It would seem that two years into a recession and some changes are being noticed on how we are handling things and how it will impact our future. Below are two articles I read last week, some surprised me and others didn't.

A recent headline - "Grocery Products Manufacturers Need to Recalibrate Consumer Demand... Market research over two years old is now dangerously out-of-date and likely irrelevant."

A recent study has found that the recession has effected our shopping habits and if this recession continues longer it could ruin us forever and kill our shopping instincts. OK, those are my words.
According to the study:
92% of shoppers have changed their shopping behavior
66% are spending less without feeling any sacrifice
93% will retain their newfound frugality post-recession
75% are more open to trying private label brands than they were just two years ago.

And to fight for the money in our hands a consumer group with panels of 1500 U.S consumers will offer "clients an innovative method to test a range of alternative ideas and to dissect their key competitors, not least of which are emergent private label products, with unprecedented affordability. That most retailers are cutting back on the range of items they offer makes the need to defend existing items additionally intense”.

I found it interesting that I was recently approved for panel discussion on my own consumer habits. They asked a lot of questions about my use of paper towels, napkins and other disposable items. I will catch you all up once the panel is over.

This recession also appears to be keeping not only our money in our wallets but keeps us at home more.

"But a deep recession does more than economic damage. When short-term unemployment turns into long-term unemployment, as it has in this recession to a level unseen since the 1930s, rates of depression (the psychiatric kind) increase, anxiety rises and behavior changes in ways both expected and unexpected.

But here’s something more surprising: As the recession deepens, participation in civic activities — community organizations, volunteer groups, even church attendance and social clubs — is likely to drop. Sociologists once assumed that during hard times people would naturally band together, if only to protest their plight or to give each other solace. It turns out that the opposite is true: Economic distress causes people to withdraw."
At a time when we have available time to network and volunteer since being unemployed, we instead appear to stay at home, keeping our head down so as not to get hurt again and stay in our comfort zone. I know that with my own layoff coming up, I want to use that time to better myself and my health, so I can see how being unemployed can be all consuming in order to back to a financial and psychological life that is more comfortable.

Ok, let's have a laugh from Graphjam:

~~ Have you seen those Groupon ads that allow you to save 50% or more on a service when there are a large number of people who buy the item. I was just thinking that you may want to sign up for the email notification in cities where family and friends live as a way to get ideas for gifts.

~~ If I go to yardsales, I usually peruse the ads on Craigslist, jot down the address for each of them, put them in Google maps and print out each one individually. However, a new site (I added to my Yard Sale Info on the right) called the Yard Sale Treasure Map cuts out a couple of those steps for me. Very handy! I tried it for my large metro area and I tried it in my hometown. I like it! And if you have written down any from the newspaper, you can add those in as well and then print it out and it will all be mapped for you.

I always learn something from Lifehacker and Consumerist:
LH: What have you suddenly discovered you were doing wrong? - "For years I had the side mirrors on my car adjusted wrong. I'd always focus them behind the car, till I read (and realized) I already have a rear view mirror, you should use the side mirrors to show your blind spots." - StephenFS

C: What was the smartest purchase you ever made? - "When we bought our house, my husband replaced the sump pump and bought a backup pump that runs on a battery. A year and a half later, when epic rainfall cut power to our neighborhood and flooded EVERYTHING, our basement was dry." - Funnymonkey


  1. Anonymous // Friday, July 23, 2010 7:45:00 PM  

    Dawn, you are right about the changes the last year has brought. We used to go crazy when a discount coupon was in the paper for our favorite Mexican food restaurant (chain). Now we don't even keep it because we know we aren't going for a couple of reasons.
    1. The meals are waay smaller than before.
    2. If we are going to spend money for take out we would rather give the cash to a small taco shop that opened up in our neighborhood. We actually know who our dollars benefit.
    I like the changes!
    Happy Friday,

  2. Anonymous // Sunday, July 25, 2010 8:24:00 AM  

    Amended to say - we don't go out to eat all the time. I thought about that after the last post! LOL. We are really focused on home cooked meals and leftovers.
    I used a technique from one of your previous post to complain about a less than satisfactory product from one of my favorite companies. The result was coupons for 4 replacement items. Go Dawn!!