This is one of my biggest pet peeves about this show. In interviews, the show's creators have been claiming for years that they are showing how much this way of life is changing. And at first glance, it seems to be true: several times over the last few seasons the Crawleys were shown to be cautious about automatically replacing lost staff members. So it looks like they are reluctantly changjng their lifestyle in accorandance with the changing times,However, absolutely nothing about their way of life has changed. If they are operating with one less cook, the Crawleys are not eating less; if they are short one footman, they still get served the same number of courses. Their clothing is as beautiful and expensive as ever, they still have as many bouquets on the dinner table as they've always had, and still have the door opened by a servant in any room or vehicle they enter.
So the only people suffering through all these "cutbacks" are the servants. If the family is spending less on staff, but still receive every single service they did in the show's premiere, then the only answer is that the already overworked servants are all doing even more chores than they used to.
But this is never acknowledged. The only exception was one episode when Mr. Carson heaped first, second, and third footman duties on the sole footman, Mr. Molesley, in an effort to punish the "foolish" Molesley for acting "above himself."
So, yes, there have been many cutbacks at Downton that reflect the changing times, but it's only the servants that have suffered.