Sunday, January 3, 2010

Don't fall for store trickery!

I don't like sneaky business ethics. Unfortunately, there are too many store owners around that have sneaky business ethics.
In my area, there are many Mom and Pop type groceries around. While Mom and Pops sometimes sell items cheaply that make it worth your while to shop there, many times these local stores try to take advantage of the fact that you will be buying there anyhow, no matter the price, because of the location.
I got a question from a reader. She asked me how one buys fruits and veggies in season if I don't keep records from month to month and when local stores don't even write down the prices of the produce sometimes. Yes. You read that correctly.
Some local stores think you are so desperate for food and aren't willing to travel any distance to buy food that they will not even label produce with their current prices. The owners of these Mom and Pops assume that if your shopping list says "Cucumbers" you will buy them no matter what the cost, and that if the peaches look luscious enough, they'll make your way into your shopping cart as well.
Do not fall into this trap! Always find out the price of an item before you put it in your shopping cart!
My local Mom and Pop sometimes tries to pull this trick in the produce section, the refrigerators, and in the freezer section.
Although it makes your shopping trip last a little bit longer, try doing the following:
Call over a worker in the store.
"Sir, how much do these carrots cost?"
He answers and then is about to run off.
"No, wait. How much are tomatoes? And cucumbers? And potatoes? And onions? What about those zucchinis?" Hold the storekeeper hostage with your questions.
Make sure to find out the prices of all the fruits and vegetables on your shopping list, and only then release the storekeeper.
Don't fall into the trap of buying expensive foods, merely because the storekeeper didn't list a price. Nudge him, nag him, get him annoyed as possible with your incessant questions. Perhaps if he gets annoyed enough he'll start listing the prices on all the foods in the store and you'll have helped others from falling into the trap of buying expensive, unmarked foods.

Penniless Parenting's Rule # 2:  Never buy an item until you know how much it costs!


  1. I love the rule about not putting anything into your cart without knowing the price. Most stores wouldn't get away with that in the states, except in remote areas.

  2. Thank you!
    I grew up in the US and even found some unlabeled produce in my relatively large city. Mom and Pops usually.

  3. What? I've never seen a store not list their prices. Isn't that just commom sense to NOT put something into your cart without knowing the price?

  4. Well, the sense people use is:
    Zucchini can't be that expensive, can it?
    I'm really in the mood for some cherries.

  5. I've bought cherries for $10/pound when I was in the mood for them but I've never not known what something cost. Is this common where you are from because I've not heard of putting produce in a cart without knowing the price even very expensive so I disagree that is the sense people use.

  6. Maybe you're special, but i can name people off the top of my head who tell me they never look at prices...

  7. Oh, I can too. And I have been guilty of it! When we used to buy canned chili, I knew where the best price was, so I kept buying it at that store. I didn't notice until I checked the receipt one day that they raised the price $0.30.

  8. I am special, everyone is!


Share This