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How People Are Spending and Where They're Cutting Back

How People Are Spending and Where They're Cutting Back

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.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
fashionplate525 fashionplate525 7 years
I don't go to the movies or bars as much anymore, and do not frequently indulge in massages and/or pampering like I once did, but goods like quality produce and Forever 21 purchases have not slowed down.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
I can't say that I've really cut back on anything to save $$$. However, I know that I have more cash because I don't go out to bars as much as I used to. I attribute that to getting old and growing out of it rather than cutting back.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i agree, i've cut back on clothes and prepared foods the most
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I'm cutting back on groceries by buying fewer fresh fruits and veggies and more frozen ones, making my own hummus & energy bars, and resisting all the sales on items I don't really need.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I refuse to cut back on my groceries because eating healthy is very important to me. I have, however, cut back on my clothes shopping. I'm going to a wedding on Saturday and didn't want to shell out big bucks for a dress, so I went to Goodwill and got some teenager's homecoming dress that's GORGEOUS for $8. I've noticed a lot more people shopping at Goodwill lately, too.
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