The pandemic that has occurred for nearly three years has had a great impact on people’s outgoing and consumption. The closure and control of physical space have limited people’s living scope. During the pandemic, people’s consumption focus has shown a trend of home consumption, such as buying daily necessities and relying on shopping online. Most consumers have to learn new behaviors and develop new habits in their daily lives. In addition, many consumers are anxious about their financial, physical and mental health. This far-reaching sense of vulnerability has led to some new behaviors that continue into the post-pandemic era.
Alipartners surveyed more than 7,000 consumers in 9 countries in January 2021 and found that due to the pandemic, they stayed at home, so that eating out and travel spending habits have changed permanently and are likely to remain sluggish, with spending on groceries continuing to increase. However, many consumers also feel that this way of online shopping is full of challenges, especially when it comes to catering consumption and daily necessities shopping, longer delivery time and unpredictable control policies will affect the timeliness of purchasing. In a poll conducted by Alipartners in 2021, 44% of U.S. consumers surveyed at that time expressed “serious anxiety” that they would struggle to cope with the high prices of goods. Under the policy of state subsidies and stimulating consumption, the widening gap between the rich and the poor further aggravates anxiety.
In order to alleviate the uncertainty under the pandemic, people tend to hoard a large amount of food and daily necessities. And because of inflation and shortage of raw materials, the price of daily necessities has risen, although it is daily expenditure, it also occupies a lot of people’s budget, and the economic pressure is increased.
From this point of view, the pandemic has deeply affected everyone’s consumption habits. In order to cope with inflation better, the above phenomena make us more inclined to be budget-conscious when spending. Here are some good suggestions on your spending. At this stage, everyone should establish good consumption habits:
1. Look for specials or discounts at cheaper supermarkets
When shopping online, look for discounts at the famous coupon site CouponBirds, where you can search for your favorite brand, copy the code, and use it at checkout. You can save a lot of money a year if you use it regularly. When shopping offline, you can go to the cheap supermarkets, such as Costco, Aldi and Lidl, Walmart. When buying items for your home, the products are abundant and cheap, and the chains of these brands are also more convenient for people to shop.
2. Cut back on non-essential purchases
Before going shopping, you can plan the type, quantity, and budget of the goods you need to buy in advance. You need to strictly follow this plan to avoid unnecessary waste. For example, when you suddenly see a pot that you don’t need urgently but want to buy, you may buy it according to your mood. But when you get home, you find that you already have a variety of pots, which are enough for different cooking needs. However, the pot of impulse buying is not often used.
3. Buy more private brands
Cheaper mass-market products are increasing sales since the pandemic, and many Americans have ditched big brands in favor of cheaper supermarket private-label products in the cooking oil and bacon, where prices have risen sharply. These products are usually manufactured by third parties or contract parties. Except for the different labels, there is no big difference in the form and quality of other products. On the contrary, because of their cost advantages, both retailers and consumers can benefit from it and buy them at the same price and get more cost-effective products.
4. Choose affordable alternatives in the same category
According to the current high inflation in the United States, consumers can switch to cheaper brands or smaller packages, for example, from expensive seafood, beef, pork consumption can be replaced by chicken or protein-rich beans to supplement protein nutrition. In addition to food, electronic products, beauty products, toys and other categories you can choose suitable and affordable alternatives to meet your needs.
5. Reduce purchasing quantity
For the capricious pandemic situation, some variants appear from time to time, which makes people panic. In addition to the implementation of the closure and control measures, for some people who are lack of security, they usually like to hoard goods, such as vegetables, fruits, daily necessities, etc., but due to the hot temperature and the characteristics of food, too much hoarding is prone to spoilage and decay, resulting in waste. So, you shall reduce bulk purchases and avoid unnecessary waste.
6. Reduce the frequency of large-scale expenditures
Although the current pandemic situation has improved, many people plan to travel abroad by plane, but the cost of air tickets, hotels, and scenic spots tickets is not a small expense during the inflation period. In addition, the multiple purchases of computers, mobile phones, cars and other products are not a wise choice at this time, so you’d better reduce the frequency of such consumption to reduce financial stress and risk.
7. Choose the right side hustle
Inflation, corporate layoffs, and many people’s incomes are showing great instability. At this time, you can choose a suitable side hustle, such as a coffee shop near home, a car wash, a casual job in a fast-food restaurant, etc. Find a job that suits you on the online freelancer platform like Fiverr and make money with your expertise. These can all contribute to your income and relieve some financial pressure.
The pandemic has brought not only soaring inflation, but also double pressure on people’s mental and physical health. If you don’t want to be so anxious when spending during the pandemic, this requires you to establish good consumption habits. You should choose the most fit way for yourself so that you can be less stretched in this volatile economic environment.