The average cost of groceries in the US is $355.50 per month per individual. However, this number can change a lot based on factors like personal eating habits and age. Location is one other vital – maybe surprising – factor dictating food costs. Foods are more expensive in some cities and states in the United States than in others.
To determine where people spend the most on food per month, we considered grocery costs in the most populous cities of each state. We discovered that those living in Honolulu, Hawaii pay the highest for food per month ($556.76), while those residing in Manchester, New Hampshire pay the lowest ($183.00).
Continue reading to find out more about the costs of food all over the country and to find out where your state sits.
What is Average Household Cost of Food?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that we spend over $7,700 on groceries and going out in the country. Consumers in the rural and suburban areas have food as their third-highest expense right after housing and transportation. Those living in the city spend a lot on food than anything apart from real estate.
Average U.S. home budget for food at the home of $3,935
The other things that take a huge part of the regular U.S. food budget would be the same to any citizen of America:
Household Budget: Food at Home
Average Yearly Amount
Other canned and prepared foods
Other bakery products
Milk and cream
Sugar and sweets
Condiments and seasonings
Frozen prepared foods
Fish and seafood
Fats and oils
Potato chips and other snacks
Cereals, ready to eat and cooked
Other cereal products (including rice, pasta, flour and cornmeal)
Ice cream and related products
Misc. dairy products
Canned and packaged soups
Subtotal for Food at Home
Food away from Home
Overall Food Budget for median Household in the U.S.
Food Price for Organic Food per month
The average cost of organic food every month is more than buying regular products. Based on the product, the price difference starts from 0% to a whopping 196%. Obtaining regular 12 large brown eggs will cost you $2.19 at Harris Teeter. Similar but organic product costs $6.49 at a similar store. Amazon Fresh sells organic beef at around 75% higher, while you spend 20% more on organic apples.
The amount you pay for food is based on the number of groceries you buy and where you get them from. According to online reports, the average monthly cost of food for 2 is suggested to be around $260 when not organic. If a size-2 family shops basic products at Safeway, they can prepare to spend around $136 per week or $544 per month. Obtaining organic products cost around $199 per week or $796 per month.
Average Food Spending by Age
According to the detailed report published on the median cost of groceries per month by the USDA, the April 2021 report to be precise, expenses are divided into four spending sections as not everyone has the same budget. The median grocery bill between thrifty persons and the liberal spending plans is so huge. The cost of feeding a child aged 9 to 11 on an economical plan is $165.50, while the cost for a liberal plan was $333.
This means the monthly cost of food per child aged 9 to 11 was 98.80% more in families that have a liberal food budget. The median monthly cost of groceries for a single adult was the costliest among men of age 19 to 50. This group of customers spent from $196.40 (thrifty) and $390.40 (liberal). A single-person monthly grocery bill for women from a similar age group is lower.
In April 2021, their costs started from $174.40 – $346.60. Feeding kids of around 12 months set families back for $99.80 – $185.70 every month. The average monthly grocery bill every month of $99.10 was also the lowest when placed beside all other food expenses by age.
What of other monthly costs? Grocery bills are most people’ highest monthly expenditure, but they are not the only monthly cost you need to prepare for. Get a hold on planning budget for your monthly bills by consulting our utility bill 101.
Food Costs All Over The United States
Most Populous City
Monthly Cost of Food Per Person
New York City
District of Columbia
Salt Lake City
How to Save Cost on Food?
No matter your food budget, you can possibly borrow some tip from thrifty homes to further reduce your costs. Try considering these methods in the food plan for your family:
1. Cook at home: It surely takes a while but cooking and eating at home can save you some money in the long run. Know that the exact cost of food for a restaurant meal is cheaper than a third of the amount you pay for it. Another part of the money you spend at a restaurant is charged for other costs like overhead and labor. Cooking at home ensure that you pay only the food cost, and you keep the rest.
2. Stock up on staples: Already buying too many beans? Stop buying heavy cans, and purchase dried ones that you can easily soak at home. Also buy cereals like rice, oatmeal, and cornmeal. Peanut butter, bread, and eggs can also serve you in feeding a hungry family on a slim budget.
3. Change costly proteins or items for cheaper ones: The cost of steaks is cheaper than ground beef. Poultry also tends to be less expensive than other types of meat. Skip on scallops till you have special occasions, although you can consider canned fish and seafood as a good, and less expensive, healthy alternatives.
FAQ about Cost of Food in the US
How much should I spend on food?
The recommended monthly budget has been published by the USDA. The existing data should be downloaded by people who watch their budget closely to always know of inflation, the UDA recommends that young adult men should prepare around $298 per month to be spent on a moderate diet. About $206 should be planned for by a young woman.
Will fast food and restaurant prices be affected and expected to increase too?
Food prices from fast food and restaurants are expected to increase by 4.2% in 2021. However, the increase is expected to be around 3.5% in 2022. This increase is because of the increasing food prices and increased labor costs.
How are international food prices affected?
Global food prices are currently at a ten-year high. Inadequate supplies and high demand is causing huge price increase, especially in food commodities such as barley, corn, and wheat.
If you are trying to cut your food budget and you are spending a lot of money on non-alcoholic beverages, like the median American household, understand that foods and drinks are necessities of life, but with a few tweaks, you can spend less on them.
We discussed the average cost of food and some essential tips to help you reduce your spending. If you can follow these tips, you will enjoy it later.