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Almost two-thirds of U.S. adults say they are purchasing more generic brands to save money, slightly up from February when 63 percent said they were doing this, according to a Harris poll conducted last month.
Almost half of Americans (48 percent) say they are brown-bagging lunch, also slightly up from February when 45 percent said they were doing this. Two in five U.S. adults each say they have switched to refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottles of water (39 percent) and are going to the hairdresser less often (38 percent). In February, one-third of Americans (34 percent) had switched to refillable water bottles to save money. Also, one-quarter (24 percent) have cut down on dry cleaning. In addition to brown-bagging it, one in five Americans (22 percent) have stopped purchasing coffee in the morning.
Americans are doing whatever it takes to cut back on spending. For some that means forgoing name brands for generics, for others it means letting their hair get a little longer before having it cut. What happens in the future with these small changes will be interesting to watch. It could be that once these numbers start going in the other direction, the economy has turned the corner. Or, as some economists are saying, the culture of saving and cutting back will remain after the economic recovery.
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 14 and 21, among 2,227 adults age 18 and over. For more information, visit www.harrisinteractive.com.