Meals is among the most seen objects within the common American funds. We eat each day and store for meals steadily. Groceries are additionally one of many extra versatile objects in a funds: you’ll be able to’t change your lease or automotive fee, however you’ll be able to shift your grocery buying patterns. Let’s look nearer on the common value of groceries and the way it varies with location, revenue, and household dimension.

Groceries are normally outlined as meals objects which can be ready and consumed within the house. Cash spent on consuming out or ordering out doesn’t qualify. Consumable objects usually bought in grocery shops, like cleansing provides and private hygiene objects, may be categorized as groceries.

Common Month-to-month Meals Spending

Right here’s a breakdown of the typical American month-to-month spending sample. Meals is the third largest expense, nevertheless it’s not damaged down into groceries and meals ready outdoors the house.

Meals spending consists of groceries and meals away from house, which is any meals that you simply pay another person to organize for you. On common, People spent $779 monthly on meals in 2022 and $9,343 over the total yr. Right here’s how that breaks down.

How A lot Does an Common American Spend on Groceries Every Month?

When contemplating solely grocery bills, the typical American spends about $475 month-to-month and a complete of $5,703 all year long.

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How A lot Do People Must Spend on Groceries

Are People spending greater than they should spend on groceries?

The US Division of Agriculture has created 4 meals plans that People can comply with; the Thrifty Plan, the Low-cost Plan, the Average-cost Plan, and the Liberal Plan[1].

These plans take into accounts the age and gender of an individual to calculate the typical meals value. The plans are constructed on the idea that every one meals are cooked at house and meet dietary suggestions. Figures are up to date commonly to account for inflation.

Listed below are the typical meals prices listed within the December 2023 USDA Meals Plan[2,3]:

The common month-to-month grocery invoice of a household of two adults and one 5 yr outdated little one within the US following the official USDA reasonable meals plan is $898. That’s considerably greater than the typical family meals expenditure of $779. The disparity is as a result of many American households don’t have kids, which brings down the typical expenditure.

US Census knowledge signifies that the typical household family dimension is 3.2 individuals, whereas the typical non-family family dimension is only one.25 individuals. The typical meals expenditure will not be damaged down by household and non-family households, however household households could have considerably greater meals expenditures than non-family households.

Greater Revenue Earners Spend Extra on Groceries

Revenue has a serious affect on grocery spending. Unsurprisingly, the next revenue rolls out a smorgasbord of choices. Individuals with greater incomes can afford to pay extra for natural produce, imported meals, and gourmand objects[4].

Low incomes additionally affect total decisions. In response to a 2019 research, lower-income households buy fewer wholesome meals like greens and dairy merchandise than households with the next revenue. The research famous that “lower-income households had decrease (poorer vitamin high quality) scores in contrast with higher-income households”.

Low-income households additionally pay extra for the meals they purchase. Customers can save vital quantities by shopping for non-perishable objects in bulk, however a tighter funds places money-saving bulk purchases out of attain. Low-income households store on-line much less steadily, they usually have much less entry to giant grocery shops with aggressive pricing.

How Has the Value of Groceries Modified Over the Years?

Common meals expenditures for each meals ready at house and meals ordered outdoors the house have elevated steadily for a few years, with a very sharp bounce in the course of the excessive inflation interval of 2022[4].

Meals costs elevated sharply in the course of the inflation surge in 2022. Meals value inflation abated considerably in 2023 however was nonetheless properly above historic averages.

Midyear inflation for major US food categories, 2022 and 2023Midyear inflation for major US food categories, 2022 and 2023

Egg and poultry costs had been hit by an outbreak of Extremely Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Egg costs had the most important value improve (32.2%) between 2021 and 2022 of any class tracked by USDA. Beef and veal costs elevated the least (5.3%) between 2021 and 2022 and customarily declined from peak costs in November 2021.

The USDA predicts that food-at-home costs will drop 0.6% in 2024, with food-away-from-home costs forecast to rise 4.9%[5].

The Common Value of Groceries by State

The typical value of groceries varies significantly by state. Hawaii and Alaska sometimes see the highest prices, as many items must be shipped over giant distances[6].


Revenue is a elementary issue influencing family spending on groceries. Greater revenue permits households to allocate extra money for meals and different bills. Excessive-income households might have the pliability to decide on premium and natural merchandise, contributing to the next total grocery invoice.

Decrease-income households usually face funds constraints, main them to make cost-conscious decisions. Dietary decisions, cultural preferences, and way of life selections affect the forms of meals objects individuals buy.

Family grocery spending is a posh final result influenced by a mixture of things, together with revenue, demographic traits, location, preferences, financial situations, and exterior occasions. Understanding these components helps policymakers, companies, and people make knowledgeable selections about budgeting, useful resource allocation, and responding to dynamic market situations.