How Quickly We Forget Thrifty Promises

Christine Whelan | Posted on 05/21/10

Just one year ago, newspapers, magazines and even some well-timed books (including British journalist Patricia Nicol's Sucking Eggs: What Your Wartime Granny Could Teach You About Diet, Thrift and Going Green...) heralded a new age of frugality. According to a 2009 CNN/Time Magazine poll, even when prosperity returns, 61% of respondents predicted that they would continue to spend less than they did before. "We're channeling out grandparents, who were taught, like a mantra, to use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without," Time Magazine reports. Sales of canning and freezing supplies rose 15% during the first three months of 2009, compared with the same period last year, and 40% of people at all income levels reported that they felt anxious. At Coupons.com, business was up 50% in the last few months of 2008, and consumer savings using coupons.com spiked from $26 million in August of 2008 to $40 million in October. 

"Thrift is cool again," reported The Washington Post as 2008 drew to a close and "coupon clipping has practically become a new religion," reported The Christian Science Monitor

Fast-forward a year or so, and spending is up once more, according to a new Gallup poll.

Obviously that's a good sign of growth and recovery for our economy, so I'm not saying it's a bad thing... but oh, how quickly we forget our promises of long-term thrift.

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