What Is the Average Grocery Bill?

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If you find yourself paying more for groceries these days, you’re not alone. The latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that grocery prices rose 1.5% in March 2022, and they have risen 10% over the past year. That marks the largest annual jump since March 1981, according to the bureau.

In this article, I’ll look at the cost of the average grocery bill these days and offer tips on how to save money at the grocery store.

What Are You Paying for Groceries?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes a food plan for Americans based on guidelines for a nutritious diet at the following three cost levels:

  • Low-Cost Plan
  • Moderate-Cost Plan
  • Liberal Plan

Here’s the USDA’s latest price data based on that food plan.

How Much Is the Average Grocery Bill Per Week?

Age/GenderLow-Cost PlanModerate-Cost PlanLiberal Plan
Single Male
19-50 years old$64.20$80.40$98.50
51-70 years old$60.50$75.90$91.30
71+ years old$59.50$73.80$91.30
Single Female
19-50 years old$55.70$68.20$87.20
51-70 years old$54.20$67.50$81.80
71+ years old$53.60$66.60$80.30
Family of 2
(Male & Female)
19-50 years$131.89$163.46$204.27
51-70 years$204.27$157.74$190.41
Family of 4
(Male & Female age 19-50 with 2 Children)
Children 6-8 years old$52.20$62.10$73.50
Children 9-11 years old$55.40$71.80$83.70

Want to know what you’re personally spending on food each month? Try this free grocery budget calculator.

How To Lower Your Grocery Bill

Food is an essential piece of every person’s budget, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save. Here at Team Clark, we want you to scrutinize your spending to see if you can keep some of that money in your pocket.

If you’re interested in lowering your grocery bill, here are some ways to do it.

1. Read the Store Sales Flyer

Planning to grocery shop soon? Many retailers display sales flyers near the front of the store or in grocery baskets.

Better yet, visit the grocery store’s website to see the sales flyer before you get to the store. That way, you can get a better idea of how to plan your grocery list based on what’s on sale.

2. Compare Unit Prices

Before you put a food item in your basket, take a look at the unit price and compare it to a similar item or another brand. Just because an item may come in a larger quantity doesn’t necessarily mean that the cost per unit is cheaper.

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Along with comparing the unit prices of different sizes and brands as you shop, make sure you also:

  • Compare the table of nutritional facts located on the side of the box or package.
  • Look at the “good by” and/or expiration date.
  • Examine the condition of the package (damaged or dented?).

If you bring the damaged container to the attention of a manager, you may get a break on the price of that item.

3. Use a Cash Back Credit Card

Money expert Clark Howard says you should always use a credit card if you can pay your balance in full every month. When it comes to groceries, you can save money by using a cash back credit card.

He adds that you should read the fine print to find out how card issuers classify certain retailers that sell food to see if where you’re shopping qualifies, and you should also know the cash back limits of your card.

“Each card issuer has exclusions and limitations on the type of cash back you get. It’s in the mice type, which is completely different from the colorful brochure you get from them,” Clark says. 

Ready to reduce your grocery bill? Here are 20+ more ways to save money on your groceries.

More Grocery Resources From Clark.com:

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