Supermarkets do some pretty shady stuff right underneath the noses of their customers. Everyone kinda knows something is going on, but the general public is never really in the know of what’s really happening behind the scenes at their local grocery store. Here we blow the cover and expose 10 Sneaky Ways Grocery Stores Are Scamming You Without You Knowing.
10. Cage-free eggs are misleading at best
You’re not a bad person. You don’t like the idea of a chicken spending all of its life cooped up in a cage. That’s why you always go out of your way to buy cage-free eggs. The idea of a chicken never being allowed to roam freely makes you feel a little uneasy. The right thing to do is to buy eggs where the chickens aren’t forced to live in cages all day and night. It makes you feel like a good person when you put the carton of cage-free eggs in your cart. You can’t live without your eggs, so at the very least, you try to eat them without all of the guilt. The problem with those cage-free eggs? The chickens aren’t allowed to roam wherever they want to. The chickens are still kept inside a factory farm and are never allowed to leave. So, cage-free isn’t exactly what you think it is, and that’s troubling. At best, the chickens have a tiny bit more room to walk around, but that’s it. If you think the chicken is living its best life, wandering around while spending all day outside, that is not what’s happening with these cage-free chickens. If you want real free-range cage-free eggs, try to find a small-time farmer who lets their chickens run free. You’ll pay more for the eggs, but at least you’ll know the chickens got to experience a little freedom.
9. Water is added to meat to make it weigh more
Everyone knows that meat is sold by weight. You used to be able to tell the butcher how much of something you wanted, and he would wrap it up in paper and put a cute little twine bow around it. These days, everyone buys their meat from long refrigerated units where we look at the label to see how much it weighs. What you don’t know is that meat is often plumped up with water. Take a look at ham or other products, and you’ll see something called water solution. There may be different names for it, but no matter what it’s called, you’re still buying water. Yes, that’s right, you are buying water by the pound. You probably only thought that water was sold in either gallon jugs or those cute little glass bottles that come from a country you can’t find on a map. No, you’re also buying water and paying for it by weight. Why do they add water to the meat in the first place? The meat processing companies add water to the meat so they can charge you more. The water or “solution” that they add makes the meat heavier and then they can charge you more for it. Save yourself some money and stop paying for water unless it comes in those jugs like milk does. Try to find a trusted old fashioned butcher to buy your meat from.
8. Items in the bakery may not be baked in store
It’s impossible to walk by the bakery and not load up your cart full of baked goods. Can you really leave the store without a dozen donuts? Come on, you know that’s not possible. You’re also going to stock up on some pastries and that artisanal bread they have. You know, the bread that everyone comments about in the office when they see your sandwiches. All of your coworkers think you buy sandwiches from that fancy coffee shop down the street, but you know the truth. You save a ton of money, and everyone is jealous of your ability to serve a lunch fit for royalty. Well, there’s something you need to know about that bread and everything else that the bakery sells. The so-called fresh baked items that the bakery sells might not be as fresh as you think they are. The sad truth is, the store may not even have a bakery at all. The baked goods the store is trying to pass off as their own might have been baked in a factory. There’s no one in the back of the store covered in flour as they bake your favorite crusty bread. It’s all a hoax to make you think there’s someone back there sweating up a storm next to a hot oven waiting for the perfect moment to pull out delicious doughy delights. Does that mean you should skip the bakery section all together? Well, probably not. Just because the baked goods aren’t produced there doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of your hard-earned money. Ask some questions and see how fresh the products are and use this information to determine if you should buy the stuff. If you’re in doubt, find a local bakery and have them fulfill all of your doughy needs.
7. Impulse items like candy are always next to the register
Have you ever wondered why there is so much candy right next to the register? If you pay attention, you’ll see a whole lot of overpriced junk that you would normally never consider buying. The grocery store puts that stuff there because they know you can’t walk away from it. Do you really have what it takes to pay for your groceries without tossing a few candy bars in your cart? Don’t forget the Life Savers; they’re good for when you’re sitting through a boring meeting at work. You might as well get one of those celebrity rags while you’re at it too. How are you ever going to live without knowing who Jennifer Aniston is dating? Nothing goes better with a Hershey bar than the latest gossip about the rich and famous. All of those impulse items are the store’s last-ditch effort to get you to spend as much as possible. The store tries its best to hit you with everything that you can’t possibly turn down. Why else do you think they put little bags of chips in front of you instead of the big ones? The store knows that you aren’t going to buy a big bag of chips. You would have already put the big bag in your cart. But a small bag of chips for the ride home might sound tempting. You see, that’s the logic the store wants you to use when looking at all of the impulse items. You don’t need them, but the store is trying its best to get you to part ways with your money.
6. Sale prices may not be such a good deal
Are you the type that goes up and down every aisle looking for all the sale items? If so, then you need to rethink what it means for a product to be on sale. Stores do all kinds of sketchy things to jack up the prices before putting something on sale. The trickiest thing they do may be happening right under your nose without you even noticing it. You go down the aisle looking for those yellow tags and immediately buy whatever is on sale. What is the one thing that you don’t do? You never look to see how much the item cost before it went on sale. You might only be saving a few pennies with the item on sale. What you think of as a good deal might not be such a big savings at all. It’s even less of a savings if the store jacked up the price before putting it on sale. If you’re concerned about prices, then you’ve got to comparison shop. That means you go online or walk through the aisles and take note of how much everything costs. You will probably find that one store has better prices on certain items than another. Some people shop at multiple stores so they can save the most money possible. If you have the time, then this is a good idea. Many people don’t have the time, so you might consider only shopping at stores that have the best overall prices. Sometimes the price isn’t the only factor in determining a grocery store’s value. The availability of produce, closeness to your home, and the quality of customer service should also be factors that help you decide which supermarket to do all of your shopping at.
5. Already cut produce is a total rip off
Everyone these days is looking for a way to save some precious time. You spend all day working and being the best parent that you can be. You also want your family to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. It seems like a good idea to skip the whole preparation process by letting someone else clean, peel, and cut up your fruits and vegetables. There are multiple reasons why this is a bad idea. First off, you’re paying way more for that salad someone prepared for you. So much more, that it becomes a big-time rip-off. Another reason why you don’t want to buy peeled and cut produce is because it can make people sick. You see, sometimes the hygiene methods of the employees or the packaging facility itself can be called into question. It seems that every month someone is getting sick by eating prepackaged salad and food recalls soon follow. Buy your produce fresh and sharpen your knife skills—you’ll not only save money, but your health will be better in the long run. Eating healthy is expensive as it is, don’t add to the cost by paying someone else to cut up your food and in turn, end up giving you food poisoning.
4. Some grocers mislabel meat and charge more for it
You’re not a butcher. How are you supposed to know one cut of meat from the next? The average person doesn’t know, and that leaves us ripe to be taken advantage of. You think you’re getting a nice juicy steak, but what you’re getting is anything but steak. You might be surprised how often grocery stores play this game where they label a piece of meat one thing and sell it as another. Sure, sometimes people make mistakes, and that’s bound to happen. The problem is, more often than not, it’s by no means a mistake. The supermarket is trying to rob you blind, and there’s no way for the average person to know what’s going on. There are two things that you can do to protect yourself from being scammed at the meat counter, and one of them is exceptionally simple. Learn all about the cuts of meat that you regularly buy and discover how to spot fakes. Beyond that, you should only buy meat from a trusted butcher. Yes, we’re talking about the guy in the red covered apron in a little shop on Main Street. It’s an old-timey way to buy meat, but there’s a reason why you should make a special stop at the butcher shop – the best place to buy meat is from someone who specializes in nothing else.
3. The most expensive items are at eye level
The next time you’re at the store, pay attention to the items that are at eye level. You will quickly notice that everything at eye level is expensive. The store wants to make sure that the most easily accessible products are the ones within reach. The people running the store know that most of us aren’t going to look down to the floor when it comes to seeing if they have the expensive stuff you’re after. If the cheaper products are within arm’s reach, then that’s what you’re going to grab off of the shelf. Be aware when buying anything that is sold at eye level. At the very least, look around to make sure there is not a better deal for a similar item. Sure, that coffee for twenty bucks a pound might be great, but you don’t want to mortgage the house for a cup of java in the morning. Use a little common sense and don’t fall prey to one of the easiest cons in the grocery store game.
2. Organic food may not be organic after all
You want the best of the best for your family. Who doesn’t? That’s why you always go straight to the organic section of the store. You know better than anyone else that the food you’re buying is loaded with pesticides and all kinds of harmful chemicals. It only makes sense that you would go the organic route and keep your family away from all of those terrible things. The problem is, the food you’re buying might not actually be organic. Sometimes labels get messed up, but worse, some farmers are lying to the public. Yes, some of those seemingly good-natured farmers could be a bunch of con artists. It’s sad to say, but some of them are up to no good. Do you want to feed your family high-quality organic food? If so, then the best way to do it is by buying locally raised fruits and vegetables. It’s also possible to find organic meat, dairy, and eggs. You’ll have to go out of your way to buy organic, but it’s so worth it. Don’t allow farmers and stores to con you into buying something that is anything other than what they claim. You’re paying crazy high prices to begin with, be sure you’re not spending so much for something that isn’t what they claim it is.
1. The chips are next to the salsa for a reason
You make a mad dash to the chip aisle because you almost forgot to get tortilla chips for the big game. You know that no one would ever forgive you if there weren’t a bag of chips ready to be devoured. While you’re grabbing the chips, you notice something, and you can’t take your eyes off of it. There’s a jar of salsa screaming at your right underneath the chips. How can you ever buy a bag of chips and not get the salsa? You can’t buy chips without salsa, and no one knows this like the grocery store does. You never think: why do they keep the salsa near the chips? It has never crossed your mind until now. The dubious actions of the grocery store are now exposed for the world to see. You can’t walk out of the store without at least one jar of salsa. No matter how hard you try, it’s not possible. If the salsa was located with all the other condiments like mustard and ketchup, it might just be an afterthought. Having the salsa next to the chips means there is a much better chance that a jar ends up in your basket along with the bag of chips, since this is a combination that’s more addictive than anything on the black market.