I never thought that I would be one of those people who constantly looks down at my phone. And yet, I have become exactly one of those people. I use my phone while doing chores, taking walks, waiting in lines, and doing my grocery shopping. Perhaps that’s why my grocery bill is often so high. New research indicates that the more you use your phone at the grocery store, the more money you’ll spend at the checkout.
Using Your Phone at the Grocery Store Increases Spending by 41%
The study found that on average, people who used their phone at the grocery store spent 41% more than people who didn’t use their phones while they were shopping. It doesn’t seem to matter what you’re using your phone to do. You’ll spend more if you use your phone at the grocery store to talk, text, check social media, or look something up on the Internet.
Moreover, the more that you use your phone at the grocery store, the more money you will spend. 41% over your usual budget is high, but you can risk spending a lot more if you stay on your phone the entire time that you’re in the store.
Why Does Using Your Phone at the Grocery Store Cause Higher Spending?
Your phone is a distraction. As much as we love to think that we’re skilled at multi-tasking, that’s just not the case. Human brains aren’t meant to multi-task. We’re meant to single-task. Therefore, when we try to do two or more thing at once, we actually switch-task. That means we focus on one thing then have to refocus on the other.
Doing this drastically changes the way that you behave at the grocery store. Picture this: you go to the grocery store to purchase five things. You know exactly where those items are located. Therefore, with keen focus, you head directly to those items. You buy them, and then you leave the stoer. It’s simple.
Now, picture this: you still only need to buy five items at the grocery store. However, you find yourself distracted by your phone. Instead of going directly to the items that you need, you wander a bit. You pause, perhaps in front of a tempting display of cookies. You add those to your cart. With one eye on your phone, you absent-mindedly turn down an aisle that you don’t usually enter. As you glance back up to make sure that you don’t bump into anyone, you see a new condiment that looks tasty. You decide to try it.
As you can see, when you focus on your phone at the grocery store, you get distracted. The more distracted you are, the more likely it is that you’ll impulse but extra items. Plus, you’ll spend more time in the store so you’ll naturally end up buying more things. That’s how you end up spending 41% more than you would have if you’d just kept your eyes off of your phone.
How to Be a Smart Phone User at the Grocery Store
The number one tip you should follow is to turn your phone off (or silent without vibration) and do not use it at all when you’re in the grocery store. Here are some additional tips:
- Shop with a list and never deviate from it.
- Set a time limit for how long you will be in the grocery store.
- If you must check your phone, step to the side and focus entirely on the phone. Do not wander around.
- Use your phone to check for deals and compare prices on items at other stores. In other words, make the phone work for you. Use it consciously. Otherwise, don’t use it at all.