TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Groceries remain expensive as inflation continues to put the pressure on Americans spending habits.
Prices on basic items like eggs, flour, and coffee, fresh fruits and vegetables, and proteins have continued to increase nearly every month for over a year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The most recent Consumer Price Index showed a 12.8% increase in grocery prices. Eggs saw the single-largest increase in prices over the past year.
With their eye on inflation, LendingTree put together a report on which items are costing Americans the most when they plan their food budgets, and which states are seeing the biggest chunks of change spent on groceries.
According to the company’s analysis, households are spending an average of $260 every week to buy groceries or food to eat at home. That amounts to roughly 13.8% nationally, according to LendingTree’s data analysis.
Among the 50 states, and the District of Columbia, Mississippi families spend the most of their pay on food, equal to more than 20% of their income. Residents in the nation’s capital spend the least, at just 8.1% of their income.
The range of states, income levels, and dollars to dinner puts Florida in the top 10 for states where the biggest portions of income are spent on food. The Sunshine State is ranked eighth for most spent out of their income, with 16.4% of paychecks going to groceries.
|Rank||State||Average spent per week on groceries||Mean household income||% spent on food|
“Americans love dining out and spend a ton of money in restaurants, but the truth is that we do most of our preparing, cooking and eating at home,” LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz said about the spending trends. “And though eating at home is often recommended to help keep expenses down, it’s not necessarily inexpensive. Cooking at home doesn’t have to mean ground beef and hot dogs. Today’s grocery stores are loaded with high-end options that can help you get in touch with your inner ‘Top Chef’ and go gourmet, if you’re willing to spend the money.”
According to the LendingTree analysis, families with children still at home “spend significantly more” than those without children, when it comes to groceries. The company said it isn’t a surprise.
However, LendingTree also said that higher income earners spend more on food than any other income group, with those who earn $200,000 or more per year spending as much as $312 per week on grocery items. In the opposite direction, LendingTree said households that earn $25,000 annually spend about $234 per week on food instead.
The impact of the dollars per week is bigger for families with lower incomes, with the families earning around $25,000 spending nearly half of their income per year on food alone. For $234 a week, a household earning $25,000 would spend roughly $12,000 on groceries.
By comparison, households making $200,000 would spend more dollars per year on food, but the amount of their overall wages spent is lower, at roughly $16,000 or around 8%, rather than the 48% for the lower income group.
While groceries continue to grow more expensive, housing still remains one of the largest factors impacting affordability by location. Nationally, the cost of rent or mortgages collectively made up half of all inflation in January.