There are some stores that are designed to rip off the typical consumer. Theses stores know that they only have one type of necessary item, so they intentionally place it in the back of the store, forcing you, the consumer, to go through the entire store and possibly buy one of their tremendously overpriced items:
#1 – Local pharmacies, especially Nu-Pharm and Super-Pharm. These places sell one thing you need – drugs. Everything else is eye candy to bait you while you’re waiting. They intentionally under staff the pharmacy in order to maximize your stay in their stores where nothing is priced reasonably. It is important that if you go to these stores, to resist the temptation to buy any household items, specifically food, unless you know for a fact that the price is less than the local super-market. Don’t be fooled by a sale price – usually the sale price is still even higher than the local supermarket price. Also, be aware that most items that are sold at pharmacies are around 30% less at your kupat cholim’s pharmacy. Most items, including coldex, strepsils and even gauze pads, are partially subsidized by your kupat cholim, so there is little excuse to go to one of the aforementioned money-pits.
#2 – Book stores, specifically well known chains like Steimatsky – The important item here is children’s books. Most adults read a book once or twice and put it aside forever, but children need the comfort of a familiar book to be read hundreds of times. When going to a book store, focus on the children’s section and skip the adult section, which is designed to rip you off (notice how the children’s’ section is always in the back, just like the pharmacy, and does have places for adults to sit, so they’ll stand and look around the more interesting areas.) If you’re looking for books to read in English, try looking for local social groups and charities where the members are English speaking (these libraries may cost a bit of money to join, but certainly less than buying books.) AMIT, a non-for-profit in Israel, has a small library of English books in the Talipiot area. Many Yeshivot, seminaries, and community centers all of the country carry a small library of English books as well.
The point is not to be fooled by the layout of a store. Bring a list and rarely deviate from your needs. Know why you’re going to the store and resist the urge to become the robot that all the marketing wizards want you to be.