EMPLOYEES are increasingly likely to tuck into packed lunches at work as the credit crunch continues to bite, a new survey reveals.

The recession is also causing more people to consider cancelling gym membership to save cash, a survey by cruise holiday retailer Cruise118 found.

Of the 1,000 people polled, 77% were now more likely to take packed lunches to work than they were six months ago, while 63% were thinking about scrapping gym membership.

The survey also found that 80% were more likely to look for value rather than luxury when shopping at supermarkets, while 59% were more likely to eat at home than go out for takeaway food.

Also, 52% were more likely to stay in more and go out less, but only 6% were prepared to give up their annual holiday and only 5% were ready to use public transport more rather than their car.

Cruise118 director Mal Barritt said: "It seems that everyone is looking for ways to tighten their belts at the moment, with expensive lunches and gym memberships being the first luxuries that people are willing to give up.

"The feedback we got is that people are very reluctant to give up their holiday, with many considering it a necessity rather than luxury.

"It seems that holidays are more important than ever at a time like this, giving people something to look forward to and the chance to escape their worries for a week or two.

"What we do predict, however, is that many people will opt for one longer break in 2009 rather than several shorter holidays as has been the trend in recent years."