High gas prices affecting holiday shopping budgets - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

High gas prices affecting holiday shopping budgets

By Ian Scheuring

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Local consumers planning their holiday shopping budgets are taking high gas prices into special consideration, according to AAA Hawaii's Third Annual Holiday Shopping Poll.

More than seventy percent of those surveyed said gasoline prices in Hawaii have significantly affected their household budgets. The current year-to-date average price of gasoline in the state is $4.10, and if prices hold steady 2011 will end as the most expensive year ever for gas in Hawaii.

Despite these concerns, sixty percent of those polled said they planned to spend around the same amount on holiday gifts as they did last year, but that doesn't mean local consumers won't be more careful with their money.

"Economic concerns and high gas prices are making consumers more careful about how they spend their holiday gift budgets," said Diane Peterson, regional manager for AAA Hawaii. "To make it easier for members to take advantage of AAA discounts while holiday shopping, the current issue of Hawai'i magazine has a savings guide of coupons highlighting discounts with popular retailers such as Omaha Steaks, MattelShop.com and Gap Outlet stores."

Consumers cited numerous strategies they planned to use in order to save money, with responses ranging from using free shipping offers online and doing more price research to looking for less expensive gifts and shopping more at discount stores.

Shoppers also plan to take advantage of online deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Fourteen percent of surveyed local residents said they would spend a lot less on gifts this year, citing reasons that included high gas prices, other expenses or bills, and decreases in household income.

Only ten percent of those polled said they planned to spend more on their holiday shopping this year.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly