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Religious people spend less money on groceries

Want to spend less money and make fewer purchases during your next trip to the grocery store? Go to church.

The more religious people are, the lower their grocery bill, according to a series of studies to be published in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. One theory: Because religious people tend to value frugality, this inspires them to spend less, or altogether avoid impulse buys, like candy bars and chewing gum at the checkout counter, the researchers wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

The researchers — who work at Boston University, Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh — conducted five studies, one of which asked 800 participants to engage in a hypothetical grocery shopping trip that involved purchasing staples like eggs and milk and non-necessities, such as chewing gum (which was priced between 25 cents and $4).

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