- More than half have cut back on non-essential items when shopping for groceries (51%).
- More than two fifths of Americans are wearing old clothes more often than previously in order to avoid spending money on new ones (43%).
- Overall, 36 percent of consumers have cut down on money they spend on gadgets and appliances.
Inflation stayed flat in July after rising 1.3 percent in June, according to a report from the Labor Department on August 10. Despite this, research from Forbes Advisor confirms that Americans are being forced to make hard choices as they navigate an increasingly expensive economy, with prices remaining much higher than they have done in recent years.
Insights taken from the latest Forbes Advisor study of 2,000 highlighted that Americans are increasingly cutting costs and looking for other ways to save money. In response, the company revealed how Americans are changing their shopping behaviors amid inflating costs:
Americans Have Cut Back on Purchasing Non-Essential Grocery Items
Research from Forbes Advisor has discovered that more than half have cut back on non-essential items when shopping for groceries (51%) and almost half (45%) of Americans have changed their grocery shopping to buying cheaper alternatives. When these figures are broken down, it seems that Gen Z are the least conscious of cutting back on non-essential products. Two-in-five (41%) of those aged 18-25 claim to have cut down on their non-essential weekly grocery shop, as opposed to 55 percent of those aged 43-57, who are reducing spend the most.
Consumers are Reducing the Amount of Groceries They are Buying as a Whole
Along the topic of groceries, consumers are being forced to minimize how many groceries they purchase. Overall, two-in-five Americans are buying less groceries as a result of inflating food prices (39%) and one-third have reduced their weekly grocery budget (31%).
Americans are Making Use of Reduced Clothing Prices, Thrift Stores, & Second Hand Market Places
More than two fifths of Americans are wearing old clothes more often than previously in order to avoid spending money on new ones (43%). Two-in-five are primarily buying sale or discounted apparel to make up for inflated prices (40%). Within this figure, 24 percent are turning to thrift shops or second hand stores and marketplaces more than ever. Additionally, 18 percent are cutting down on designer clothes and accessories.
Shoppers are Thinking Less About Ethical Consumption When it Comes to Saving Money on Clothing
Worryingly, on an environmental level, one-in-ten are turning to “fast fashion” apparel more than ever due to such cheap prices. Fast Fashion’s negative impact on the planet includes its use of cheap materials and toxic textile dyes — making the fashion industry one of the largest polluters of clean water globally, right up there with agriculture.
Additionally, when shopping for groceries, more than one-in-six (17%) are shopping for less organic items. Organic animal farming is more ethical and offers better life conditions for the animals, however, it comes with a more hefty price tag for shoppers.
Coupons are Being Used More Frequently
Consumers are making a concerted effort to be savvy savers when it comes to everyday spending. More than one-third have started utilizing coupons more regularly, as a means to save money (37%). Similarly, 25 percent have swapped their usual products for alternative ones, should they be able to obtain a similar product using a coupon discount. Shoppers are also taking advantage of discounts offered when buying in bulk, with over a quarter doing so more often (26%).
Customers are Curbing Alcohol Consumption
Both at home and in restaurants, consumers are enjoying alcohol less frequently as a result of inflation. More than one-in-six (17%) are spending less on all alcoholic beverages day-to-day and over one-in-ten wine drinkers are buying less wine during their weekly grocery shops in order to help curb their spending habits (12%). Overall, more men (23%) have cut back spending on alcohol than women (15%).
Many are Holding Onto Older Gadgets & Appliances
Overall, 36 percent of consumers have cut down on money they spend on gadgets and appliances. Of those surveyed, one-in-five (21%) are using outdated gadgets to avoid upgrading them and save on costs, and one-in-six (15%) have taken a DIY in an attempt to fix faulty technology to avoid spending on new products.
When it comes to cell phones specifically, 28 percent have avoided upgrading their model. One-in-ten Americans (10%) have downgraded their cell phone package, such as minutes and data, as they were offered a cheaper alternative.
Consumers are Changing Up Their Credit Card Habits
The survey from Forbes Advisor found that over half of Americans have adjusted their credit card spending in line with inflating costs of day-to-day living. This amounts to more than a quarter of those being forced to use their credit card more often than previously (27%). Contrastingly, 22 percent are being more careful to use their credit card less than they were previously.