Marketing 101: Walmart

After studying Marketing 101, I realized that a simple stroll through Walmart could teach you just as much. Did you know that even the placement of diapers has been carefully planned and monitored?

That’s right. A few years ago, it was observed that beer sold better if it was placed near diapers.

Why? Imagine the scenario: Dad is on the way home from work and gets a call from his wife.

“Honey, could you stop and pick up some diapers? We’re all out.”

Back-tracking a bit, he heads wearily to the nearest Walmart. On his way to pick up the diapers, what does he notice? The beer. Apparently beer sales increased considerably after it was strategically placed near diapers.

Crazy, huh?

Master the marketing

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Of course, the marketing doesn’t end there. From the differing layouts of each store (which force you to pass by dozens of items you happen to “need” on the hunt for the pickles), to the constantly fluctuating prices of fruits (allowing “mark-down” signs to be placed on normally priced produce) to the blaring $2.50 posters advertising the normal price of potato chips, the folks at Walmart are masters of marketing.

While they master the marketing, we can master the shopping.

Shop with a list. This is perhaps the easiest way to avoid the marketing. Knowing what you need and sticking to a list avoids so many impulse purchases.

Have a target price for such items as fresh produce, meat and other widely fluctuating items. This helps avoid the tempting, but often over-priced “sales”. Of course, sometimes you can find genuine good deals. I generally just put the generic “fruit” and “vegetables” on my shopping list, and then search for those deals.

Check price per ounce/pound: Bigger is not always cheaper. This is especially true when using coupons, but even without them it’s not the price per container, but the price per oz/lb/serving that matters. Recently I was purchasing powdered milk and upon comparing price per oz, realized that a box of individual serving packets was considerably cheaper per quart than the large box. Plus, it’s much easier to store. While some items really are a better deal when bought in bulk, some aren’t!

Shop less often The less often you set foot in a store, the less often you’ll be tempted to buy things you don’t need. Shop your cupboards, get creative and stay out of Walmart longer.

What are some ways you counter Walmart’s (or other store’s) carefully planned advertisements? 


Feminine Adventures

And now, join Jenn (from The Purposeful Mom) and me for our weekly Thrifty Thursday Blog Hop!

Posts about living frugally, thrifty tips and tricks, money-saving DIY projects and gardening, frugal recipes, and encouraging posts on financial stewardship are all welcome. Link up to either of our blogs–your post will be displayed in both places.

We’d be very grateful if you’d share only frugal and thrifty related posts. Thanks!

Jenn and I will each be sharing frugal tips of our own, so be sure to check out both of our blogs each Thursday for lots of money-saving ideas.

Rules for this blog hop:

  • Please link directly to your post and not to the main page of your blog.
  • Please share thrifty-themed giveaways in the comments in lieu of linking it up to the bloghop. This keeps any links from becoming dated.
  • Please add the Thrifty Thursday Blog Hop button (grab the code from my sidebar) to your post or link back here so others can join in the fun!
  • We’d love it if you would encourage others by checking out some of the fantastic links.

Linked up at Hearts 4 Home Thursdays,Proverbs 31 Thursday, Our Simple Life, Consider the Lillies, and Finer Things Friday

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  1. HappyMrsBass says

    I never really gave much thought to the “why” our Wal-mart is set up the way it is. Interesting! I try to stick to a list and shop less frequently. Usually when I shop alone I am on a mission. When my husband and I shop together we usually end up deviating from the list. LOL! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    • anna says

      Haha! I know what you mean. My husband and I rarely shop together, but taking the kids makes it more exciting. 🙂

  2. says

    Can you imagine having a job of figuring out just where things should be places so they will sell the best? We never go shopping without a list.

  3. Kasey says

    Strategic manipulation every time I enter the store…terrific. Thanks for the warning, Anna! I don’t have any frugal or thrifty posts to link…I haven’t been posting quite so often lately. But I’ll be delighted to click around here a bit and gather inspiration!

    • anna says

      Haha! Yes, scary isn’t it?

      Thanks dear Kasey! I miss your daily posts but real life is much more important than blogging!

  4. Jenni / Life from the Roof says

    I actually try to avoid Walmart as much as possible – I think the size and the lighting are hard to handle for too long. I am fortunate to have an Aldi nearby that is small, and has the same things in the same spots all the time.

    • anna says

      I agree…. I generally have to muster up the strength before heading into Walmart, especially with three little ones in tow. I’d much prefer making do with what we have as long as possible. Aldi right nearby? I’m jealous. 😉 The nearest one is about 45 minutes away, but it’s still worth it to go once a month and stock up! LOVE Aldi.


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