One of the biggest impacts the current economic recession has is on peopleâ€™s spending on food expenses. People are eating out less swapping dining out in restaurants with more home-cooked meals.
In the USA
However, health professionals in the USA are concern about the rise in obesity levels. This is due to the people spending less on healthy and relatively expensive food like fresh fruit, fish and vegetables for cheaper food that tend to be high in sugar and saturated fats. To cut food expenditure to economize may mean eating foods that are high in sugar, saturated fats and refined grains, i.e. empty calories as they are cheaper. The advice is to pay attention to affordable and healthy food as well as a balance diet.
In Malaysia, with both husbands and wives working, eating out or buying prepared food is normal. The varied choices from coffee shops, food courts, road side stalls, fast food joints and restaurants mean not getting bored with outside food. They also have the choice on how much money to spend depending on the food source. Of course coffee shop food tends to be cheaper compared to the expensive restaurants like Secret Recipe. These foods are seldom healthy compared to home-cooked meals. The good news is that for those who prefer to cook at home, fresh produces are easily available and accessible. One only has to make the choice on whether to cook at home or eat outside food.
Japan households are also affected by the current situation. Japan homemakers have been practicing frugality and cutting back or spending less on food. The average salary is about USD2900 a month (about 270,000 yen) and being frugal has some housewives spend only USD108 on food per month. This is accomplished by having a budget, a proper meal plan and also good discipline to follow it through.
My family has not felt a significant impact except for the rising costs of food stuffs due to the fuel price hike previously. The bad thing is that after the fuel price went down, the high price of food remains. My family seldom eats out at expensive restaurants and the children prefer fast food joints but that is limited to once a month only. Having simple meals at home helps to save money in the long run.
What about you? Has the current economic situation affected your household spending on food?