Americans Pay the Most for Groceries in These States


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It’s no secret that the cost of living has gotten out of hand lately—inflation is out of control and as such grocery prices (and, let’s be honest, corporate greed) has made even the most barebones trips to the grocery store an expensive affair. While certain states have always been more costly to live in, the cost has risen all over the country—with certain states seeing higher inflation than others.

We looked at a variety of studies and surveys to find exactly which states Americans are paying the most for groceries—and which ones have seen the biggest increase in price over the last year or so. We took into account the Expatistan Cost of Living index and the Numbeo Cost of Living database as well as a recent study by HelpAdvisor that analyzed the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey in order to have a better idea of where groceries will run you the most.

Here are the states where Americans are paying the most for their groceries these days.

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It varies by city and region—but overall California was found to be the state with the most expensive grocery bills. It’s estimated that the average household in California pays about $297.72 per week in groceries.

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The second most expensive state for grocery shopping was California’s neighbor to the east. It was found that Nevada families spend an average of $294.76 per week at the grocery store.

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Hop a couple of state lines and you’ll find that Mississippi families are spending some of the highest fees for groceries in the country. Data shows that the average household spends about $290.64 per week on their grocery bill.

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The average cost of groceries in Washington is heightened by Seattle (which is more expensive than cities like New York or Boston). Families in this West Coast state can expect to pay an average of $287.67 per week for their groceries.

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You might assume the average cost of groceries in Florida would be less given that it grows a lot of produce for the rest of the country—but thanks to the average spend in Miami, Florida ranks pretty high at $287.27 per week.

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New Mexico

New Mexico has a climate that has low humidity and lots of sunshine—but despite producing a lot of food for export to other states, the average family in this state will pay about $286.39 per week in groceries.

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The state of Texas is massive and the cost of groceries ranges from relatively affordable to big-city expensive. The average family spends about $286.19 per week but this can drastically change based on the exact region.

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Louisiana arguably has some of the best food in the country—but even families who choose to cook at home will pay high rates of 282.95 per week on groceries!

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Big cities like Denver and Colorado Springs definitely drive up the average cost of groceries in this state. The average is around $279.98 per week but it certainly depends on where you are within the state.

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It might come as a surprise but Oklahoma also ranks pretty high on the list of expensive states for buying groceries with an average weekly cost of $279.16 per household.

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New York

Data suggests that the average cost of groceries per person in New York City is $486.71 a month—of course the cost of shopping for a family will increase that number as well.

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North Carolina

North Carolina wasn’t always one of the most expensive states for groceries—but it has seen about 33% in grocery inflation, whereas the national average rate sits at 25.9%.

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The state of Tennessee has also seen a major increase in grocery inflation. It currently sits at 27% which is 2% higher than the national average.

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Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia has only seen a 25.7% increase in groceries—which is less than the national average—but it still costs about the same to shop for groceries here as it does in other big cities like Sacramento or Denver.

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Boston is one of the most expensive cities for food—which is why Massachusetts ranks on the list. The state has seen about 25% inflation on food which is under the national average but its big city still averages higher prices than most.

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Pennsylvania is another state that has high grocery fees—largely due to its proximity to New York and its big cities. The state has seen an average inflation rate of 21% but the average price of basics like eggs or bread is still much higher than most states.

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It should come as no real surprise that Illinois is one of the more expensive states for food—big city Chicago definitely inflates the average. The state saw less than the national average in terms of food inflation but it still costs above average for staples like cheese and meat.

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Ohio—especially Columbus—saw a significant rise in grocery prices. The city saw a 30% inflation rate on pantry staples, which is more than 5% higher than the national average.

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Indianapolis saw the biggest inflation rates in the country. We’re talking about 50% inflation on groceries, almost double the national average, which in turn impacts the state of Indiana as well.

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Mesa, Arizona was another city hit with incredibly high inflation. The city saw a 35.4% inflation rate which is more than 10% higher than the national average.

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Missouri is another state that saw a high cost of groceries thanks to inflation. Kansas City was the fifth-highest city in the country in terms of inflation with a whopping 37% inflation rate on groceries.

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Wichita is another city that saw a huge inflation rate with a 34.5% increase on groceries, hence bringing up the average price in Kansas.

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The state of Michigan made the list largely thanks to Detroit, which saw a whopping 30.9% rate of inflation on its grocery prices this year.

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Food has always been very expensive in Hawaii given that most items need to be imported from other states or abroad. The average single person spends about $556 on groceries each month.

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Likewise, Alaska food prices tend to be high because most items need to be imported from other states. It’s estimated that a family would spend about $1,372 on average per month for groceries.

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