Consumers save using coupons, discount stores

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Consumers are coping with the rising cost of food by changing their shopping behaviors, according to results from a new poll released by the Center for Food Integrity. Posted on the organization’s Best Food Facts website (www.bestfoodfacts.org), the poll shows 37 percent of respondents are clipping coupons, 32 percent are buying fewer name brand items while 17 percent are shopping at discount/warehouse stores to stay within budget.

Dr. Helen Jensen, an economics professor at Iowa State University, was interviewed by Best Food Facts about the survey results and her thoughts on how American families are dealing with the higher cost of food. Jensen suspects people are also cutting back on food eaten or prepared away from home. She further believes when budget-minded consumers choose to dine out, they are opting for lower-priced restaurants or buying takeout meals from grocery stores.

“Rising food prices are increasing their share of budget spent on food,” Jensen said, citing statistics from the US Bureau of Labor. “The share of income has increased from 11 percent or 12 percent to almost 13 percent … a very clear indication that people are spending more on food.”

Although this increased share of income spent on food is still relatively low compared to other developed countries, it is eating away at the household budgets of many Americans, Jensen noted. Coupled with rising fuel prices and health care costs, many are now forced to choose less-expensive foods.
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