If you like to hit up Starbucks before your Target run, you may want to reconsider that double iced latte. Lots of us enjoy a little caffeine to fuel our shopping trip, but according to a new study, drinking coffee before shopping could make you spend more money.
Researchers wanted to find out how caffeine affects a shopper’s behavior and one experiment involved 300 shoppers at two stores in Spain. Half of them were given a traditional cup of coffee containing the usual amount of caffeine, while the other half were given decaf or water. The consumers who drank the coffee “spent significantly more money and bought a higher number of items.”
But it wasn’t just that they spent more money than the non-caffeinated consumers, the experiment also found that caffeine affects the types of purchases shoppers make, as the coffee drinkers tended to buy more items meant for enjoyment. Study authors point out that while moderate amounts of caffeine have positive health benefits, there can be “unintended negative financial consequences of caffeine intake on spending.” And while healthy adults can safely drink up to four cups of brewed coffee a day, according to the Mayo Clinic, study authors suggest avoiding caffeinated beverages before shopping if you’re trying to avoid impulsive spending.