Paying with Plastic Promotes Poor Food Picks
It’s hard to keep junk food out of my cabinets at home and to avoid munching on unhealthy treats. But weekly trips to the supermarket can be taunting! Sometimes, it feels almost impossible to restrain myself from reaching for the cookie dough ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels, and barbeque-flavored potato chips. A strategy for avoiding these impulse purchases is to pay in cash rather than using a credit card. In fact, don’t even take a credit card to the store. When we pay in cash, we find it’s easier to monitor our purchases and we are less tempted to go over budget by purchasing unnecessary junk food. This is great for both our waistline and our wallet!
A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that shoppers consistently purchase unhealthy and unnecessary items when paying via credit card. Interestingly, both debit and credit cards contributed to impulse spending on junk food. This is notable because debit cards are more or less equivalent to cash since the money spent is automatically deducted from a bank account. This study demonstrates that it is the abstraction of plastic payments that influences poor consumer purchases.
What strategies do you use to avoid purchasing unhealthy food? Sound off below!