3 Reasons to Learn Self Defense

Self defense is an important life skill for women.  While we all hope we never have to use it, knowing how to defend ourselves may determine a life-or-death outcome if you are faced with an attacker.  Some women choose to take self defense classes designed to teach defense moves against realistic criminal attacks by replicating assault scenarios.  Others opt for a longer methodical self defense path, such as martial arts.  Both are incredibly helpful as means of protection, physical improvement and has emotional benefits.  Today we’re exploring three reasons to learn self defense.

3 Reasons to Learn Self DefenseProtection

Anyone can be faced with a life-threatening situation at any time.  Crimes against women occur every day all over the world.  While we expect the best in others, we have to be prepared to protect ourselves in the event of a personal assault.  Knowing basic moves to defend yourself against an attacker can save your life.  Becoming a black belt martial artist or S.W.A.T. member doesn’t have to be your goal.  Simply learning blocks, punches, kicks and escape strategies may help you knock down someone who is trying to harm you and give you enough time to run away or find help.  Plus, you will develop greater awareness of your surroundings and ability to spot dangerous situations.

You can view self defense as a self-insurance policy.  Just as you would invest in life, home and property insurance, make the investment in protecting yourself from harm with self defense classes.  Not only is it important for you, but also those who love and depend on you.  Some crimes occur when children are in the care of their mothers so being able to ward off an attacker is also protecting your kids.  And even if children aren’t present during an attack, they deserve to have their mother safe and sound.

Physical Improvement

Finding time to take a self defense class may be difficult for you.  But if you think about it as your daily exercise you can skip the gym or your morning jog.  Learning self defense moves in a self defense class or with a private instructor can be a great workout.  You’ll challenge your body and brain to move in different ways than your typical workouts and you will probably work up a sweat.  Repeating moves over and over can be a great way to make self defense more strenuous and practicing on an opponent can intensify the exercise too.

For those who want to make self defense more of a lifestyle exercise choice, marital arts classes are a terrific way to incorporate both protection and physical improvement into your life.  In addition to cardiovascular and muscular work, marital arts improves flexibility, stamina, reflexes and balance.

Empowerment and Confidence

When you feel strong and have learned the skills necessary to defend yourself, there are some fabulous emotional byproducts.  Women often feel empowered and gain confidence from self defense classes.  Knowing you can stand up to an attacker may make you willing to try new things using smart precautions and being more aware of your surroundings.  These tools can spill over into other areas of your life too, making you more ambitious in your professional and personal life and sometimes changing your entire outlook.  Exuding confidence and feeling empowered makes you a wonderful role model to your children, friends and others around you as well.

Protect yourself and become a stronger person physically and emotionally by learning self defense!

What to look for in your Sumer Full Figure Bras

The official start of summer is next week and we’re helping you prepare with seasonal full figure bras.

Summer is a time for lots of outdoor fun.  The activities you’re doing in the summer may warrant a few new full figure bras to ensure you are comfortable and supported.  Plus, being outdoors in the summertime means hours in the hot sun.  Sweating in an already uncomfortable bra is a recipe for disaster.  Here’s what to look for in your summer full figure bras:

full figure brasSupport:  When you have large breasts, support is super important for your full figure bras.  Your bra should encapsulate your breast and offer light compression to fit snugly but not too tightly.  Adjustable straps help give you optimal support.  If your bra has hook-and-eye closures, you can use this feature to ensure your best support everyday.  Keep in mind, if you’re wearing your bras on the last hook, it may be time to re-measure and reevaluate your bras.

Breathability:  Hot summer heat calls for soft, breathable fabrics.  Full figure bras made of cotton are excellent choices for the summertime.  Also, sports bras with sweat-wicking material and ventilated designs will keep you cool without causing chaffing.

Flexibility:  You’re surely going to be active this summer so you want great range of motion in your full figure bras.  Restrictive bras will hinder your ability to enjoy activities.  Stretchy fabrics, adjustable straps and multiple hook-and-eye closures help give you the best flexibility for a variety of activities you’ll be doing this summer.

Style:  Your bra’s style should be a reflection of you.  Feeling great in your bra is two-fold:  it should be comfortable but also make you feel terrific about how you look.  Select full figure bra styles that give you confidence and bring a smile to your face.  Also, be sure to wear styles that are conducive to the activities you’ll be doing daily.

Fit:  As with any bra year round, you want to ensure you have the proper fit.  Measure yourself every three months to make sure your size hasn’t changed.  Leading Lady offers a handy fit calculator and printable measuring tape to properly measure your size and find your best fit.  A well-fitting full figure bra will allow your breasts to sit upright and centered on your chest.  The straps should remain in place during movement.  The band, straps and cups should feel comfortable without digging into your skin or leaving gapping spaces.  If your breasts are sagging or spilling over the cups in any direction, your bra is not the right fit.

Keep these features in mind as you shop for your full figure bras this summer.  We look forward to seeing you on!

Dos and Don’ts of Summer Skin Care

As we round the corner into summer, we’re helping you keep your skin looking and feeling its best.  Follow these Dos and Don’ts of summer skin care for your brightest, healthiest, most beautiful skin during the upcoming season.

Do wear sunscreen everyday.  By now you should know that UV rays penetrate your skin even on cloudy days.  And just because you won’t be spending hours in the sun doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen.  Even minor exposure warrants daily sunscreen.

summer skin careDon’t buy the wrong sunscreen.  Your sunscreen should be broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, SPF 15 or higher, and water resistant.

Do apply sunscreen properly.  Put on your sunscreen about 30 minutes prior to going outdoors and re-apply every 80 to 90 minutes.  You may need to re-apply more often if your sunscreen rubs off, you are sweating a lot or you’ve been in the water.

Don’t forget to protect your lips.  Your lips are very thin and vulnerable to the sun’s rays as well.  Use lip balm or lipsticks with SPF to keep your lips luscious and smoochable.

Do dress for the skin safety.  Darker colors and tighter woven clothing help block UV absorption.  Thinner materials and lighter colors may let harmful rays through to damage your skin.

Don’t go hatless.  Your face is highly susceptible to skin cancer and is usually where the first signs of aging appear.  Invest in a few trendy summer hats to keep the sun off your face.

Do eat for optimal hydration.  Your diet can help prevent summer skin damage too.  Eat lots of hydrating seasonal fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, berries and lettuces.  Foods with antioxidants will also help protect your skin cells against free radicals.

Don’t overstay your welcome.  The sun is a lovely thing but too much of it is not good for you.  Take breaks from the sun by finding shade or going indoors for awhile.

Do wear sunglasses.  Your eyes are another area that can be impacted by harmful rays.  Sunglasses should have UV400 protection and should be a dark shade.

Don’t think cosmetics alone are enough protection.  Even cosmetics that claim to have sun protection should not replace sunscreen.  Apply make-up over your sunscreen if you plan to wear it.

Do use sunless tanners rather than spending hours in the sun.  If you’re eager for a suntan, use a sunless tanning spray.  This is safe and effective at giving you that glowing, sunkissed look.

Don’t ease up on your skin care routine.  The summer sun often dries up skin blemishes for a smoother appearance.  But that doesn’t mean you should skip taking care of your skin.  Continue to wash, exfoliate and moisturize your skin during the summer.  This will keep newer, fresher skin cells resurfacing.

Have a blast this summer and keep your skin looking amazing with our summer skin care tips!

Ways to Reduce Food Waste

Ways to Reduce Food WasteFood waste is a serious issue:  Billions of tons of food are wasted every year adding up to billions of wasted dollars.  Worldwide, a third of all food produced is ultimately wasted.  That amount of food could feed hungry populations four times over.

Furthermore, food waste is bad for the environment.  When food waste ends up in landfills, it converts to methane gas that is harmful to the environment and causes climate change.  When you reduce food waste you also help conserve energy and resources that would have gone towards growing, manufacturing, shipping and disposing of excess food, and cut down on pollution too.

There are many good reasons to use up food responsibly and today we’re showing you ways to reduce food waste.

Organize:  Keep the oldest items with the nearest expiration dates at the front of your refrigerator and pantry.  This will help you use these items first.

Shop at Home:  When planning meals, check out what you have available at home that may expire soon.  Before purchasing new food, make meals using what needs to be eaten before it spoils.

Plan your Shopping List Carefully:  Plan out your meals before shopping to only buy exactly what you need.  Consider smart ways to use up the entirety of an item.  For instance, if a recipe calls for half an onion, find another recipe to use the rest of the onion.

Eat All of a Food:  Skins and stems are usually safe to eat so incorporate them into your dishes.  Potato skins and broccoli stems, for example, have additional nutrients and add texture and flavor to your meals.

Eat Leftovers:  Don’t let your hard work go to waste by discarding food you didn’t eat in one meal.  Enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.  This goes for restaurant food as well. If you get tired of eating the same leftovers, repurpose it to come up with something else.  The chicken you roasted can become chicken salad and the extra steak you grilled makes a great steak fajita.

Make Soup:  If you have wilting vegetables, make soup.  Save bones from recent meat dishes to create your own bone broth.  Then chop and toss in vegetables and add in spices for a delicious homemade soup.

Store Food Properly:  Store your food so it will last as long as possible. This goes for refrigerated and non-refrigerated items.  Tightly sealed containers are a great place to start.

Freeze Food:  Produce, meat, bread and other food items can be frozen and used at a later date.  If you find you’ve made too much of something or have more raw foods than you can use, freeze them and save yourself a trip to the store or preparing a meal another day.

Share Food:  If you’ve made too much of something, share it with a friend or neighbor.  They will probably be thrilled to have it and not have to do their own cooking.

Donate Food Scraps:  Farmers often accept food scraps for their pigs or to make compost.  If you live near a farm, check to see if you can drop off food to be put to good use.

Expiration Dates:  Don’t toss food just because it is past the expiration date.  Often expiration dates are a guideline for the foods peak quality but it doesn’t necessarily mean food is bad past that date.  If the food looks, smells and tastes OK, it probably is.

Join us in employing these ways to reduce food waste.  It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet and it’s good for humanity.

Why You Should Take a Walk Everyday: 30 Health Benefits of Walking 30 Minutes a Day – Part 3

As the final installment of our series on why you should take a walk everyday, we’re sharing even more health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day.  As you will see, walking can truly improve every aspect of your life to keep you fit and strong physically, mentally and emotionally.

21 – Walking is low impact.  For those who have minor injuries or joint pain that prevent them from doing other forms of exercise, walking is a great alternative.  Walking is not as jarring on the body as running, jumping, kicking and other forms of aerobic workouts.

why you should take a walk everyday

22 – Walking helps prevent osteoporosis.  Walking protects your cartilage required for good bone health.  Studies show that moderate weight-bearing aerobic activity can decrease the effects of osteoporosis, a bone-weakening condition.

23 – Walking reduces risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Outdoor walking gives your skin exposure to sunlight.  Even in the winter when the sun is not as strong, walking outside can elevate your mood.  Plus it releases pleasure hormones that will perk you up too.

24 – Walking can be intensified easily as fitness levels improve.  Walking can start easy and build up to more intense exercise.  You can start slow and steady and then gradually increase your range of motion and inclines as your fitness level improves. Also consider adding lunges, squats and backwards walking to the mix to make your walking workout even harder.

25 – Walking tones your glutes.  If you want to lift your tush the natural way, start walking everyday.  Walking engages the glutial muscles by contracting them with each step.  Sounds a lot better than squats, right?

26 – Walking gives you stronger legs.  Of course your legs benefit from walking as well.  Walking works each of the muscles in your legs.  Uphill climbs and even downhills intensify your muscles differently so try to incorporate a range of inclines into your walks for maximum leg results.

27 – Walking doesn’t require days off.  Unlike other strenuous workouts, walking can be done every day without need for muscle recovery breaks.  This helps you establish a routine quickly and again keeps your body in motion, one of the healthiest lifestyle habits you can have.

28 – Walking barefoot helps you absorb free electrons from the earth.  This practice is known as grounding.  According to Dr. Mercola, grounding has many benefits including relief from joint, muscle and arthritic pain; improving the quality of sleep; aiding respiration; elevating energy; reducing stress; lowering blood pressure; stabilizing blood glucose levels; and improving the immune system, among others.

29 – Walking helps you reach other goals in your life.  Taking a walk everyday will probably make you feel quite accomplished.  Once you reach this goal, other goals will seem more attainable.  This jumpstart may be just what you need to pep yourself up to succeed in other areas of your life.

30 – Walking allows you to enjoy nature and the world around you.  Experiencing the world is one of the best joys in life.  Being in nature and observing the world around you can be an exhilarating experience.  Walking allows you to take in the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of life, one step at a time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the health benefits of walking.  Join us in taking a walk everyday for your best health!

Why You Should Take a Walk Everyday: 30 Health Benefits of Walking 30 Minutes a Day – Part 2

Walking is one of the best exercises for your body.  Almost anyone can do it and it is less taxing on the body than other workouts.  In fact, it is a great way to slow age-related disease and illness for a stronger, more positive overall health outlook.  We’re continuing our series on 30 health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day.  Now here are even more fabulous advantages of why you should take a walk everyday:

11 – When you are walking, you’re not sitting.  Sitting is one of the worst health habits on the planet.  Especially those with “desk jobs” probably spend way too much time sitting during the day, which leads to many unwanted health conditions.  Getting up and going for a walk as a break from sitting is a health benefit in and of itself.

12 – Walking reduces risk of cancer.  Amazingly, walking for multiple hours per week significantly reduces risk of certain types of cancers.  For women, walking may stave off breast cancer.  For men, prostate cancer is less likely.  And for everyone, walking may help prevent colon cancer.

Why You Should Take a Walk Everyday13 – Walking is good for your heart.  Like any type of exercise, walking helps stabilize blood pressure and can reduce cholesterol and triglycerides as well.  All of these factors help lower risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular complications.

14 – Walking may help you lose weight.  Walking alone is not going to make you the fittest person on the planet, but it can help you lose a moderate amount of weight.  Adding hills and intensifying your walking with weights can lead to greater weight loss.

15 – Walking is good for weight maintenance.  Once you’ve reached your desired weight, walking can help you keep the pounds off.  Physical activity every day is vital to weight management and weight maintenance.  Walking is one of the simplest ways to get your heart rate going to sustain your weight.

16 – Walking reduces risk of diabetes. Exercise helps balance blood glucose levels.  This is important for everyone, especially those who are genetically predisposed to diabetes or are borderline diabetic.  Walking can even help improve blood sugar levels in people who have already developed diabetes.

17 – Walking helps your digestive tract.  Need a little help getting your GI system going?  Take a walk!  Walking stimulates mobility in the digestive system, especially when you engage your core and abdominal muscles that put pressure on your stomach and intestines.  Get moving to keep your bowels moving!

18 – Walking has anti-inflammatory effects.  Inflammation is the root cause of many diseases.  Walking helps prevent inflammation from building up in your body.  Therefore, walking can help protect you for illness and disease.

19 – Walking helps prevent dementia.  The 2014 World Alzheimer’s Report states that regular exercise, like walking, can help reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  Because walking promotes oxygenation to the brain, it combats vascular disease and age-related dementia.

20 – Walking boosts the immune system.  As we’ve already discussed, walking helps reduce inflammation and promotes brain function, cardiovascular strength and the digestive tract.  These all support a healthier immune system.  Moreover, research shows that walking regularly increases T-cell counts that help stave off illness and disease.

Herbs to Improve Breast Health

Natural health solutions are a great preventative measure and way to boost sustained health and wellness.  When it comes to breast health, the natural way is no exception.  For centuries specific herbs has been used to promote healthy breasts and to enhance the female form.  Many of them are still recommended today so we’re taking a closer look at herbs to improve breast health.

Herbs to Improve Breast HealthFennel:  This popular herb helps regulate female hormones, especially in women with amenorrhea or lack of a menstrual cycle.  It supports breast milk production and can help enlarge breasts as well.

Turmeric:  Curcumin is a rare antioxidant extract found primarily in turmeric that is tremendous for breast health.  The best way to reap the benefits of this herb is to add turmeric to foods or you can find curcumin in capsule form.

Watercress Leaf:  Shaped like a heart, this herb is super for your breasts and fertility.  It contains Vitamin E, folic acid and lucein that promotes healthy breast development.

Scutellaria Barbata:  Hard to pronounce, yes, but this herb in the mint family helps scavenge mutated cells that may cause breast cancer.  Scutellaria Barbata is rich in wogonin, a supercharged antioxidant that quashes free radicals.

Red Clover:  Red clover is called an “anti-cancer” herb by some because it contains phytoestrogens that may reduce and dissipate cancerous cells.  This herb is usually consumed in hot tea or as an infused chilled beverage.

Fenugreek:  Commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, Fenugreek is most widely known to increase breast milk production in lactating mothers.  It contains diosgenin, a compound that mimics estrogen and stimulates lactation, menstruation, fertility and breast enlargement.

Wild Yam:  This herb helps regulate female hormones, especially prior to and after menopause.  It can be consumed as a tea or in a powder supplement, or its paste can be massaged directly onto breasts.

Dandelion Root:  Research indicates that dandelion root helps new breast cells and breast tissue form.  This increases healthy cell production, which is critical for breast health and reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Saw Palmetto:  The phyto-nutrients in saw palmetto help strengthen breast tissue.  The herb is most commonly used for prostate health, but because it stimulates the thyroid, it also helps with female reproductive issues as well as breast health.

These herbs to improve breast health are the first step in strengthening your breasts and reducing risk of cancer and other breast problems.  Incorporate these into your daily diet for a lifetime of healthy breasts.

Why You Should Take a Walk Everyday: 30 Health Benefits of Walking 30 Minutes a Day – Part 1

As the weather warms and one beautiful day follows the next, take advantage of the opportunity to perk up your health.  Many experts agree that everyone should take a walk everyday to improve physical and mental health.  Walking has incredible full body benefits from your brain to your feet.  Over the next few weeks we’re examining 30 health benefits of walking for 30 minutes a day and why you should take a walk everyday.

1 – Walking has anti-aging effects.  One study showed that a group of subjects added seven years to their life-expectancy from walking, jogging, strength training or doing high intensity interval training as exercise.  Just 30 minutes a day seems pretty doable when you get another seven years out of life!

2 – Walking makes you smarter.  Yup, that’s right.  Cognition, academic performance and memory improvement are all associated with the benefits of walking everyday.  Next time you need a brain lift, go for a walk and step into a smarter you.

3 – Walking doesn’t require equipment.  Well, maybe you need a good pair of walking shoes but other than that, nothing is required except your own dedication.  Forget lugging around a bag of supplies when you can simply take yourself on a walk.

4 – You can walk anywhere.  Walking can be done anywhere at any time.  On a gorgeous day you can walk outside in your neighborhood or at a park.  On rainy or cold days you can walk on an indoor track, on a treadmill, in the mall or inside your own home.  There are no excuses because you can walk absolutely anywhere.

5 – Walking is easier to incorporate into your day than other exercise.  Depending on the weather, the intensity of your walk and your fitness level, walking may not require a major wardrobe change or an additional shower.  If you’re short on time and just need to get a quick workout in during your lunch break, try walking.

Why You Should Take a Walk Everyday6 – Walking can be social.  Unlike an exercise class or sports, you can be social while you are walking.  In fact, taking a walk with a friend is a great way to pass the time, catch up and enjoy your exercise.  You can probably still gab during intense walking too.

7 – Walking helps you get Vitamin D.  Outdoor walking allows your body to absorb essential Vitamin D from the sun.  Walking in just your sports bra or a tank top will help you get more exposure to the sun.  However, don’t forget your sunscreen.  You can still absorb Vitamin D with sunscreen on.

8 – Walking is good for your mental health – it makes you happier and relieves stress.  Walking actually has an impact on your nervous system, which controls your body’s stress levels and mood.  Walking with friends and walking outdoors further increases its effectiveness as a mood enhancer.

9 – Walking makes you more creative and a better problem solver.  Movement stimulates the brain to think more creatively, which gives you new perspective on how to tackle challenges and solve problems.  Also, “walking away” from a situation can be helpful to give yourself space to digest and adjust your thinking for more positive results.

10 – Walking allows you to multi-task while exercising.  You probably cannot read a book, check your email, listen to music or talk on the phone while swimming or playing tennis, but you can when you’re walking.  This helps justify the time you’re spending on this important health habit.  Also, walking to get somewhere you needed to go anyways is super efficient.

New Superfoods Part 3: Extraordinary Liquids

New Superfoods

New superfoods are all the rage but no one every said you couldn’t drink in their nutritious benefits.  In fact, some of the latest and greatest new superfoods are liquids.  So put down your fork and pick up a glass to try these hot (and cold) new superfoods:

Maple Water:  The pure sap of the maple tree is known as maple water.  Of course any type of water is hydrating but this one also contains important antioxidants and minerals to support full body health.  It is especially good for the thyroid and for balancing blood glucose levels.  Plus it is a sweet and delicious alternative to plain water that doesn’t contain refined sugars.

Coffee:  Coffee may not be a “new” drink but it is new to the superfoods list.  Coffee has high antioxidant value thanks to its content of flavonoids.  These powerful antioxidants are deft at protecting and repairing cells that naturally deteriorate over time and weaken due to environmental factors.  Studies show that coffee may also reduce risk of depression.  Beware of added sugar in coffee drinks.  Keep your coffee beverages light and consider ground coffee beans as a cooking seasoning or dessert ingredient as well.

Kefir:  With a consistency cross between milk and yogurt, kefir is fermented animal milk, typically from a cow.  Kefir is a terrific source of probiotics that combines yeast and lactic acids helping create healthy bacteria that is good for digestion and an overall properly functioning body.  It is naturally low in lactose and has a somewhat sour, pungent taste.  Most people add fruit or make a smoothie out of kefir due to its distinct flavor.

Cactus Water:  There’s a lot of hype about cactus water and for good reason.  It has over 20 types of supercharged antioxidants called betalains, in addition to essential vitamins, minerals and body-stabilizing electrolytes.  The natural flavor is said to be somewhat berry-like with a hint of watermelon and kiwi.  Due to its unique nutrient content, cactus water is super hydrating.  Pretty funny for a plant that doesn’t require much water to survive, huh?

new superfoods

Bone Broth:  Your mom said soup was good for you, especially when you’re sick, and she was right!  Rather than buying a can or carton of stock broth, make your own bone broth by boiling water with chicken, pork or beef bones.  Bones are full of vitamins, minerals and protein, as well as collagen and elastin that will improve skin elasticity, hair and nails.  You can add veggies and seasoning to taste.

Discovering new foods is part of the spice of life.  We hope you’ve enjoyed our series on new superfoods.  From grains to greens, from broth to beans, and from fruit to fermentation, new superfoods offer amazing benefits for your entire body.  Keep an eye out for them as you continuously improve and diversify your diet.  Enjoy!

Supermarket Marketing Ploys to Avoid

Have you ever left the grocery store with much more than you went in to buy?  If the answer is yes, then supermarket marketing ploys probably got the best of you.  Some of them are very sneaky and hard to avoid.  Others you may recognize but fall prey to them anyways.  Today we’re exploring some common supermarket marketing ploys and how to avoid them.

The name of the game for supermarkets is getting you to spend more than you intended.  It’s not that you are buying items that you won’t use.  After all, you need food and supplies to make your household operate.  But paying more for certain items than necessary, buying more than you need at one time or getting a few additional things you hadn’t supermarket marketing ploysintended are part of the marketing strategy for grocery stores.  This often includes getting you to spend more time in the store by having interesting and obstructive displays, often at the front of the store, and selling bonus items beyond the basics.

One of the most common supermarket marketing ploys is placing the most expensive items at eye level.  This trick is most apparent on the cereal aisle where boxes of similar products are lined up, probably for most of the aisle.  As you’ll notice, the top name brand cereals are at eye level and above and below you may find other brands of almost the exact same product or a store brand version of it.  Your eye is drawn to the name brand – i.e. most expensive – boxes however you can usually get something just as good in the lesser known brand boxes.

Supermarkets also try to appeal to your senses.  As you are trying to focus on what you need to buy, the store may smell of freshly baked bread or rotisserie chickens making your mouth water and crave these or similar products.  You may not notice that the music is periodically interrupted by advertisements – a not-so-subtle way of getting you to contemplate buying another product.  Also, you may come across a few sample tasting stations at your local market.  When you’ve tasted something and like it, you are more inclined to buy it.

Beware of sales or sale-like phrasing too.  Grocery store sales may be somewhat deceiving, such as buy five of an item and get a discount.  This encourages you to buy more than you may actually need.  Also, flashy tags that look like sale claims may just be a gimmick.  Read carefully to determine if products are really on sale or are just being touted as a good price in general.  Coupons may use the same devices so think carefully about what you need.

Grocery stores are increasingly offering more and more products or services that aren’t food and household supplies.  This tactic keeps you in the store longer and gives them yet another up-sell advantage.  Buying lawn chairs, toy trucks or picking up a prescription will keep you spending time and money in the store.

Another popular supermarket marketing ploy trend is selling health.  Products that are labeled as healthy or that target a particular health need – gluten-free, lots of fiber, or low fat – may cost more.  However, it doesn’t mean alterative products don’t fit the same bill.  Also, watch out for single-serving products like 100-calorie packs or pre-made meals.  These often cost a lot more when you could easily portion out these amounts for yourself.  Beware of buying bulk as well.  Check prices to make sure packages with more of an item actually are less per unit than a smaller package.

Bringing your kids to the store may also hurt your wallet.  Kids are notorious for falling for supermarket marketing ploys.  After the 10th time of your children asking for a stuffed animal or cool superhero cup they see at the store, you may just give in to save your sanity.  Grocery stores are counting on it…all the way to the bank.

To avoid supermarket marketing ploys, follow these tips:

  • Make a list and stick to it.  If you walk in and randomly shop, you’re likely to spend more.
  • Try to get everything you need in one trip so you’re not shopping multiple times a week.  The more you go in, the more you’ll probably buy.
  • Don’t go down aisles if it doesn’t have something you need.
  • Read signs, tags and coupons carefully so you don’t get duped.
  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry as you’ll be tempted by more items you don’t need.
  • Check the price per unit.  Bulk isn’t always cheaper.
  • Avoid bringing your kids if possible.
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