Americans Are Cutting Back on Groceries More Than Streaming Services to Save Money

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  • Consumers are changing their spending habits due to inflation.
  • When it comes to cutting back, Americans seem more willing to sacrifice the food they put on the table than the content they watch.

Talk about an interesting set of priorities.

There's a reason consumers are willing to pay good money for access to different types of streaming content. Given how stressful life can be, TV and movies can serve as a nice escape. And there's nothing like binge-watching a new series when you're stuck at home under the weather or your weekend plans have been rained out.

But there may come a point when it's time to cut back on streaming services. And that time may be now.

Inflation has been driving the cost of living upward for well over a year. And since mid-2021, many consumers have had no choice but to dip into their savings and rack up debt on their credit cards to keep up with their bills.

If you're in that boat, it may be time to start dumping non-essential bills, like streaming services. But if you're loath to give them up, you're definitely in good company.

Americans don't want to part with streaming services

A recent report by the National Research Group found that Americans have been changing their spending habits to cope with inflation. But they've done so in a rather interesting way.

While 44% of consumers have cut back on groceries in the past six months to conserve funds, only 18% have cut back on streaming services. At first glance, that might seem like a classic case of misplaced priorities. But actually, it speaks to the need we have to clear our heads and get an escape from the grim reality that can sometimes be life.

Should you cut back on streaming services?

That depends. If you're doing okay financially, you can probably keep your streaming services if they're still offering you good value. But if money has gotten tight and you're struggling to pay your bills, then it may be time to cut back in that area.

If you have multiple streaming services, think about your usage. If there's one service you use more so than others, that's a no-brainer to keep.

You might also have access to some streaming content as part of a larger offering -- for example, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you get Prime Instant Video content at no added cost. So if you're effectively getting that service for free (meaning, you consider Prime an essential expense and the streaming portion isn't costing you extra), then you may want to try to take better advantage of that content and cancel another service for a while.

Of course, if you really want to keep all of your streaming services and can get by spending less on groceries (or cutting spending in another expense category), so be it. The key is to free up cash as painlessly as possible if you're at a point where you can't keep up with your bills.

Some people might rush to cancel a streaming service before they start having to skimp on items at the grocery store. But if you feel differently, there's nothing wrong with handling inflation in the manner you think works best for you.

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