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NZers Waiting For Sales And Buying Cheaper Grocery Brands

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Aug 4 NZPA - Waiting for sales and buying cheaper brands of groceries are the two most common changes New Zealanders made to their spending habits during the recession, a new survey shows.

The survey carried out for AMP found 57 percent of a sample size of 502 people had changed their spending habits during the past 12 months by waiting for sales before buying items.

Cheaper brands of groceries were being chosen by 53 percent, while 49 percent were spending less on socialising and entertainment, 49 percent were buying takeaways less often, and 47 percent were going to cafes or restaurants less often.

The rising general cost of living was the main concern of 26 percent of respondents, and among the other concerns of 46 percent.

Job security was the main concern for 14 percent, and ability to pay household bills was the main concern for 9 percent, according to the survey which was published today.

It also found 13 percent had cancelled regular saving and 15 percent had cut back as a result of the recession or concerns about their financial situation.

Mobile phone use was cut back by 14 percent of respondents and cancelled by 2 percent, while 9 percent cancelled a magazine or newspaper subscription, 8 percent cancelled regular charitable donations and 5 percent cancelled gym memberships.

Weekly household spending was higher than a year earlier for 43 percent of respondents, and lower than a year ago for 30 percent.

Altogether 68 percent of those in the survey said they were shopping smarter as a result of the recession, by doing such things as buying more items on specials, buying in season and sticking to a shopping list.

Asked how they felt about their financial security for the rest of 2009, 17 percent were very positive, 41 percent positive, 24 percent neither negative or positive, 15 percent somewhat negative, and 2 percent very negative.

AMP workplace savings manager David Wallace said people had used a range of initiatives to get by, with the most popular appearing to be growing their own vegetables.

Other initiatives included sharing bulk food purchases among extended family, swapping clothes at work, making their own pet food, and brewing their own beer and wine.

New Zealanders appeared to be developing habits out of necessity that may be beneficial in the long term, Mr Wallace said.

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