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Spending habits: More generics, brown bagging; less dry cleaning, haircuts

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Half of all adults are saving money by purchasing more generic brands, while more than 40% are brown-bagging lunch more often and cutting back on visits to hairdressers and barbers.

Over 30% have switched to tap water and cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions, according to a new Harris Poll. Others have cut down on dry cleaning, reduced or cancelled cable, bagged a newspaper subscription, and either changed or cancelled cell phone service, the poll says.

And although the results say 20 percent of those polled stopped buying their morning coffee, it didn’t say whether they’re simply making it themselves now. Can’t imagine skipping it altogether — ESPECIALLY amid today’s economic pressures.

The irony, of course: What’s being saved reduces the among of money going to the people who produce and sell these products and services, which reduces jobs and slows an economy that desperately needs the boost.

Harris Interactive surveyed nearly 2,300 adults online in early October. It found that the changes vary by generations.

For instance, “echo boomers” (ages 18 to 32), are more likely than “matures” (64 and older) to brown bag, to have cancelled or cut back cable, and to carpool or use mass transit, according to the poll.

At the same time, the echoes are much less likely than matures to cancel magazine subscriptions.

The group in between, the baby boomers, are more likely than both groups to buy generic, to brown bag, and to wait longer for that haircut.

The biggest lifestyle changes:

* 64%: purchasing more generic brands;
* 47%: brown-bagging lunch;
* 43%  going to hairdressers or barbers less often;
* 36%  switched to tap water and refillable bottles instead of bottled water
* 34%  cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions

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