What Is The Average Cost of Food In The United States?

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What Is The Average Cost of Food In The United States

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

Non-alcoholic beverages

$384

Fresh fruits

270

Other canned and prepared foods

255

Fresh vegetables

236

Beef

219

Poultry

170

Pork

170

Other bakery products

165

Milk and cream

152

Sugar and sweets

143

Condiments and seasonings

138

Processed vegetables

130

Frozen prepared foods

130

Other meats

119

Cheese

125

Fish and seafood

122

Fats and oils

117

Potato chips and other snacks

115

Processed fruits

115

Bread

106

Cereals, ready to eat and cooked

94

Other cereal products (including rice, pasta, flour and cornmeal)

91

Ice cream and related products

59

Eggs

56

Misc. dairy products

54

Cookies

49

Canned and packaged soups

45

Nuts

45

Crackers

39

Butter

24

Subtotal for Food at Home

3,935

Food away from Home

2,667

 

Overall Food Budget for median Household in the U.S.

$6,602

 

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.

Pro Tip

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

Rank

State

Most Populous City

City Population

Monthly Cost of Food Per Person

1

Hawaii

Honolulu

337,256

$556.76

2

Vermont

Burlington

42,417

$497.41

3

Alaska

Anchorage

291,826

$483.24

4

New York

New York City

8,175,133

$482.87

5

West Virginia

Charleston

51,400

$427.19

6

Mississippi

Jackson

173,514

$423.33

7

South Carolina

Charleston

136,208

$411.29

8

Massachusetts

Boston

617,594

$406.21

9

District of Columbia

Washington DC

693,972

$405.08

10

Washington

Seattle

608,660

$402.08

11

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia

1,526,006

$401.02

12

Georgia

Atlanta

420,003

$397.97

13

Alabama

Birmingham

212,237

$397.39

14

Minnesota

Minneapolis

382,578

$395.39

15

Rhode Island

Providence

178,042

$390.19

16

Wisconsin

Milwaukee

594,833

$385.97

17

Delaware

Wilmington

70,851

$380.39

18

Oregon

Portland

583,776

$375.41

19

Maine

Portland

66,194

$372.21

20

California

Los Angeles

4,792,621

$370.96

21

Florida

Jacksonville

880,619

$364.25

22

Iowa

Des Moines

215,472

$347.05

23

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

579,999

$346.66

24

Tennessee

Nashville

660,388

$346.37

25

Wyoming

Cheyenne

59,466

$345.62

26

New Jersey

Newark

277,140

$343.77

27

Maryland

Baltimore

620,961

$343.67

28

Connecticut

Bridgeport

144,229

$343.30

29

Ohio

Columbus

879,170

$341.48

30

North Carolina

Charlotte

731,424

$341.10

31

Nebraska

Omaha

408,958

$336.90

32

Illinois

Chicago

2,695,598

$327.31

33

Michigan

Detroit

713,777

$327.12

34

Colorado

Denver

600,158

$326.92

35

North Dakota

Fargo

105,549

$326.66

36

Louisiana

New Orleans

343,829

$325.19

37

Montana

Billings

104,170

$323.91

38

Indiana

Indianapolis

820,445

$318.03

39

Kentucky

Louisville

597,337

$315.20

40

Missouri

Kansas City

459,787

$312.63

41

New Mexico

Albuquerque

545,852

$307.79

42

Arizona

Phoenix

1,445,632

$302.80

43

Virginia

Virginia Beach

437,994

$298.01

44

Nevada

Las Vegas

583,756

$293.43

45

Texas

Houston

2,099,451

$286.64

46

South Dakota

Sioux Falls

153,888

$286.23

47

Arkansas

Little Rock

193,524

$282.46

48

Utah

Salt Lake City

186,440

$282.23

49

Idaho

Boise

205,671

$281.12

50

Kansas

Wichita

382,368

$261.35

51

New Hampshire

Manchester

109,565

$183.00

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Thomas Curry
Thomas Curry
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.
Thomas Curry - Moving Feedback Research Team
Thomas Curry - Moving Feedback Research Team

Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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