Consumer research is showing Americans are becoming more frugal and are sticking to stricter budgets. But that doesn't mean stores have given up trying to get your money. In fact, they've figured out how to get consumers to spend even more.
They're pursuing a whole new type of consumer – it's called the "forever frugal."
Millions of Americans are struggling with so many money stressors these days, between falling home values and rising prices for food, gas and pretty much everything else. Add in job insecurity, and you have a recipe for shoppers that are pinching every penny.
About 75% of shoppers now use a list, which is always a good idea, and that's up from 45% - and whether it's at grocery stores or drugstores, we're buying up to 10% less than we did per trip, at least according to a survey from Symphony IRI, a consumer research group.
Walmart execs see many shoppers stocking up at the beginning of the month, right after they get paid. Then, by the end of the month, money is so tight they can only afford the smaller sizes of products. So now, Walmart is stocking those as well. And everything from soda companies to personal product makers are responding with expanded lines of cheaper private-label products.