Cash and Healthier purchases

Cash and Healthier purchases featured image

Here’s a novel way to make healthier choices when you’re shopping for food. Pay cash.

An analysis of the shopping patterns of more than 1,000 consumers finds that when paying cash, people tend to choose healthier options.

Previous research has found that paying with credit can encourage people to spend more money because physically handing over a dollar bill increases the so-called “ pain of payment,” which takes away from the pleasure of consumption.

It turns out paying with a card can also make us likely to spend more money on food we consider bad, junk food.

The researchers say it’s because when we pay for items with a card, it feels less like spending real money, so we tend to be more impulsive – just as we would with other kinds of purchases.

The study in the Journal of Consumer Research also says the corollary is true. The so-called pain of payment can curb the urges to buy unhealthy food.
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