We all know that regrettable impulse buys are more likely when shopping with credit cards, compared with the more tangible act of counting out greenbacks. Now a study in the Journal of Consumer Research also shows that consumers shopping for food are more likely to avoid unhealthy "vice products" — that tempting Nutrageous bar at the checkout line, for instance — when shopping with cash. Why? Paying with actual currency feels more real, and more painful than swiping a card, causing the consumer to think twice before making unhealthy or just plain silly decisions.
It's also a good idea to have a snack before hitting the supermarket — because shopping on an empty stomach is a recipe for rounding up random goods that seem essential at the moment, but that wind up as "What was I thinking?" purchases.
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