Inflation is surging in the United States – in large part because of rising food prices. In cities across the country, food today is 8% more expensive on average than it was a year ago, and American families are feeling the pinch.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank, a family of four – two adults and two children – can expect to pay an estimated $9,835 on food in 2022. This amount varies across the country, however, and despite rising costs, in the vast majority of states, there is at least one metropolitan area where families are paying far less for food than the national average. Here is a look at the countries with the most and least affordable groceries.
Using data from the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, 24/7 Wall St. identified the metro area in every state where families pay the least for food. Metro areas are ranked on estimated food expenditure in 2022, assuming a nutritionally adequate diet for two adults and two children, where almost all food is bought at a grocery store and prepared at home.
It is important to note that four states – Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont – each have only one metro area. As a result, the metro area in these places ranks as having the lowest food costs by default only. In metro areas with the same estimated annual food cost, the metro area with the lower food insecurity rate – defined as the share of the population not always able to afford or otherwise access well-balanced meals – ranks as having lower food costs.
Among the metro areas on this list, estimated annual food costs range from $13,846 down to $7,016, and in most cases, food costs are over $500 below the statewide average. Lower food costs in these places are often a reflection of what residents can afford. Most metro areas on this list have a lower median family income than the comparable statewide average. Here is a look at the income needed to be middle class in each state.
Click here to see the cheapest city to get groceries in every state
Click here to see our detailed methodology
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