Shopping drunk? Americans blew over $30B while intoxicated last year

Friends don't let friends shop drunk. (File photo)

$30.43 billion – that’s the amount that comparison shopping website estimates Americans spent last year shopping while drunk.

In a survey of 2,000 adults, concluded that about 68 billion Americans made spontaneous purchases while under the influence of alcohol, spending/blowing an average of just under $450 per person.

I am guilty of this. I’m not proud of it. I’m just guilty.

A few months ago, after a few cocktails on a Saturday night out, my husband and I had run out of conversation topics and my attention lapsed to the Facebook feed on my phone.

An ad popped up from a Chinese discount website for a three-story pink hamster cage.

Now, I didn’t have a hamster, but I suddenly had the overwhelming desire to own a three-story pink hamster cage.

With the ease of mobile shopping thanks to technology like autofill and PayPal, I purchased my treasure in about three thumb clicks – well before reason kicked in to remind me that

A.)I had absolutely no need for a three-story pink hamster cage.

B.) It probably wasn’t a good idea to buy anything off an unknown foreign website.

About two months later it actually arrived. It came without a box or instructions. It was mostly just a pile of wire and plastic wrapped in about 10 feet of bubble wrap and tape. It was also hysterically tiny. A mouse wouldn’t fit in it.

It was a lesson that things aren’t always as they appear online or under the influence.

I hadn’t actually spent a lot of money on it. And, I don’t think I’ve been hacked since the purchase, so it was a relatively cheap lesson to learn.

However, I do still need to hear my husband giggle and admonish me not to “buy any more hamster cages” every time I’m staring at my phone for too long.

But now that I know I’m in good company, I feel better about my faux pas.

It seems I’m in the right age demographic for a little indiscriminate shopping under the influence.

According to the survey, Generation Xers like me rule the drunk shopping roost.

It determined that those in the X generation spent about $738.87 after or during drinking. That’s more than triple the $206.11 that millennials spent, even though it showed millennials drink and shop more often.

In the survey 61.07 percent of millennials who drink regularly admitted to drunk shopping. Compared that to Gen Xers at 51.17 percent and baby boomers at 31.29 percent.

Gen Xers apparently are in the sweet spot of drinking and spending with more disposable income than millennials and more familiarity than the baby boomers have with the mobile and online shopping technology that makes drunk shopping so easy.

In the battle of the sexes you’d assume women would be the big boozy spenders, but you would be wrong.

Men may like to jokingly complain about women’s penchant for shopping, but when it comes to drunk shopping…they’re the ones with their wallets out.

The survey showed men spent nearly double what women spent while under the influence averaging a total 564.51 per spend, compared to women, who spend an average $282.65.

Surprisingly, hamster cages did not make the list of top items people purchase while drunk.

The top purchases are food, clothing and shoes, but gambling and prostitution also made the list – yikes.

One reason the drunk shopping statistics are worth noting, is that the trend is growing. said this year’s drunk shopping average is double the amount on last year’s $206 worth of purchases while under the influence!


Like in my case, technology is making it much easier to drink, click, buy.

If you’re worried about shopping while sloshed, Finder recommends putting a block on certain shopping sites if you’ll be out drinking, or at the very least shop on sites with a generous return policy.

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