I’ve been asked a number of times what the “average” frum family is spending on food. It seems like a question that is almost impossible to answer because there are a million variables – location, family size, food allergies, food preferences, etc.
I have, nonetheless, been trying to narrow it down by doing some research. The most useful data I found came from the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which estimates that the average cost of a moderate meal plan for a family of four with children under the age of five is $771.10.
For families with older kids (between five and 11), the cost jumps up to $916.30. The USDA also has a frugal plan, which is in the $600 – $700 range, and a “liberal” food plan, which comes in between $950 and $1,100.
Of course, none of these plans account for the increased cost of kosher meat and cheese (not to mention the added costs faced by those who keep chalav yisrael, pas yisrael, etc.).
But based on this data, if I had to guess, I would say that the average kosher-keeping family in America is probably spending somewhere between $1,000 and $1,250.
But, hey, I don’t have to guess anymore! Because I just figured out how to create a poll for my blog. See it over there >> in the right-hand column?
I would very much appreciate it if you would answer that poll about how much your family spends on food and household items. Please don’t count food eaten at restaurants or take-out.
While our results won’t be exactly “scientific”, I do think we will all learn a lot from your honest responses! If you have comments about your answer, please come back and leave them on this post.
Thanks — and please spread the word about the poll to friends and family. The wider the sampling, the more accurate the results!
Clarification: Household items includes toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers (if you need), etc. Basically the stuff you’d buy at Target or the drug stores.