- The Washington Times - Friday, September 16, 2022

A new poll finds that most Americans intend to save money for the holidays by spending less on alcohol, home decorations and travel in the face of soaring inflation.

Morning Consult reported last week that 64% of consumers responding to a survey plan to be “more conservative” in spending leading up to the winter holidays. Among those surveyed, 82% will look for more discounts and 72% will seek out less expensive alternatives.

“Continued inflationary pressures mean consumers will be particularly alert to deals over the next few months as they try to maximize their budgets for gifts and celebrations,” Claire Tassin, Morning Consult retail and e-commerce analyst, wrote in Thursday’s summary of the findings.

As consumers narrow their expenses to essential purchases, the poll found that 44% will spend less on travel before Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Another 43% will spend less on décor and 42% will spend less on alcohol.

The poll also found significant numbers of adults plan to spend less on food and beverages, celebrations, gifts and overall holiday spending.

As consumers become less concerned about COVID-19 and seek to avoid shipping charges, the poll found people migrating from online shopping back to brick-and-mortar stores.

Morning Consult reported that 36% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping mostly online, down 11 points from 47% in 2020 and closer to the 29% who said the same in 2019 before the pandemic.

While 49% of consumers plan to spend the same amount on the holidays as last year, the poll suggests they will have less money for discretionary purchases this year. That’s because Americans are spending more than ever on food, rent and gas as consumer prices remain at a 40-year high.

Morning Consult surveyed 2,210 U.S. adults on Sept. 9-11. The poll’s unweighted margin of error was plus or minus 2 percentage points.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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