When the economy sank two years ago, Rebecca Seabern realized she could shrink her grocery bill just by eating into her crammed kitchen pantry.
“I had eight boxes of lasagna in there and a year’s worth of paper towels,” says Ms. Seabern, a 31-year-old accountant and married mother of two in San Antonio. Today, Ms. Seabern still has her job, but her antipathy to hoarding hasn’t changed. “I’ve stopped purchasing things just to have them on hand,” she says, preferring to make bigger mortgage payments instead.
The Great Depression replaced a spendthrift culture with a generation of frugal savers. The recent recession, too, has left in its wake a deeply changed shopper: the just-in-time consumer.
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