TORONTO — Nearly half of U.S. consumers in a recent survey said they are using the money they are saving on gas to buy groceries, according to analytics firm Precima, based here.
Of 3,013 survey respondents, 48% said they are spending their gas savings on groceries, followed by putting the money into savings (42%), holiday gift buying (37%), paying off credit cards (30%), entertainment (10%) and other uses (14%). The price of gas has fallen by more than 50% from its peak in July.
Of respondents who said they have suffered a direct financial loss during the recession, 55% said they are spending their gas savings on groceries, and for those with annual incomes under $35,000, that figure is 59%.
In other findings from the survey: 27% of respondents said they can no longer afford to stock up on groceries, and buy week to week instead, but 35% said they stock up more than they used to, but only when items are on sale.
When asked which grocery category was most likely to make them change stores to get a better price, 76% of respondents said fresh produce, followed by 72% who said meat and seafood, and 71% who said dairy.
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