Pinching those pennies

Stay home, drive less and shop on the cheap.

That's what consumers are doing to deal with shrinking savings, declining home values and rising unemployment, according to a recent survey by the consulting firm Booz & Co. In the past six months, about 35 percent of Americans surveyed said they have curtailed spending on restaurants, vacations and entertainment and are choosing to stay in. More than 55 percent said they plan to stay at home more in the future.

Respondents said they have replaced going out with home entertainment. About 27 percent say they are watching more TV, while 25 percent are going online more. Even when Americans do go out, they try to consolidate their trips and spend less. Demand for sale items has increased, and nearly a third of those surveyed said they are buying store-label groceries, while about 32 percent use coupons. Meanwhile, nearly 24 percent said they are taking fewer shopping trips to cut down on gas costs, while 22.5 percent are shopping at stores closer to home.

Booz & Co. commissioned the survey of 995 randomly selected Americans in mid-September.

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