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Restaurant Splurges Targeted By Frugal Consumers

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Restaurant Splurges Targeted By Frugal Consumers

While the recession is over, many consumers are still cutting on back on some everyday luxuries, new research shows.

The recent Harris Poll found that nearly 60 percent of U.S. consumers are planning to cut back on how much they spend on eating out within the next six months, while 55 percent expect to reduce spending on entertainment in coming months.

Consumers are also pinching pennies when it comes to a number of small-ticket items. More than 40 percent of those surveyed are packing a lunch everyday, and one-third of consumers have switched in the last year to refillable water bottles to avoid having to repeatedly purchase fresh bottles of water each week.

More than a quarter of those surveyed have cancelled at least one magazine subscription, while one in five have cancelled or cut back on cable television service.

A number of consumers have cut back on how much they spend for phone service over the last 12 months. The research shows 16 percent have cancelled landline service and are now using their cell phone exclusively, with 14 percent having changed or cancelled their cell phone service.

Spending on hair and clothing also continues to drop. Nearly 40 percent of those surveyed are still cutting back on going to the hairdresser, barber or stylist, while 18 percent are cutting down on dry cleaning.

Yet overall, the study found that 30 percent of U.S. consumers believe they are likely to have more money to spend the way they want over the next six months, up from 26 percent last year.

When it comes to big-ticket items, consumers plan to spend about the same as a year ago. The research revealed that 30 percent expect to take a vacation away from home lasting longer than a week, the same as last year, while 13 percent will buy or lease a new car, truck or van, up a bit from 12 percent a year ago.

The research was based on surveys of more than 2,300 U.S. residents over the age of 18.

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Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.