This Is the No. 1 Way Americans Waste Their Money

It’s all about food

grocery shopping

Grocery shopping | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

According to a study from Hloom, it’s clear where most of our wasteful spending is going: food.

Hloom’s research shows that Americans’ excess spending on food doesn’t merely come from eating out at restaurants, but from “convenience packaging” purchases, and actually throwing out or wasting the food we purchase from the grocery store. In all, there are potentially thousands of dollars to be saved every year by changing up our consumption habits.

“According to our survey,” the Hloom study says, “the majority of Americans say they waste money on unnecessary expenses: too many restaurant meals, wasted groceries, and credit card interest charges. To add insult to injury, many of these habits – from tossing out food to discarding plastic water bottles – are harmful to the environment.”

“Making some small changes can add up to big savings over time,” the study continues. “One fewer restaurant meal per week can save over $600 a year, switching electronics to sleep mode (or unplugging them), can save $100 a year, and kick that bottled water habit (because it can cost as much as 2,000 times more than tap water!).”

Next: Top 10 money wasters that people are supposedly willing to reduce

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