It is easy to explain why students dine out more than they buy groceries. The obvious reason is the general convenience of it all, not just in terms of time but also in terms of thinking. Students are given a menu with all ready-made recipes that are also tried and liked by other students. This is much more convenient that the thought of creating your own meal with the possibility that it may not even come out the way you want it to. Another perceived pro of dining out is the idea of not having to clean up and thinking too hard. With busy schedules often making them hungry and the constant temptation of so many restaurants, students often make compulsive decisions to eat out because they are in a hot state of mind.
My last reason that students dine out instead of buy groceries is because it is a large aspect of their social lives. Cafes, eateries, and restaurants are places where students can study together, celebrate something, go on dates, or just hang out with friends. I think it is very reasonable to say that social pressures and groups largely affect dining out.
In the Journal of Consumer Affairs, there is a study called “Money Attitudes, Credit Card Use, and Compulsive Buying among American College Students” that focuses on spending habits among college students. Overall there is a large trend of compulsivity, and lack of thinking and realizing the later costs. Students become doers instead of planners. By encouraging students to purchase groceries instead of going out to eat for instant gratification will help them be more financially stable in the long run.
In order to become a choice architect and help students save money by regularly shopping at grocery stores, we must attack the reasons that cause them to go out to eat. Our mission should be to make grocery shopping a fun easy experience that rewards students for making such a smart decision by saving their money.
The first issue is convenience; we must help students realize the cost now but strong benefit later by shopping at a grocery store. The best way for students to realize this is to try to make the cost as obsolete as possible. The first way to eliminate personal cost is by creating the most possible convenience. There should be at least two accessible grocery stores on campus, making it easy for students to get there. The