Are all Britons Budget Bargain-hunters?
With a little over a month to go until the Chancellor’s Budget on 20 March, it seems that budgeting is already at the forefront of most people’s minds, with research suggesting that 89% of us are currently on a budget.
While purse tightening may not be a big surprise for many given the still-gloomy outlook for the economy, new research from Mintel also shows that high earning consumers (those earning £50,000 and above) are also likely to be budgeting, with some 90% of high earners claiming that they budget. Indeed, while 70% of all consumers report using in store discounts such as buy-one-get-one-free, this rises to 73% of high earners. Of course, the report doesn’t say whether these are BOGOF peaches or Porsches.
Budget brands have also come out on top, reinforcing good recent results shown by some of the budget brand supermarkets. Now, 30% of consumers buy budget or value ranges compared to 20% in 2008. Over half of respondents think a low price is more important than brand name and 68% boast about their bargains. In a sizeble shift in how saving money is perceived, only 14% of consumers claim that they would hide the fact that they buy value products, the value of savvy shopping outweighing the cost of being seen in Aldi.
Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel said:
“The downturn over the last few years has changed spending and budgeting habits in the UK. We have 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 have seen happen in Europe over the last few years, means that budgeting, saving and discounts have become words ingrained in the consumer psyche.”
“No longer is budgeting something to be ashamed of; in fact, finding a bargain or getting a great deal is something to be celebrated, even shouted about” she added. Shoutily.
The most common ways to bag an extra deal are in-store offers (like BOGOFs), loyalty schemes and percentage total discounts, followed by internet coupons (32%) and magazine coupons (29%). Just under half (44%) of all discount users used their money off to buy clothing and accessories, with 38% eating out or buying groceries on the cheap.
“This shows that people are working to stretch their money not only to help make ends meet, but also to put a little pleasure into their lives” Ina concluded, sagely, even though grocery shopping is not really that exciting.
So what do you think? Surely you lot are savvy shoppers anyway, but have you stepped up the bargain hunting even more? Have you noticed your wealthy neighbours slumming it in the budget brand aisle or is bargaining and budgeting now just a way of life for everyone?