ranges? Designed to look deliberately cheap and nasty to make you buy more expensive versions of the same thing. And they generally but the more expensive versions of a particular product at eye level - and to the right, as that's where your eyes scan.
Ever seen a clock in a supermarket? They are generally a no-no so you lose track of time. And the music? Invariably slower stuff to make you linger longer.
And have you noticed the booze, sweets and crisps are generally in the last few aisles? That's because the supermarket bosses thing you deserve a treat after all that shopping - so here's your chance to stock up on the naughty stuff.
You will also find that stuff that tempts you will be plonked on the end of aisles too - another chance to make sure your trolley is a little bit fuller come the checkout.
And we all know the goodies by the till are there to capture the pester power of 'mum, can I have some sweets' if you have little ones in tow.
Next time you're out shopping, see how many of the little tricks you can spot.
You'll still probably end up spending the same amount of dosh, but you'll be amazed at how many ring true.