A new study finds that there is an advantage to spending your money on local produce, especially when it comes to saving money on gas and food.
The study, conducted by research company KPMG, found that spending $5 on groceries for a family of four would save $2,150 a year on gas, $3,000 a year for groceries, and $7,000 for food.
That compares with $2 a gallon in the average American household.
“People tend to think about grocery prices when they’re thinking about what to buy, and it’s a lot easier to buy locally when you’re able to save money on gasoline and food,” said Jason Eichenberg, senior associate for KPMg’s North America division.
“But you’re also paying for a lot more food in the process, so it’s not always the most efficient way to go.”KPMg is one of several companies to release new studies that have found that people spend more on food and gas than they do on gas prices.
A survey conducted by KPMB in May found that Americans spend on average $8.28 on groceries and $2.96 on gas per person per month, compared to $7.17 per person and $3.16 per person, respectively, for the average household.
The findings of KPML’s research underscore the need for grocery stores to expand their offerings to include more produce, said David Gillett, vice president of food pricing at the food marketing company Nielsen.
“If you can get a lot of fresh produce into the market, that will save you money,” Gilletsaid.
“And the only way to do that is to get it locally.”
While the KPMI study found that a gallon of gas will save a family $5 over the next decade, it also found that the price of groceries would drop by nearly $1.25 a gallon over the same time period.
Gas prices have dropped from about $4.40 a gallon a year in the 1970s to about $2 in today’s dollars, according to the Energy Information Administration.
But some experts have questioned the value of local produce.
“When you have a lot, you can save money,” said Dr. Susan LeRoy, the medical director of food services for the Center for Healthy Lifestyles in Cleveland.
“You can buy a lot.
But you’re getting more bang for your buck.”
LeRoy said that a person could also use a savings account to pay for groceries.
“I would encourage people to have a savings and use that to buy some produce,” she said.
“I think people really appreciate that it is a savings option.”