TODAY   |  April 22, 2014

How to avoid spending more at the drugstore

Woman’s Day magazine’s Taryn Mohrman joins TODAY to help viewers become savvier shoppers by not falling for some common drugstore merchandising techniques.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> beautiful skating in spring. right now, formation fever. back at 8:38. have you ever gone into a drugstore to pick up a few things and leave with everything but the kitchen sink ? tarin is here with ways that retails get you to spend more. good to see you.

>> good morning.

>> it's so interesting, i read last night, 70% of purchases are made in-store. when you go in, you're picking up all kinds of things. so it sounds like a losing battle, but is it?

>> it can feel that way. the first thing you need to remember is to make a list. if you go into a store trying to remember what you need, you're going to find things to buy. even jotting things down before you get out of the car is going to help you not spend money.

>> so pre-planning.

>> that's the way to do it.

>> so we have a grocery store setup here. and you're going to show us some of the tricks of the trade. the first thing sunsi is understanding the size of the store.

>> they're larger than ever. that means more shelf space and that means more temptation. when you see something you want to buy like seasonal items, you want to say, do i need this and is this the best place to buy it? because often party stores and sporting good places, those are where you can get a better deal. the list will help with that, too.

>> so here's our virtual store . you walk into the store. the first thing you see are these items. they look seasonal. beachware and such, but are they really?

>> yes, that's the thing. they want to lure you in. it's right in front of you when you walk in. you feel like if you don't go down that aisle, you're missing out on something. so before you start grabbing things and putting them in your basket, pause. look for would have been the kiosks that you can find in the sto store entrance and scan your loyalty rewards card so you can buy without feeling guilty.

>> this is so tempting because you think oh, i need another beach towel .

>> it gets you in the spirit, absolutely.

>> next on our journey is the makeup counter. these days you see someone positioned all the time.

>> drugstores are taking a cue from department stores and having seams people in lab coats selling you that $10 lipstick you didn't even know that you needed. but the thing here, if you want to treat yourself, it's not the end of the world . pick an item that's going to give you rewards points in return. at stores like walgreens, you get 5,000 points, that's $5 off your next purchase. it's about being smart and making sure that you're going to get something in return for.

>> what i've noticed with the drugstores, i'm the queen of samp samples. i love samples. it satisfies the urge to buy something.

>> they call this the power aisle for a reason. it's not just the sweet and sparkly stuff. it's the pampering items. it's the toil tetries. store brands that have the same active ingredients, they're often a dollar or two cheaper. that's another way to save on the spot.

>> so it's the generic and generic does not mean lower quality.

>> not necessarily.

>> next up on our journey, looking for some milk because the drugstores these days carry it all.

>> they do. they have everything. one of their tricks, it's called loss leaders. it's an item purposely marked down, like the $2 gallon of milk, and the hope is that you buy that, you think you're saving, and then you shell out for the marked up items that are all around it. so go in, grab the milk, get the good deal but stay away from the single serve items. get those at your grocery store instead.

>> that's so interesting. so they have this at a lower price but all these other tempting things marked up, they'll make their money up on what you've bought.

>> once you know this trick, it's really easy to spot and hopefully avoid.

>> i feel so armed with information. okay, next up. these are always tempting.

>> it's like you're almost there. you're at the checkout. this is the last hurdle. and how do you not want to dip your hands in and take these goodies? it's like a dollar each.

>> who couldn't use an extra hand sanitizer ?

>> exactly. the point here is to think about whether you really need this and whether you can get it for somewhere else less. when you're at the checkout line, instead of looking around, go through your coupons. you can download app on the spot. manufacturers have coupons all the time. and if you have a coupon, it will offset the cost of something like this at the end.

>> this is so interesting, because these stores are designed to get us to spend the money. we get that. but if we're armed with the information, we come out saving some cash and still getting the things we want.

>> exactly. you really just to have been smart about it. make that list. check for coupons. and always ask yourself in the moment, do i really need this and can i get it somewhere else for less.

>> really did need the lipstick but the model walked away.