57% of Americans have increased spending on groceries while in quarantine, according to a new poll (opens in new tab) from Ameritrade (opens in new tab) which looks into how COVID-19 has changed spending habits. On average, those polled had spent an extra $282 on groceries since the start of quarantine measures, with 20% saying that the lockdown has boosted their grocery spending significantly.
The survey suggests that, for many Americans, stay-at-home measures have redirected spending to essentials or at-home activities. Understandably, 53% have reported an increase in spending on cleaning products. Nearly a third have also increased spending on streaming, with the best streaming services (opens in new tab) bringing out new content or making socially-distanced viewing parties possible as a way of keeping people occupied and in contact.
The best grocery delivery services (opens in new tab) have been kept busy throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with some shoppers struggling to secure delivery slots and fearing food shortages. This, alongside an increase in time spent in the home due to a shift to homeschooling and working from home, could explain why people are spending more on groceries. However, the takeout industry has also been busier due to the crisis, with a third of those polled saying they have increased spending on takeout. This may be due to the inability to visit favorite restaurants and eat out. 78% say that lockdown has decreased their spending on eating out, and a further 64% said that quarantine has saved them money on going out for drinks.
We recently reported that Sun Basket CEO Don Barnett declared eating at home the 'new normal', with the best meal kit delivery services (opens in new tab) dealing with an increased demand for convenient and pre-portioned food in lieu of restaurant options. Going forward, the survey found that 71% of Americans intend to 'cook more at home instead of dining out or ordering takeout' when the pandemic is over.
"You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a good time"
Ameritrade found that people are turning increasingly to low-budget or free activities to pass the time, with 82% agreeing that "you don't need to spend a lot of money to have a good time". The most popular activities include going for walks (63%), playing games and puzzles (49%), working out (45%) and virtual tours of museums and national parks (10%).
We recently brought you ideas of 40 free and fun things to do in lockdown (opens in new tab), to bring you the best free trials and events being released to keep people occupied. It's no surprise that physical activities have proved popular during lockdown. Experts have recommended that physical exercise is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy and feel happy when working from home (opens in new tab).