Buying meat on a budget

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You know how some areas of the supermarket can seem almost apocalyptic in their disarray, with packages of beef looking three-quarters empty and what few offerings are left scattered about? Researchers have found that messes like those can scream "Great deal!" to us—even when they may not actually be. A recent Journal of Marketing article explains that in some cases, disorganized, not-fully-stocked shelves tend to increase our perception of an item's popularity, and can even boost sales (although jumbled egg cartons can have the opposite effect, making customers think the food is subpar). Bottom line: Stick to your list and don't be swayed by displays—whatever they look like.