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Consumer Spending Statistics

by Nicole on January 20, 2010

As part of my participation on the Bumble Bee Bee Squad, I receive periodic emails from Bumble Bee.  My participation doesn’t require me to post anything but I did find the most recent email fromt hem very interesting and definitely worth sharing.  Bumble Bee’s public relations people conducted a poll in August of 2009 with a representative consumer sample to ask about spending habits.

The results don’t surprise me at all – do they surprise you? bumblebeetunalogo_72dpi150pxl256c

  • 81% of consumers are spending more or the same on groceries as they were 2 years ago
  • 50% plan their meals in advance
  • almost 25% throw away 10% or more of items due to spoilage
  • respondents spend on average $120 per week on groceries
  • 65% are using coupons to reduce costs

Bumbel Bee did this survey as a measure to see if more people are using canned proteins in their meals because of the recession.  It would seem likely that they are but only 25% of the respondents answered that way.  Canned proteins are less expensive than their fresh counterparts and offer just as healthy of an alternative if purchased packed in water. 

The bottom line to me is that people aren’t changing their habits they way they should be.  I was in line at Walmart behind a woman using a food stamp card.  Her cart was full of non-sale brand name items and made me cringe.  I gave her my card and can only hope she will check out Nicole’s Nickels.  With just a little planning she could have had twice as many items in her cart and made her assistance stretch even further, which I am sure she would have appreciated.  So ma’am, I hope you’re reading!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Allison V. January 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

Well, I know that my statistics for grocery shopping would be way different, because a year ago we lived with my mother-in-law and she did the shopping! Before that we had virtually no grocery money and lived off of WIC and support from our church. So my spending habits are drastically different than they used to be!

That said, the money that I spend also comes from food stamps. We get a ridiculous amount of money, and we would be eating like kings even if I didn’t use coupons and get WIC. But it’s nice because I can stock up on a million sale items and still have meat in the freezer and a good diet. Plus I can earn RR, catalinas, or gift cards from some food items, to use towards cash purchases. And I’ve heard that if one doesn’t use up enough of the food stamps they will take some away (not sure if that’s true). So while I LOVE great deals, I don’t mind the gov’t paying full price if it saves me some time.

(And please don’t think poorly of folks on assistance! Some of us are well and truly qualified and circumstances don’t allow for more income. I am just thrilled to have discovered couponing, because now I can get diapers and household items for super cheap or free, whereas we just went without before.)

2 nicolesnickels January 21, 2010 at 5:55 am

I often go to the store and buy things that are free or very cheap even when I know I won’t use them. Then I donate them to a local shelter. If people getting assistance would do the same thing with their extra food stamps, think about how much good that would do! I definitely don’t think poorly of people on assistance – you probably don’t know what kind of work I do in real life if you think that. What I do know is most won’t use coupons or shop deals and just pay full price. Regardless of your money source, that’s inexcusable to me!

3 Lauralee Hensley January 21, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I wonder if she can really feed her family for a whole month on food stamps if she’s buying this way, or if she has to go to food banks on top of that just to get to the end of the month.
The reason I say this is I knew a friend once who was on food stamps and had two little boys. She had to use coupons, and not always name brand products to get to the end of the month on food stamps. She stocked up on the months when certain things were on sale if she had enough food stamps left that would allow her to do that. Otherwise she said that she wouldn’t have been able to get to the end of the month without running out of food, and at that time our community didn’t have any food banks you could depend on.
I remember giving her coupons I didn’t use very often that I knew she would be more likely to use.
I even picked her up for work sometimes to help her save on gasoline when she had a really hard month because in those months there might have been few store specials or coupons where we live.
She’s doing great now, has a great job because she went to college, so she could improve the life of her boys and herself.
I even babysit for her for free when I could. Actually several of us did, so she could get ahead in life. I’m proud of her, she did it.

4 Allison V. January 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Nicole, I didn’t mean I thought *you* would think badly of us….I just didn’t want to start a debate! : ) I’m starting to run out of room in my kitchen, so I may start giving extra stuff to our church’s food bank. I already share my WIC milk (shhh, don’t tell!) with friends or family to save them a few dollars. And I’m giving away over 100 jars of WIC baby food because my baby decided he won’t eat it anymore.

I know that once we are in a better financial position, I will have figured out a good couponing system and be able to really stretch a smaller grocery budget and still eat well. And I’m so excited about it that I’m always telling folks about the deals I got or giving them coupons I know they can use. I hope I can save my friends more money that way!

5 Ron July 28, 2010 at 8:19 am

I teach consumer education. Do you know how much money consumers spend for each minute they are shopping in grocery stores?

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