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Fuel costs topped list of lockdown savings as spending habits change

16 June 2020

As consumers return to the high streets, figures released today show that seven in ten people (69%) were saving money as a result of changing spending habits during lockdown – fuel expenses were the single biggest cost-saving item. 

The survey of more than 2,000 people by national housebuilder Keepmoat Homes shows how spending habits changed during lockdown as consumers saved money on items normally taken for granted.  Fuel topped the list of the cost-saving expenses, followed by entertainment and holidays.  

Unsurprisingly, eight in ten people (79%) said that the majority of their monthly household spend went towards supermarket and food shopping. 

Asked to list all the monthly expenses they were saving money on because of lockdown, the five most popular items were:

  1. 80.2% saved money on entertainment (meals out, cinema visits, live music etc)
  2. 66% saved on fuel
  3. 52.3% saved on holidays
  4. 50.1% saved on lunchtime meals
  5. 46.3% saved on beauty treatments (haircut, massage, eyelash extensions etc)

The item the public are most looking forward to spending on again is entertainment (45%), followed by holidays (27%) and beauty treatments (11%).


Keepmoat Homes, which paused all of its operations three months ago has now reopened its showhomes and restarted building. Tim Beale, CEO of Keepmoat Homes, said: “Our spending patterns changed considerably during lockdown under what was undoubtedly a difficult period for many.

“As we transition carefully out of lockdown, there will be a slow return to habitual purchases such as petrol for the car, train and tube fares, lunchtime sandwiches, takeaway coffees, and other items we normally take for granted, as people seek to balance their living expenses.

“What will be interesting is the longer-term change to what was considered ‘normal’ and how this affects how we live in the future.  For example, while working from home has been forced upon many people, how many will choose to continue to do so in future if they can?

“Homes mean more right now, they are not just the place we live, but also where we work, exercise and teach our children and I believe the way we think about them will be very different in the future.  

“When we look to buy a new home I think there will be a much greater emphasis on flexible living including home offices, outdoor space and workout areas.

“What’s also interesting is that interest in new homes remained strong throughout lockdown, with many people choosing to reserve online whilst they were unable to visit our sales centres and showhomes. And, following our reopening two weeks ago, sales are currently exceeding pre-lockdown levels.”

The survey revealed that, on average each member of the public estimated they saved £201.50 every month during lockdown, or £10.6 billion (£10,559,273,816) nationally*.  

The poll also showed that 83% of those surveyed did not take a mortgage holiday or rent break – 63% said they did not want one and a further 20% thought they would not be eligible for one.   


*£10.6 billion monthly saving calculation: 52,403,344 x £201.50 = £10,559,273,816. 2,085 people surveyed in April and May 2020.

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