Have you ever received a package out of the blue and been surprised that it contains the exact shoes you’ve been lusting after? Upon further review, you discover the gift-giver is, in fact, you.

About a quarter of Americans (22.9%) admit to being “drunk shoppers.” There are plenty of stories out there of “drunk me” giving to “sober me,” meaning people are making purchases when drunk, forgetting about them and surprising themselves when they receive the purchase a few days later. But how vast is the landscape of drunk shopping?

Finder’s latest Drunk Shopping survey conducted in February 2020 found that collectively, Americans spent $44.9 billion on drunk purchases in the past 12 months.

According to the survey:

  • 69.7% of Americans drink at least one alcoholic beverage per week
  • On average, American drinkers consume 8 alcoholic drinks per week
  • The most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage by men is beer, with 63.7% of men drinking at least one beer a week, compared to women who tend to favor wine, with 46.2% of women having at least one glass per week
  • Millennials and Gen X are consuming the largest amount of alcoholic beverages weekly, an average of 8.85 drinks per week

What are we buying?

If you’re going by total dollar amount spent, Americans spent the most on car-related purchases, vacations and gambling. Clothing and cigarettes also made the list. Others bought artwork, furniture and, of course, more alcohol.

Gender split

Flipping gender norms on their head, it turns out that men love shopping more than women. Just over a quarter (26.9%) of men admitted to drunk shopping, compared to 19.1% of women. The top purchases for men under the influence were more alcohol (57.3%), followed by food (54.7%), and then shoes, clothes or accessories (30.3%.) The top drunk purchases among women were food (62.9%), with shoes, clothes, or accessories coming in second (45.5%), and more alcohol a close third (44.4%).

Generational divide

Now for the statistics that won’t surprise you. The worst offenders for drunk shopping were, of course, millennials at 42.1%. Following millennials were Gen Z (35.4%), Gen X (22.2%) and Baby Boomers (10.1%). The average dollar amount spent in a year by drunk boomers was $486.98.

Geographics

The Northeast showed the highest percentage of drunk shoppers, at 25.82%, while also boasting the highest average spend at $1,195.13. This was followed by the Midwest (23.54%), the West (23.50%) and the South (20.32%). Broken down by state, the highest spenders were found in Washington State. People in Washington spent a whopping $2,199.96 a year. The state that spent the least while drunk shopping was the fiscally responsible North Dakota, at $99.60.

The internet is of course partially to blame for these late night bargain hunts. It wasn’t so easy to make drunk purchases back when you had to go into an actual store. For one thing, stores shut at a reasonable hour and they don’t usually take too kindly to drunkards staggering down the aisles. But these days stores are open 24/7 online.

If you have a big drinking session planned, it might be worth logging out of your Amazon account before you hit the bar. Trying to remember your password sober is hard enough, but doing it drunk is almost impossible.

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