All I want for Christmas are...some laundry pods, garbage bags and paper towels?!


Those are among the everyday household essentials consumers are snatching up  during Amazon's Prime Day event, which started Tuesday.


By midday Wednesday, household essentials topped the categories that were most shopped, according to research firm Numerator. Household essentials snagged 29% of consumers’ purchases, followed by health and beauty at 26%.


It’s the same buying pattern we saw when Amazon had its first Prime Day sale in July and reflects how 40-year high inflation has turned more Americans into penny pinchers. Looking to defray the high costs of visiting the grocery or drugstore, consumers are taking advantage of Prime Day to stock up on everyday necessities.


Does that mean kids are getting new toothbrushes as holiday gifts this year?


No (thankfully), there’s still some gift buying going on. About a third (31%) of people who shopped at the Prime Day sale bought holiday gifts, Numerator said.


While household essentials was the most shopped category, toys and video games rounded out the top three at 24%, matching apparel and goods, Numerator said.


And the third most bought item was Melissa and Doug brand toys, behind the Amazon gift card and the Amazon photos project.


What are the chances I’ll get that big, full-priced, expensive gift this year?


It’s still early, but so far, not good.


Most people (64%) said they spent the same or less so far at Amazon’s sale than they did at the e-tailer's first Prime Day sale in July if they shopped at both, Numerator said.


Inflation affected 80% of Prime shoppers, Numerator said, with 30% saying they waited for the sale to buy a specific item at a discounted price and 27% skipping a good deal if it wasn’t a necessity. Fourteen percent shopped around outside of Amazon, too, to make sure they were getting the best price.


The average order was $46.44, down from $59.88 at July’s sale, despite elevated inflation, data showed. That means people are likely buying less since rising inflation would automatically increase prices, or dollar amounts, and narrow the difference between the two amounts.


What might this data tell us about retail sales this holiday season?


Consumers are still spending but, feeling pinched.


“While real consumption is still growing at 1.8%, personal savings have dropped to lower than they were pre-pandemic at under $1 billion,” Tiffany Yeh, Boston Consulting Group retail analyst, said. Real consumption is spending adjusted for inflation.


That means big sales events like Amazon Prime Day may end up falling flat. Some analysts predict inflation-adjusted holiday sales will decline from last year.


“People don’t chase sales if they feel they don’t have any discretionary spending,” said Jonathan Walker, Executive Director of Elevate’s Center for the New Middle Class, which provides research, suggestions, and assistance for America's non-prime consumers. “It doesn't matter how good the sales are.”