We’ll never look at a cup of coffee in the same way again
Do you have a shopping list written out or on your phone before you go to the supermarket?
If you do, you may not fall foul of these everyday occurrences that can affect the way you do your food shopping. However, for many of us, getting the groceries is something that we simply do when we have time in our schedules. A cursory glance in the fridge and cupboards and we’re good to go.
But, according to Chartered Psychologist and former Professor of Consumer Psychology, Gareth Harvey, that could be a mistake as there are certain factors that can impact the way you shop and cause you to spend more:
1. Coffee can lead to impulse shopping
Apparently, grabbing a quick coffee to arm you for the battle between the food aisles is not the best idea. Gareth explains: “After a coffee you’re more likely to make impulse purchases & buy more hedonic items such as rich and calorific foods (aka those that taste really good).”
Best to swap the cappuccino for a bottle of water then.
2. A full bladder may result in better shopping decisions
Did you know that your last trip to the toilet can influence how you shop? Neither did we.
Gareth says: “Despite what you may think, researchers have shown that people with full bladders make better decisions. People with a full bladder are more likely to choose a large reward in the future, rather than selecting a smaller immediate reward.”
3. Bad weather can make us shop and spend less
This one may be outside our control but it’s definitely good to be aware of it. And given the Irish climate, it’s always nice to have a reason to be thankful for bad weather.
“The weather significantly changes our grocery shopping habits,” Gareth says. “When there is bad weather shoppers typically spend less and make fewer trips. However, this is only true when we’re shopping in familiar environments.”
4. Mood can affect how much we spend
If you thought that you spend more or ‘comfort buy’ when you’re feeling down, think again. According to Gareth, “Studies show that “shoppers in a positive mood spend 12% more than customers in a negative mood.”
Tips to shop smarter
The cost of living crisis is changing our food shopping habits, as Bord Bia report shows 53% of shoppers are opting for value products, while 54% find shopping lists more important in recent months. Thankfully, there are things you can do to shop smarter. Here are a few tips:
- Shop online – This reduces the likelihood that we will see other products and tempt us to make a purchase that we weren’t planning on making. It also saves us from falling under the influence of enticing smells, music or visual displays that could weaken our resolve.
- Take the shop layout into consideration – Structuring the shopping list so that items are in order of how you will see them in the store reduces the risk of impulse buying.
- Meal prep – Hannah Duxbury, Head of Culinary of Hello Fresh, explains: “Meal prepping before a shop means you’ll know exactly which ingredients you’ll need throughout the week, so there’s no need to buy food for the sake of it. This is one of the best ways to reduce food waste, because so often we buy things only to realise we have nothing to cook with it. Some of the most versatile ingredients involve green leafy vegetables like spinach and cabbage, green beans, potatoes, kidney beans and chickpeas.”