American Women are loosening their purse strings according to Shopsmart’s New Survey,shoes and makeup topping the list

According to ShopSmart’s new national survey, more women are finding reasons to spend. In January 2010, ShopSmart magazine began tracking women’s spending habits in ten product categories. Called the ShopSmart Cart, categories include a mix of home, beauty, fashion and entertainment items. As compared to the findings in January, ShopSmart now finds that American women are snapping up more shoes, makeup, bras, books, CDs, DVDs and handbags but are refraining from more expensive items like jewelry, furniture or spa treatments. The focus now seems to be more on the personal well-being than lifestyle embellishments, as far as the indicators show.

“Although they’re cutting back by buying store brands and clipping coupons, women are feeling more comfortable about spending and splurging more on treats for themselves,” says Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart. “Our survey shows that more than one in four women are spending more than they planned, up from 17 percent in the beginning of the year.” The survey found that, since January, more women are treating themselves to manicures and hair services at the salon. Women are still shopping online and at the mall, though they are increasingly reaching for coupons. Sixty-two percent of respondents have used a coupon for a purchase, reflecting the new bargain-happy economy.

Shopsmart Magazine is a part of Consumers Union, one of the most highly respected publications of the trade and instrumental in providing a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. The ShopSmart Cart methodology involved the Consumer Reports National Research Center conducting a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. Approximately 1,000 interviews completed among women aged 18+ were conducted for each wave. The margin of error is +/- 3.2% points at a 95% confidence level.  Going by the trends, the Fall promises to be a bonanza for personal shopping for ladies.

Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for ShopSmart Magazine gives advice on how to save money by shopping in the fall.

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