Ever wondered why every time you go to a supermarket for milk, or eggs, or bread, you come out having spent £20? You only went in for something for a pound, and have come out with three bags full of stuff you didn’t know you needed. How did that happen?
Well, it’s not ALL your fault. That’s the good news.
It’s kinda your fault as well. That’s the bad news.
Supermarkets are designed to get you to spend money – but then you knew that already. But how they do this is maybe a little more subtle.
Think of any supermarket you visit. I can guarantee that the fresh fruit and veg are near the door (mmmm…colourful, fresh, healthy. This store must be good for me!) and the ‘essentials’ (milk, bread, eggs) are at the opposite end of the store.
This is deliberate – the idea is to get you to buy your fresh veg and fruit, and then force you to traipse past, or down, every aisle before you get to the other essentials you came to buy.
In the same way, fish and meat are always at the back of a store. You simply HAVE to walk past crisps, chocolate, cereals, all processed foods – or in other words, the cheap rubbish that the store actually makes money on.
So how do you beat this marketing behemoth, this evil empire designed to make you fill your basket with enough sugary awfulness to give you enough energy to run a marathon? The answer simple to grasp, but requires willpower to implement.
1. Make a shopping list. Aimless wandering = aimless buying = aimless eating = excess calories.
2. Don’t shop hungry. Your parents probably always said this to you. If you shop when you’re hungry, you WILL buy more. Even just having a large glass of water before you shop will mean you don’t feel as much need to stock up on Sensations and Krispy Kremes.
3. Avoid lingering at the ends of aisles. That’s where the BOGOF offers tend to go. And it’s rare that a BOGOF offer is ever on something particularly conducive to weight loss.
Just be aware that the minute you step in the door, you are being marketed to. Everything is designed to sell you something you don’t need. Go in, buy what you intended, and leave the rubbish behind for the less well-informed!