Sunday, February 9, 2014

Americans Spend $151 a Week on Food; the High-Income, $180

Americans Spend $151 a Week on Food; the High-Income, $180

I was reading this Gallup Poll on American food budgets and am shocked by the idea of spending $600 - $800 a month on food, in a household without children.

Those making less than $30,000 a year are spending an average of $127 a week on food.

Why? I question answers like, "I ate at home last night." Does that mean you cooked food or brought in take out?

And, does it mean that people don't have staples in their pantry, so they spend more daily?

I don't have a problem with the idea of people choosing to spend money on better quality food. I just wonder if people who are struggling financially, really know how to solve that problem. Perhaps there's not a willingness to make the sacrifices. Or perhaps it's geographical.

I heard a news report recently that this is the first time in history that the poor are obese. This is a result of bad foods being readily available at a low price. Particularly in inner cities, the cheapest foods are the worst nutritionally.

In some areas, I suppose, $127 a week doesn't sound like so much. And, at the end of a long day, picking up a $6 fast food meal doesn't sound so bad. But what if you knew you could have the same food, but better quality, for about half, with some simple planning.

It is a great case for teaching home economics in school. At least one generation is missing the knowledge of how to make a food budget and how to make it stretch. How much is a serving size, so it can be planned for properly. In order for these things to be instituted, it has to be re-introduced to society.

And we have to learn to do with out in the short term, for the benefit of the long term.

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