With lean economic teams still expected, Americans are adjusting their habits accordingly and making such lifestyle changes as buying generic food brands, brown-bagging their lunches and refilling their water bottles with tap water. A Harris Poll released last week surveyed 2,293 random US adults in early October to see how they were spending -- or trying not to spend -- their money -- and found that habits varied across generations.
- 64 percent said they were purchasing more generic food brands.
- 47 said they were bringing their lunches from home instead of purchasing them.
- 43 percent have been going to the hairdresser or barber less often.
- 36 percent are refilling their water bottles with tap water instead of buying bottled water.
- 34 percent are cancelling magazine subscriptions.
Smaller numbers, which are equally representative of millions of Americans, further revealed:
- 22 percent are cutting back on dry cleaning.
- 21 percent are cancelling or cutting back on cable TV.
- 20 percent have stopped buying coffee in the morning.
- 14 percent are using public transportation or ride-sharing.
- 12 percent have cancelled landline phone service and are using only cell phones.
The poll noted that the 18-32 demographic, called Echo Boomers, was more likely to brown-bag lunch than the over-64 set, but that Baby Boomers, aged 45-63, are more likely to buy generic brands of foods and also brown-bag their lunches.