NU Online News Service, Jan. 29, 10:14 a.m. – U.S. consumers are literally pinching pennies this year, according to results of a survey commissioned by Coinstar Inc., Bellevue, Wash.

When researchers interviewed 1,000 randomly selected U.S. adults, they found that 36% of the respondents are using cash to pay for more purchases these days than they were a year ago, and 18% are using cash in an effort to improve their budgeting.

Twenty-four percent of the respondents told researchers they care more about the value of loose change.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents now want the United States to keep the penny in circulation, up from 65% in 2001.

Eighty percent of the respondents say they would pick up a penny if they saw it on a sidewalk, and 90% said they would pick up a nickel.