That title (minus the parenthesized parts) is taken from an article on Yahoo’s Shine blog, which is like if the Lifetime channel got even sappier and less useful and was then put in writing.  It features headlines like “28 ways to save money on food,” which includes gems like “substitute cheaper ingredients for more expensive ones” (did not make that up) and Strawberry Dessert Contests!  Good clean fun for the depressed housewife.

So when this article popped up, I had a quick scan through it.  Remember my article from a really long time ago about how John Tesh gives advice that would only be helpful if you were a slobbering idiot?  This is like that.  You see, it gives you advice on what incredibly sophisticated psychological techniques are being used to lure you into buying stuff, then has a thing called “outsmart it!” (yes, they fucked up the capitalization themselves) for beating these techniques.  I picked a few of them and took the liberty of sensationalizing them slightly.


Retailers use lighting and music to hypnotize you into a shopping zombie who will continue to load things into your cart until it overflows and your credit cards max out and you have to sell your children.  Wear earplugs.

Who Falls For It:


Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

Enjoy the ambience, appreciate the effort that the designers put in to make your shopping experience less harsh, then still only buy what you need because you have willpower of your own you useless twat.


Colored walls have an equally powerful mind-control effect on you, from blue (which will have the same calming effect as the ambience) to red (which will turn you into a savage eating machine).  Make conscious note of the color of the walls because then they can’t get you.

I feel calm, yet strangely ravenous.
I feel calm, yet strangely ravenous.

Who Falls For It:

Also toddlers.

Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

Shop and eat at your own pace, regardless of what color the walls are. This is not difficult.


Carpeting will draw you along its velvety lengths like a seductive poly-blend snake, at the end of which gentle music and blue walls will force you to buy something you don’t want, have never heard of, and is probably intended for the opposite gender. Walk off the carpet if you want to live.

Who Falls For It:

People who are afraid of linoleum.

Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

Look at something other than the floor, like, for example, the products you came to purchase. Then purchase them.


If you touch a fuzzy sweater, you will be instantly compelled by Its Sumptuous Fuzziness to buy not only it, but every fuzzy thing you come across thenceforth. TOUCH NOTHING LEST YOU BE ENSNARED IN ITS FUZZY TRAP!

Who Falls For It:

Again, toddlers. I’m noticing a trend.

Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

Touch stuff if you want, enjoy the fuzz, then move on. A sweater is not an impulse buy.

5. Big Shopping Carts

If you have a big cart, you will buy more stuff to fill it because how else would you know when you’re done shopping? Lists? Don’t be ridiculous. Grab a miniscule cart capable of holding a single yogurt container, and that’s all you’ll buy. It won’t be incredibly frustrating that you can’t hold all your stuff or anything.

Pictured: your worst fucking nightmare.
Pictured: your worst fucking nightmare.

Who Falls For It:

Maybe people who are so OCD that they won’t check out until their groceries are flush with the sides of the cart.

Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

Get a cart big enough to hold all your shit, buy that shit, put it in that cart, pay for it, and leave.

6. Milk In The Back:

Retailers put everyday things like milk in the back of the store so that you have to walk by other products (in my store, cheese and frozen breakfast) to get to it. And if there’s anything we know about human nature, it’s that you will absolutely buy anything you set your eyes on, no matter what. To avoid a lifetime’s supply of cheese, close your eyes and run as fast as you can to the back of the store. When you feel breaking glass, reach around for a jug of milk, turn around, and run in the other direction until you are tackled by security, then throw dollars at them.

Who Falls For It:

People with serious impulse control problems. Like drug addicts, cheese addicts, and patients of frontal lobotomies.

Image result for “cheese addict.” Results for the other two are much more unpleasant.

Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

Contrary to popular belief, they don’t put the milk at the back so you’ll have to walk by everything else to get to it.  They put the milk at the back because the milk needs to be refrigerated, and if it goes more than half an hour out of the fridge you have to throw it away, and the fridge trucks come to the back of the store so it’s easier to stock them that way.  If you came to buy just milk, walk calmly to the back of the store and get milk. I can’t believe this needs to be explained.

7. Helpful Salespeople

Salespeople are well-trained in the ancient voodoo art of mind control. If you so much as say hello to one, you will soon be possessed with an urge to buy 137 jars of Tuscan olives pickled in the piss of unicorns and stuffed with a fucking diamond for $275,000 a jar. You will have no choice but to refinance a major city to buy them. And you don’t even like olives. To prevent this, if a salesperson talks to you at all, punch him or her in the reproductive organs and run away screaming.

Who Falls For It:

People gullible enough to be reading the article in the first place.

Outsmart It (If You’re Not A Moron):

If you need help, ask for it. If you don’t, don’t. If a salesperson offers you something you don’t want, politely decline. You may still run away screaming if you want, just for giggles.

Happy shopping.

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