GOBankingRates

How Much Money You’ll Spend on Food in Your Lifetime

Rawpixel / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rawpixel / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Americans spend a lot on food. On average, U.S. households shell out $7,923 a year for food eaten at home and away from home. It’s the third-biggest expense after housing and transportation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey.

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You have to eat, so spending on food consumes a significant percentage of your budget (forgive the pun). But maybe you’re spending more than you have to. After all, about 43% of household spending on food goes toward eating out. You probably don’t need to be told that dining out tends to cost more than preparing food at home.

And when you consider how much you spend on food over a lifetime, the amount can be mind-blowing. GOBankingRates did the math to find out how much the average person in each state spends on groceries and dining out from age 18 to the average life expectancy of age 79.

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GOBankingRates first used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey data to find how much the average American in each age bracket spends annually on food at home and food away from home. The spending average for food at home was adjusted for each state by using the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s grocery index, which reflects how much more, or less, groceries in each state cost compared with the national average. The center’s miscellaneous spending index was used to adjust spending averages for food away from home for each state.

GOBankingRates then estimated how much the average person in every state can be expected to spend on food in a lifetime by multiplying each age group’s average expenditure on food by the number of years contained in it and adding the totals. The results might surprise you. Find out whether you’re spending more than the average American when it comes to food.

Last updated: Sept. 7, 2021

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Michigan

  • Grocery index: 88.7
  • Average spent per year: $7,169.58
  • Lifetime total: $437,344.46

See: 11 Foods Only the Rich Can Afford

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Texas

  • Grocery index: 89.0
  • Average spent per year: $7,182.85
  • Lifetime total: $438,153.89

Read: 25 Cheap Frozen Foods That Are Actually Good for You

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Mississippi

  • Grocery index: 93.8
  • Average spent per year: $7,275.68
  • Lifetime total: $443,816.77

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Kansas

  • Grocery index: 92.6
  • Average spent per year: $7,290.88
  • Lifetime total: $444,743.61
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Arkansas

  • Grocery index: 91.2
  • Average spent per year: $7,297.23
  • Lifetime total: $445,130.82
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Oklahoma

  • Grocery index: 94.1
  • Average spent per year: $7,302.61
  • Lifetime total: $445,459.11

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Tennessee

  • Grocery index: 94.0
  • Average spent per year: $7,373.28
  • Lifetime total: $449,770.29
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Idaho

  • Grocery index: 92.0
  • Average spent per year: $7,383.81
  • Lifetime total: $450,412.70
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Indiana

  • Grocery index: 92.6
  • Average spent per year: $7,389.87
  • Lifetime total: $450,782.19
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West Virginia

  • Grocery index: 91.7
  • Average spent per year: $7,459.30
  • Lifetime total: $455,017.17
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New Mexico

  • Grocery index: 100.9
  • Average spent per year: $7,490.73
  • Lifetime total: $456,934.63

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Kentucky

  • Grocery index: 90.6
  • Average spent per year: $7,492.57
  • Lifetime total: $457,046.72
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Missouri

  • Grocery index: 97.2
  • Average spent per year: $7,514.82
  • Lifetime total: $458,404.18
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Nebraska

  • Grocery index: 96.5
  • Average spent per year: $7,528.24
  • Lifetime total: $459,222.47
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Iowa

  • Grocery index: 96.3
  • Average spent per year: $7,546.70
  • Lifetime total: $460,348.67

Check Out: 9 Best Grocery-Delivery Services That Are Worth the Money

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Illinois

  • Grocery index: 96.3
  • Average spent per year: $7,567.18
  • Lifetime total: $461,598.03
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Alabama

  • Grocery index: 95.5
  • Average spent per year: $7,597.01
  • Lifetime total: $463,417.64
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Georgia

  • Grocery index: 98.1
  • Average spent per year: $7,602.42
  • Lifetime total: $463,747.64
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Louisiana

  • Grocery index: 98.5
  • Average spent per year: $7,654.25
  • Lifetime total: $466,909.15
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Arizona

  • Grocery index: 98.4
  • Average spent per year: $7,660.07
  • Lifetime total: $467,264.02
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Wisconsin

  • Grocery index: 97.5
  • Average spent per year: $7,664.63
  • Lifetime total: $467,542.69

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Virginia

  • Grocery index: 96.8
  • Average spent per year: $7,681.46
  • Lifetime total: $468,569.20
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Ohio

  • Grocery index: 98.0
  • Average spent per year: $7,772.09
  • Lifetime total: $474,097.41

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North Carolina

  • Grocery index: 97.9
  • Average spent per year: $7,798.39
  • Lifetime total: $475,701.64
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South Dakota

  • Grocery index: 103.9
  • Average spent per year: $7,824.82
  • Lifetime total: $477,314.29
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Utah

  • Grocery index: 99.7
  • Average spent per year: $7,864.35
  • Lifetime total: $479,725.30
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Colorado

  • Grocery index: 99.7
  • Average spent per year: $7,878.00
  • Lifetime total: $480,558.21
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Florida

  • Grocery index: 103.4
  • Average spent per year: $7,908.53
  • Lifetime total: $482,420.29

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South Carolina

  • Grocery index: 101.7
  • Average spent per year: $7,959.64
  • Lifetime total: $485,537.93
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North Dakota

  • Grocery index: 105.9
  • Average spent per year: $7,988.38
  • Lifetime total: $487,291.47
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Pennsylvania

  • Grocery index: 106.5
  • Average spent per year: $8,090.02
  • Lifetime total: $493,491.32
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Nevada

  • Grocery index: 107.0
  • Average spent per year: $8,173.58
  • Lifetime total: $498,588.45
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New Hampshire

  • Grocery index: 102.0
  • Average spent per year: $8,225.51
  • Lifetime total: $501,756.16
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Montana

  • Grocery index: 104.1
  • Average spent per year: $8,236.47
  • Lifetime total: $502,424.70
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Wyoming

  • Grocery index: 102.6
  • Average spent per year: $8,258.88
  • Lifetime total: $503,791.46

Find Out: Cities That Spend The Most and Least on Groceries

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Washington

  • Grocery index: 107.4
  • Average spent per year: $8,437.05
  • Lifetime total: $514,660.03
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Vermont

  • Grocery index: 110.8
  • Average spent per year: $8,440.65
  • Lifetime total: $514,879.77
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Minnesota

  • Grocery index: 106.3
  • Average spent per year: $8,449.84
  • Lifetime total: $515,440.21
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Rhode Island

  • Grocery index: 106.4
  • Average spent per year: $8,614.70
  • Lifetime total: $525,496.69
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Maryland

  • Grocery index: 112.3
  • Average spent per year: $8,629.89
  • Lifetime total: $526,423.08
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New Jersey

  • Grocery index: 109.5
  • Average spent per year: $8,642.58
  • Lifetime total: $527,197.51
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Maine

  • Grocery index: 108.3
  • Average spent per year: $8,722.63
  • Lifetime total: $532,080.65
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New York

  • Grocery index: 114.4
  • Average spent per year: $8,900.28
  • Lifetime total: $542,916.87
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Oregon

  • Grocery index: 112.1
  • Average spent per year: $9,030.67
  • Lifetime total: $550,870.70
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California

  • Grocery index: 119.3
  • Average spent per year: $9,052.15
  • Lifetime total: $552,181.20
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Massachusetts

  • Grocery index: 113.8
  • Average spent per year: $9,071.72
  • Lifetime total: $553,375.18
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Connecticut

  • Grocery index: 110.1
  • Average spent per year: $9,078.75
  • Lifetime total: $553,803.60
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Delaware

  • Grocery index: 117.2
  • Average spent per year: $9,201.63
  • Lifetime total: $561,299.33
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Alaska

  • Grocery index: 134.0
  • Average spent per year: $9,774.03
  • Lifetime total: $596,215.89

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Hawaii

  • Grocery index: 164.6
  • Average spent per year: $11,516.64
  • Lifetime total: $702,515.32
More From GOBankingRates

        Methodology: GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey data on average expenditures by age to find how much the average American in each age bracket spends annually on “food at home,” or groceries, and “food away from home,” or dining out. GOBankingRates adjusted these numbers for each state by multiplying the national average spending on “food at home” in each age bracket by the “grocery” index and the “food away from home” average by the “miscellaneous” index from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center’s 2019 composite cost-of-living indices. GOBankingRates then was able to estimate how much the average person in every state can be expected to spend on food in a lifetime by multiplying each age group’s average expenditure on food by the number of years contained in it and adding the totals to create a cumulative expense report that spans a lifetime. For this study, GOBankingRates calculated expenses assuming a subject begins paying for food at 18 and lives to 79 (U.S. life expectancy as of 2017, according to The World Bank). All data was compiled on and up to date as of Feb. 24, 2020.