Everyone knows that there is a psychology to the way a store advertises, plans sales, and even sets their store up to make you want to spend your money there. I was reading about a few of them on Yahoo, and thought I'd pass them on to you.

cottoncandylola/flickr

1. You may already know about what they call, "Loss Leaders", this is when they put on item so on sale that they may actually lose money on them. They make up for it though by charging you more for other items. It seems they have similar practices with the more popular items. In other words, they keep prices low on things you buy a lot like milk, bread detergents etc., charge more for everything else, and you still have the impression that they have low prices.

2. You may also know that researchers have discovered that people with bigger plates will eat more. One diet trick is to only have smaller plates in your house and you will naturally just eat less. This also works for shopping carts. In one study they found that by doubling the shopping cart size, people will but up to 40% more. Maybe stores have been moving to bigger carts as a result.

Polycart, flickr

3. They get you "in the mood" to shop because you are just getting great prices. This is a pretty simple technique but one that you probably would never really notice. Many stores put the high end stuff in the front, even knowing you are not going to buy them because just by seeing the higher priced items it makes you more likely to buy the other things.

Is all this fair, of course. It's also fair that you know these things as well as understand there are a ton of different ways we get manipulated without knowing it when we are shopping. I think the best thing to do is make a list, stick to it and as Andrea would say, USE your COUPONS!