Food Will Cost You More if You Live in These 10 Cities

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Do you live in one of them?

Key points

  • Grocery costs can vary from place to place, and certain states are much more expensive than others.
  • If you live in one of them, you’ll need a larger grocery budget.
  • Try meal planning around grocery store sales flyers and using coupons to save money on food purchases.

Groceries are an essential purchase you’ll have to work into your budget. But whether you charge your groceries on your credit cards or pay cash for them, you’ll want to watch your spending on food so you don’t end up devoting too large a portion of your take-home pay to dining.

The amount you spend is going to vary depending on many factors including the types of foods you buy. Plus, where you live will also impact your grocery costs. In fact, if you live in one of these 10 cities, your costs are sure to be a lot higher.

Here’s where food costs the most across the United States

According to, these are the 10 cities where you face the highest grocery prices:

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  • Honolulu, Hawaii: $556.76
  • Burlington, Vermont: $497.41
  • Anchorage, Alaska: $483.24
  • New York City, New York: $482.87
  • Charleston, West Virginia: $427.19
  • Jackson, Mississippi: $423.33
  • Charleston, South Carolina: $411.29
  • Boston, Massachusetts: $406.21
  • Washington DC: $405.08
  • Seattle, Washington: $402.08

These high prices are a stark contrast to cities where residents pay the lowest food prices in the US In Manchester, New Hampshire, for example, food costs just $183 per month on average. That’s less than a third of what Honolulu residents pay.

Residents of each of these cities also pay prices that are well above the nationwide average. Across the US, the average monthly cost of groceries is $355.50, which is more than what Manchesterians pay but far less than the costs in Honolulu, Burlington, Anchorage, or other places on the most-expensive list.

How to save on groceries no matter where you live

While costs are much higher in some places than others, everyone can benefit from certain strategies to keep their bills down — no matter where they live.

Some of the best ways to save on food at the grocery store include:

  • Making a meal plan around sales flyers: Your grocery store likely sends out flyers each week telling you what’s on sale (or you can usually access them online as well). When you make your meal plans for the week, try to include items that are on discount. For example, if ground beef is on special, you may want to opt to make a lasagna or tacos rather than a chicken dish.
  • Get to know your store’s sales schedule: Most stores have a specific cycle for when things will go on sale. For example, a particular item might be discounted once every six weeks or once every eight weeks. Once you know this schedule, you can buy non-perishable items in bulk so you have enough to last until the next sale and never have to buy at full price.
  • Use coupons: You can often find coupons online, or you can clip them from the Sunday paper.

Trying out these techniques may be especially important if you live in a high-priced market. But since cutting your grocery budget will always free up money for other things, they’re worth employing no matter where you live so you can eat well without paying big prices.

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