Figures released by insolvency trade body R3 show that more than half (51 per cent) of those surveyed are buying fewer non-essential goods.
The research also shows that nearly half (47 per cent) of consumers say they now shop around before buying goods and 22 per cent have started buying non-essentials from supermarkets rather than the high street.
President of R3 Frances Coulson said: “People are uncertain about what the future holds financially and the most natural response is to be cautious.”
She added: “It’s clear from the results that for those who do not wish to go without their non-essentials the supermarkets seem to be offering a better deal.”
Women are leading the spending reduction, while 42 per cent have switched to ‘value’ or ‘own’ brands compared with 32 per cent of men, according to the research.
Nearly half (44 per cent) of women have started using vouchers while shopping, with just 31 per cent of men doing the same.
The research also shows that more than a fifth (23 per cent) of women now set themselves a budget, with only 15 per cent of men doing so.
Coulson commented: “Setting a budget enables you to clearly see how much you spend against your income. A budget is probably the most powerful financial weapon in the fight against debt and its value should not be underestimated.”