Groceries vs. Dining Out has a really interesting article about how much Americans spend on groceries versus eating out. According to Brian Wansink, the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, we make 227 decisions about what to eat every day! (Except for days when you go to the Whole Foods café and are faced with 1 bajillion choices, only a few thousand of which are acceptable dino-chow.)

You can see in the chart above, Austin was at the top with a combined food cost of $12,447. I’m a little under that average, mostly because I only eat out in a restaurant about once a week. My grocery investment is around $6000 a year (!), but the restaurant total is only about $1800-2000 or so. Cooking at home definitely cuts down on the restaurant costs, but that grassfed, organic, high-quality food in CrossFit-worthy quantities doesn’t come cheap!

Bundle’s overall findings are pretty much what you might expect and again raise the troubling questions about lower-income earners’ ability to buy healthy, quality food.

“None of this may be groundbreaking. But it affirms long-held suspicions: there’s food at every price, for every budget, and what we spend on what we eat has a lot less to do with how hungry we are — or even what we may actually like to eat — than how much money we have.”

Read the whole article here, and enlarge the graphic below to find your city to see how you compare with the average.

What are your grocery versus restaurant costs? Seems like if you’re really committed to eating healthily, the in-home cost goes up, but restaurant splurges go down.

Our New Project: Strong Sense of Place

My new project is taking all of my attention right now, and I'd love for you to join me for new adventures! It's called Strong...

Read More

Rants & Rave: 25 April 2020

We could all use some happy distractions right about now, right? Here are some of the things I found online lately that made me happy....

Read More


  • Steph H says:

    Thanks for sharing this.

    steph h

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    I found it at Sociological Images — GREAT blog.

  • Danni says:

    Is it wrong that I have no idea? I don't track stuff like that. That said, we eat out maybe once a week, and even then I often just have drinks and eat at home. Of coure, I don't live in a city so the choices are limited. Maybe I should track what I spend on booze vs. food, lol.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Danni! I don't totally track, either, but when we went to grassfed, la-la last summer, I was curious. Food is my second biggest expense, after mortgage. Seems right.