A recent Nielsen study revealed that almost two-thirds of consumers in the United States, many more than those surveyed just one year ago, have cut back their expenses, specifically due to escalating gas prices.
According to the study, which queried about 50,000 consumers during the first week of June, when regular gas averaged $3.98 per gallon, 78% of consumers are combining shopping trips, 52% are eating out less and 51% are staying at home more. Consumers are also clipping more coupons, doing more shopping at supercenters and buying less expensive brands, the survey found.
Over the past eight years, eerily coinciding with the time that those in the White House were individuals with very strong ties to oil companies and the energy industry, I’ve seen prices at the pump climb 300%. But unlike the majority surveyed, I can’t say that I’ve changed my spending pattern due to this incredible increase in price. I have changed a few habits to save money, like switching to generic brands for certain items, but I find I am spending significantly more in just about every category compared to my expenses in 2000.
I’ve never been much a coupon clipper. If a coupon happens to find its way to my line of sight, and it’s something I might need in the foreseeable future, I will clip it to my refrigerator door and I may remember to bring it with me on my next shopping trip. This hasn’t been changed by gas prices. I am not traveling less, either.
Have you changed any of your habits due to the increase in gas prices?
Gas prices have consumers cutting back – study, Associated Press, July 17, 2008.