Americans Still in Savings Mode: Harris Poll

Despite clear signs that the economy is improving, U.S. consumers are still exercising caution with regard to small purchases, according to The Harris Poll of 2,576 adults surveyed online between Jan. 18 and Jan. 25 by New York-based Harris Interactive. For instance, the poll found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults (63 percent) said they have bought more generic brands in the past six months to save money, while another 12 percent said they have considered doing so.

Other things Americans are doing or have thought about doing over the past six months to keep expenses down include the following:

—Nearly half (45 percent) said they’re bringing their lunch to work instead of purchasing it, with 8 percent having considered doing it and 34 percent saying this doesn’t apply to them
—One-third of Americans (34 percent) have switched to refillable water bottles instead of buying bottles of water, while 10 percent have considered changing over

Among the various generations represented in the poll, Gen Xers (those aged 34 to 45) are more likely to bring their own lunch to work, with 56 percent saying they already do so or would consider it.

Harris Interactive weighted figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
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