Shopping in Multiples Makes for Inflated Grocery Bills

Supermarkets are offering discounts on the purchase of multiple items -- but is this good for your wallet, or the store's bottom line?

Whether we like it or not, supermarket psychology plays a huge role in our buying habits. The New York Times reports that while the economic downturn has forced many shoppers to make grocery lists and stick to them, stores are finding a way to up their income by enticing customers to buy more items by offering deals in multiples.  

Supermarkets have found that customers are likely purchase more when sale increments rise, so many stores are devoting large sections of their floor space to multiples, strategic corners where deals come in fives and tens.

By offering five items for $5 or 10 for $10 deals on commonly purchased non-perishables, shoppers are more likely to stock up, assuming the individual prices are higher, which is not necessarily the case. At many stores, you can still get the discount if you only purchase one item.

Retailers often benefit doubly because some manufacturers provide discounts on certain products if they are sold in multiples.

When it comes to bulk discounts there are benefits and downfalls. If you have the pantry space, stocking up on discounted staples like dried pasta, grains and canned tomatoes is a smart idea, but when it comes to 10 for $10 soda and candy? Well, sometimes a deal isn't always a deal.

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