ALDI and Lidl are using a handful of tricks to lure shoppers into spending more amid the cost of living crisis.
And it’s not the first time that The Sun can reveal the secret mind games being used by big chains to coax shoppers in.
Earlier this year, a senior insider shared six major tricks used by big supermarket chains to encourage spending.
And now Aldi and Lidl are pushing layout hacks and popular deals harder than ever as cost-of-living increases hit spending.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show our grub costs an average of 12.7% more than this time last year, piling pressure on already stretched family budgets.
It comes as inflation hit 9.9% in August, according to the Office For National Statistics.
The Bank of England now predicts inflation will peak at 11% in October and then remain above 10% for a few months after.
But shoppers can keep their food costs down if they know the tricks of the supermarket trade.
The Sun spoke to Jordon Cox, who dubbs himself Britain’s “Coupon Kid”.
He said: “Since age 15, I’ve worked to help people around the country save money through coupons, deals and money-saving tips.
“Now aged 24, it’s my goal to help everyone make their money go further.”
Jordon has shared the five major tricks used by Aldi and Lidl to make shoppers spend more in the hope that it’ll stop them from getting duped in the future.
1. Supermarkets place items strategically
Aldi and Lidl strategically place items in specific locations to encourage shoppers to buy more than they came in for.
Jordon said: “Have you ever noticed the bakery section right by the entrance, so you get whacked with the smell of fresh bread when you enter?
“That’s not a mistake, but a well-known trick to tempt you into buying.
According to Jordon, the milk is also placed at the very back of these stores – and usually next to the tempting “middle of Lidl” aisle.
This is where Lidl displays its offers on products ranging from tech to furniture and toiletries to DIY equipment – items that those coming in to do a food shop don’t necessarily need.
Jordon also said the strategic positioning of alcohol also encouraged shoppers to spend more.
He said: “When queueing for the tills, you might often find yourself surrounded by booze, as the alcohol section may be strategically located to grab an adult treat after a hard day’s shopping.”
If you want to beat this trick and slash your bills, don’t get distracted from your target buys and stick to what’s on your shopping list.
2. Fresh produce makes you come back for more
Fresh produce and meat are usually award-winning at Aldi and Lidl for taste and quality, according to food experts.
But Jordon says one reason for this could be the smaller amount of preservatives added in these products that would usually make them last longer.
And fresh food in this respect can have a negative effect on shoppers.
Jordon said: “That pack of chicken or minced beef might only have a few days away from its best-before date when you buy it.
He said: “Quite often, shoppers find when they go to cook, things have gone out of date already, which will mean another trip back to the supermarket for some more.”
Customers can save here by opting to buy frozen meat or indeed if they insist on fresh – this can always be frozen before its expiry date.
3. Popular items encourage you to spend more
Being duped by “mega” deals publicised online often ends up with shoppers doing an extra food shop when they don’t need to.
Jordon said: “That £99 summer barbecue you saw on HotUKDeals, the Kevin the Carrot plush toys and the wagyu beef steaks.
“All of these deals are widely promoted, but when you get into the store, they might not have them, or they may be completely sold out.
“Instead of just packing up and leaving, most stick around and do their weekly shop while there anyway when they may not have done otherwise.”
To avoid spending more in these situations, shop around for a better deal elsewhere.
4. Price tag placement catches shoppers out
Price tags can have a major impact on our supermarket spending, according to Jordon.
Jordon said: “On some items in store, you may find that the price tags are above on certain products rather than below.
“At a glance, you usually see the huge pricing sign and think you’re getting something cheap, when in fact the actual price was different.
“This can catch shoppers out and may make for a higher bill when you get to the checkouts if those muffins that you just bought 5 of were actually £2 each… not 75p as you thought.”
It’s vital in these situations to scout the shelves and read the labels in full – if it looks too good to be true ask around.
5. Aldi’s Super 6 and Lidl’s Pick of the Week will have you spending more
Jordon said shoppers should be wary of Aldi’s Super 6 and Lidl’s Pick of the Week offers.
Aldi’s Super 6 scheme involves the supermarket selling six fresh items and super low prices every two weeks.
Lidl’s Pick of the Week often showcases 12 deals announced every Thursday on fresh produce.
Jordon said: “You’ll regularly see deals and savings on fruit and veg at both supermarkets.
“This can be a pack of potatoes for 50p or a bag of carrots for 19p. While these do seem cheap, some offers may only be a few pence cheaper than usual prices.
“Being drawn in to do your full shopping trip for a small saving on your fruit and veg is a sneaky way to get you to spend.”
To beat this trick, only visit the store when you really need to.
Other ways to cut the cost of your supermarket shop
Research what you need before you go. Prices always vary by supermarkets and it can pay to change up your shop.
One shopper ditched going to supermarkets altogether in favour of their local wholesaler, that way they could stock up in bulk, at lower prices.
You can also cash in on reduced foods like yellow sticker bargains – these will be items reduced because they’re about to meet their best before date.
They’ll still be safe to eat, or freeze to make them last longer, but it means you can pick up the same products at an even cheaper price.
Sometimes even timing your shop to stock up just as items are discounted on the shelves can help you get the best bargains – lots of shoppers have said this is in the evening typically.
But being smart about how you shop isn’t the only way to slash spending.
Especially as prices continue to rise, there are schemes in place to help the most hard-up buy essentials.
Parents can get up to £442 in Healthy Start vouchers that they can use at the supermarket, on food and more for their children, for example.
Plus, many councils offer supermarket vouchers as part of the Household Support fund – so you can make your money go further with the extra support available.