Budgeting and bargain hunting have become ingrained in daily life as a result of the financial squeeze - and high earners are some of biggest penny-pinchers.

Hard times create a nation of bargain hunters

Budgeting and bargain hunting have become ingrained in daily life as a result of the financial squeeze – and high earners are some of biggest penny-pinchers.

Hard times create a nation of bargain hunters

New research from Mintel has found that 89% of Brits are now on a budget, with almost half budgeting more than they were this time last year. And those earning £50,000 and above are particularly savvy with their shopping activities – leading the way in using discounts and special offers.

While 70% of consumers use in-store discounts, this rises to 73% of high earners. Rewards and loyalty cards are used by an average of 66% of Brits, but this rises to 75% of high earners, and percentage-off-total-purchase is used by an average of 52% of Brits compared to some 59% of high earners.

Budget ranges have been the success story of the recession, says Mintel, with some 30% of consumers buying budget ranges compared to just 20% back in 2008. And 53% think low price is more important than brand name.

Says Ina Mitskavets, senior consumer and lifestyles analyst at Mintel: “The downturn over the last few years has changed spending and budgeting habits in the UK. We’ve gone from a nation of borrowers and over-spenders to a nation of savers and savvy shoppers.

“The constant reminders of the dire state of the UK economy, together with what we’ve seen happen in Europe over the last few years, means that budgeting, saving and discounts have become words ingrained in the consumer psyche.”

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