Save money when shopping with this surprisingly simple hack

Popping your phone back into your pocket could save you pounds when it comes to your weekly supermarket shop.

Ever reached the checkout with a trolley-full of products you didn’t intend to buy? The problem could lie with using your phone. In fact, a recent study has shown that checking your social media, sending texts or chatting on the phone while you shop, could be increasing your shopping bill by a whopping 41%.

Up to 40p a second

The distraction of having your eyes glued to the screen while pursuing the shop leads to walking up and down the aisles slowly and more than needed. Because of this, shoppers were seeing and purchasing more products than usual.

In one study, mobile users put 58% more items than normal into their shopping baskets. And the final findings revealed that every second a shopper spent on their phone added an extra 20-40p at the checkout.

Eye-tracking technology

Researchers from the University of Bath, the Stockholm School of Economics, Babson College in Massachusetts and the University of Tennessee conducted the study examining shopping habits. While they expected to find that the distraction of using a mobile while shopping would lead people to purchase less, the exact opposite was true.

Shoppers were asked to wear eye-tracking technology that monitored what they were looking at while wandering the aisles and how many times the became ‘fixated’ on a product. The study looked at how long they spent in the shop, how they moved, how long they spent on their phone and the amount they spent. The surprising results concluded that the lack of focus meant that, overall, people moved away from their shopping lists or the usual way they shopped.

The only difference came at the checkout itself, where people were found to pick up less in this area if they were using their phones.

Trying to save

“The findings were very clear,” said retail marketing expert Carl-Philip Ahlbom of the University of Bath. “The more time you spend on your phone, the more money you’ll part with.

“So, if you’re trying to budget, leave your phone in your pocket.”

The full findings of the study are here

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