Save more money in the grocery store by paying attention to product placement!

Did you know that just by paying attention to product placement you can save hundreds of dollars per year?

One of the many ways that grocery stores make money is from product placement throughout their stores.  You can often find many of the same items in different places around the store, they usually have different packaging and sometimes VERY different prices.

Here is one example with sesame seeds, which Mark and I frequently use for cooking.  As you can see, you would spend $5.49 on this 2.5 oz container of Spice Island Sesame Seeds.  This brand can be found in the spice aisle which is where most people are looking for them.

If you travel just 2 aisles over, you can find a larger 3.75 oz. container of sesame seeds in the section for sushi making for only $2.59!  You would likely only look for sesame seeds in this aisle if you were making sushi, but for every other purpose of sesame seeds, you would go to the spice aisle and spend $5.49 instead of $2.59.

Another example that I found was on Almonds.  Most people would probably look for these in the baking aisle first.  And there you would find a 5 oz. bag of Diamond Almonds for $3.59.

But just the next aisle over you can find an 8 oz. bag for $3.99 (better price per oz.).  You can also find these even cheaper in the bulk candy section, which would be closer to the $2.99 price point.

Some other places with marked up items in the grocery store are travel-sized items.  You may sometimes pay 2x’s the amount for a travel sized item than you would an item on sale just a foot away from you.

What are other areas in the grocery store that you have found to feature the same item in different packaging with different prices?



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  1. Mel says

    I have noticed that the spices in the international foods section are usually cheaper than your more well known brands like McCormick. I’ve noticed a brand called Badia that tends to much cheaper.

  2. Jess R says

    Definitely the bulk bins vs packaged food: rice, pasta, nuts, candy etc. I’ve noticed sprinkles are different prices: baking aisle, bakery section and near the ice cream are all different. Same with salsa, in the Spanish food section vs near the chips.

  3. Michele says

    I did the almond thing at Walmart the other day. Sliced almonds were 2.99 or so a package in the baking aisle. Not too bad but I traveled over the nut section (planters, etc) and got a huge bag for $5 a pound !

  4. Laura says

    I have found this with hand sanitizer. It can be found in both the soap section as well as the baby section and is signifigantly more in the baby section.

  5. Shari says

    Gluten free flours is another. You are going to pay a lot more for rice flour in the gluten free section than the Asian section and more for corn in the gluten free than the Mexican.

  6. eve says

    Spices are always cheaper in the Spanish section (and I am so grateful for that section!), simpler packaging and unknown brands, but taste just the same, if not better.

  7. eve says

    thought of another one! My husband likes Turkey for his sandwiches. Well, already sliced one and packaged costs about $3.99/lb. I go to the meat section @ Walmart and get a whole turkey (ham like) meat and ask the deli section to slice it for me. $2.49/lb :)

  8. Heather says

    In my commissary, there is an international section where I pick up my bouillion cubes for only $.99 a box versus a couple of bucks for the American brands one aisle over. The $.99 ones make more per cube so I can always freeze the leftovers.

  9. Chris says

    I work in retail at a big box store and often work with the merchandising portion of it and the products that are at the end of the aisle (end caps) , and also the products that are eye level are almost always a higher price the the products in the aisle on the lower shelves.

    • says

      Chris, thanks for your feedback! I realize that many times there are sale end caps mixed in with higher retail price end caps. I also noticed that premium level products like Starbucks can pay for eye level placement on the shelves (even over the store brands.)

  10. aubrie says

    I’ve noticed that products at the checkout are higher then in the aisle. For example makeup when you checkout versus in the makeup aisle

  11. Colleen says

    I keep an eye on seasonal/holiday items. Sometimes they’re more expensive until that time is over. Then I plan to keep my coupons handy for clearance. I plan ahead for it! Good examples are; baking items, air freshener items, and special packaging on toiletries.

  12. jen says

    thanks for reminding me. Wasn’t this posted before on your website? I remember reading something real similar when I started couponing couple years ago.

  13. Juli says

    Organics at Kroger! I always look for organic versions next to the regular stuff because the Simple Truth Organics which are usually cheaper, are often stocked there instead of in the “health food” section.

  14. Shannon says

    Children’s hangers in the laundry/hanger aisle at Walmart are $1.19, but in the baby section, you can get them for $1 (pack of 10 Delta brand).

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