Would you ever pay $5.97 for kale? Don’t do what I did

While writing my new book (working title of “EmpowerMe Food Budgeting”), I had an amazing realization that I had to share immediately. Here it goes:

Food purchased with a credit card will inevitably cost us more….

 

Have you ever purchased food at a grocery store with a credit card? You are not alone. During my days of credit card debt (before Raw Foods on a Budget), I regularly used credit cards to purchase food. Lol, that’s how I got into debt! In fact, according to a 2016 consumer report, 34% of individuals polled reported that credit cards were their preferred method of purchase at grocery stores.

But this is where some of us run into trouble. Did you know that 69% of individuals, according to the Federal Reserve, do not pay off their credit cards every month and keep this debt on as “revolving” debt. This means that if you use credit cards to purchase food and you allow this debt to “revolve” over time, you will continue to pay for this food well after the checkout line.

For example, let’s say that you have a credit card with a 15% APR, which is the national average, and you use it to rack up $1000 in debt to pay for healthy food, supplements, and fancy blenders (lol). Well, by only paying minimum, it will take you 54 months (4.5 years) to pay off this $1000 AND you will have paid $370.46 in interest!

This is the equivalent of throwing $370.46 out the window as you drive away from the grocery store.

 

Hypothetically, that 2 bunches of kale that you purchased for $1.99 a bunch, now cost 37% more ($5.45 instead of $3.98 in total)! Can you imagine shopping at a grocery store that charges 37% more than you regularly pay for the same quality of food? Yeah…you probably wouldn’t shop there.

Well, I did this for almost a decade. I racked up at least 10K in debt on food purchases (before my Raw Foods on a Budget days) using credit cards with interest rates that surged up to 29.99% during the 2008 economic recession. It got so bad to where I could only afford the minimum payments. It took me an additional 9 years to resolve this debt, and guess how much I paid in interest: a whooping $19,000!

For every $1.99 bunch of kale, I really paid $5.97! Craziness!

 

Given all the complaints that folks make about affording a healthy lifestyle, it seems ridiculous that many of us are behaving in ways that make our food even more expensive.

Here’s the Takeaway:

  1. Always pay cash for food.
  2. Always pay cash for food.
  3. Always pay cash for food.

And if you are hell bent on using credit cards for basic purchases, pay off your credit cards at the end of every month 100% of the time. Otherwise, you will have to admit to yourself that…yeah…you are paying more for food.

-Brandi

 

SOURCES:

https://www.tsys.com/Assets/TSYS/downloads/rs_2016-us-consumer-payment-study.pdf
https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g19/current/#fn3a
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/interest-rate-report-100114-up-2121.php

 

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