We don't need surveys to tell us that Americans have cut back significantly on spending, but there are plenty of sources if anyone's looking for proof. A new survey by IBM found that more people have been shopping at a variety of stores to find the best deals, and shoppers are focusing on quality and value almost as much as price. Guy Blissett, consumer products leader for IBM Institute For Business Value, commented, "I think it's a much more sophisticated approach to shopping." Some highlights from the survey:
- 10 percent refuse to give up meat, poultry, fish, and seafood.
- 8 percent said they won't eliminate alcohol and tobacco; coffee and tea; milk and juice; and household and laundry supplies.
- 38 percent said they're buying less clothing, though 29 percent said they'd spend more on this category when the economy improves.
- 45 percent have cut back on prepared foods.
To find out where in the country people have spent the least and cut back the most during the past year,
According to another new survey — this one was conducted by Mint — Brooklyn, NY, residents spent less than any other area of the country in 2009. They cut spending by 28 percent, and the NYC neighbors weren't far behind with their 26 percent reduction in spending. Overall, Mint concluded that the nation trimmed its shopping habits by 13 percent on average.