Friday, July 15, 2011

FRUGAL FRIDAY: CONSUMERS STILL CUTTING EXPENSES




Consumers are trying even harder to save money,  according to an article in the consumer online publication, The Lempert Report, It says that a  Harris Poll done in mid-June found that more American adults were buying generic brands, brown-bagging lunch, and using refillable water bottles than they had done in February 2011.

Among the 2,163 adults surveyed, generic brands were bought by 67% of adults in June vs. 61% in February. There were differences among generational segments – from 62% by Echo Boomers age 18 to 34 to 69% by Matures age 66 and older.

Brown bagging lunch edged up a bit overall to 46% in June vs. 45% in February. Across generations, this ranged from 17% by Matures (often retired) to 58% by Generation X age 35 to 46.

Switching to refillable water bottles rather than buying bottled water moved up to 39% in June from 35% in February. This behavior ranged from 30% among Matures to 45% among Echo Boomers.

Meanwhile, the percentage of U.S. adults that stopped buying coffee in the morning remained steady at 21% between February and June.  This incidence ranged from 12% among Matures to 19% among Echo Boomers, to 24% among Baby Boomers age 47 to 65, and 27% among Generation X.

So people are still looking for ways to pare down expenses in this tough economy. If you have some ideas, please comment with them!  You can leave it as "anonymous," and include your name in the post if you want. No pressure!



Here are a few more penny-pinching ideas I've come across:


1. Always keep a cold refillable bottle of water in the fridge. Grab it to take it along whenever you're driving to work, chauffeuring kids, running errands, etc.  It will keep you from getting hot and thirsty, and possibly stopping in at a convenience store for a drink.


2. Some grocery stores will give you a tiny discount if you bring re-useable bags. It may just be 5 or ten cents per bag, but if you've got six or seven bags of groceries, those pennies add up over time.


3. Use small appliances, such as the microwave, slow-cooker and electric frying pan; they use less energy than a stovetop.
4. Use the dishwasher only when completely full. Washing dishes by hand can cost more than a full load in the dishwasher, due to the hot water usage. Let the dishes air-dry rather than using the "dry" cycle.


5. Don't open the oven door to preview baking food. Each time you open it, the temperature drops by 25-50 degrees. It takes longer to cook your food and adds to your energy bill.


6. During the hot summer months, always look for a shady spot when you park your car. You won't have to run your air conditioner as much to cool off the car.
7. Even though your favorite bottle of cologne is empty, there's still a lot of scent left in the bottle. Fill it up with dishwashing detergent and for a pleasantly scented bubble bath.
8. Get your hair cut or styled at the local beauty college. Prices are cheaper than a regular salon, although quality can vary! This is a time-saver when you have several children. You can make appointments for multiple children for the same time with different students.

9. Find ways to use up the cosmetics sitting in your cabinet.  Face moisturizer can be used as lotion for your arms and legs. Hair conditioner can be used instead of shaving cream to soften stubble on your legs. And invest in a lipstick brush so you can reach all the way to the bottom of your lipstick tube instead of tossing it.


More ideas? Please comment!