It’s not something that most people really think about, but making sure that you aren’t shopping while hungry is something I highly recommend.
The reason not to go shopping while you are hungry is simple – you are far more likely to make a small impulse purchase whenever you walk past something that smells delicious.
I have an example of this from just this weekend. My wife and I volunteered to help raise money for my sons playgroup. It was decided that a sausage sizzle would be the fund raiser of choice and the venue was a local shopping mall where people go to buy groceries. At first sales were slow. However, as the time crept on towards lunch time, and the smell of cooking sausages and onion wafted throughout the store, more and more people wandered over to satisfy their hunger.
While I appreciate that these people spent their money at out stall for our playgroup, I also noted that most of them likely entered the store with no intention of buying a sausage, onion and bread, but they let their hunger get the better of them and they spent a few dollars that they otherwise may not have spent.
Many also got caught up with my up-sell of a can of drink for a dollar, again, something they originally didn’t plan, but something they were easily convinced of when you have a burning sausage in your mouth and no other drink in sight.
Now I’m not saying that there will be a sausage sizzle everywhere you go shopping, or that you are a slave to your urges. I’m merely pointing out that most people are far more likely to satisfy a subconscious urge if there is something stimulating their senses right in front of them. Even writing this article – I can smell the sausages from yesterday and am getting hungry.
It’s not just sausages either, you may walk through the bakery and smell bread cooking, or smell a freshly barbequed chicken, or simply walk through the candy isle. All these things are temptations that are only heightened by being hungry, and while each one isn’t going to be all that expensive individually, overtime these types of expenses can really add up.
As I discussed last week, compound interest can be a killer, so if you can funnel a few extra dollars away into something like a mortgage or a high interest savings account, rather than your stomach, you may find yourself getting financially further and further ahead in the long run.