Mint’s interactive infographic on food and drinks shows the percentage of income an average household in each state spends on alcohol, food, and dining out between 2009-2012. Some household averages are over 20% in 2012 while others are just half that. Overall, it looks like families have on average increased their spending on alcohol, food, and dining out each year.
Food, like other necessities, can be difficult to budget. Even if you have reached your spending limit, you can’t stop buying food when you run out. There are simple practices to avoid reaching or exceeding your food budget: eat out less, use coupons or sales to save on groceries, don’t let food go to waste, and avoid unnecessary and/or expensive food items.
However, if you’re a savvy shopper who rarely dines out and are still exceeding your budget, you may simply just need to set a more realistic budget. That’s not a bad thing: budgets should challenge you to be responsible with your money, but they should also reflect the reality of your situation.
How does your food and drink budget compare to the average spending on these items in your state? Is it higher or lower? Can you find ways to lower your spending?