[POLL] How much does it really cost to keep kosher?

I am often asked how much the “average” kosher-keeping family spends on groceries.

It seems like a question that is almost impossible to answer because there are a million variables: Where do you live? How big is your family? How old are your children? Do you or anyone else in your family have food allergies or other food restrictions?

The most useful data I have found about average grocery spending comes from the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. They put together monthly estimates of the cost of feeding a family of four.

In June 2018, for example, the USDA estimated that families with two children under the age of five years spent an average of $203.90 per week.

When those two children are between the ages of six and 11, weekly costs jumped to $243.40.

Of course, none of these estimates account for families with more than two children — or children who are teenagers.

Nor do they consider the increased price of kosher meat and dairy, not to mention keeping chalav yisrael.

And, of course, there is the fact that many of us are making the equivalent of a Thanksgiving dinner dozens of times each year, thanks to Shabbatot and yomim tovim.

Based on all these factors, it’s clear to me that the USDA isn’t a reliable estimate for kosher keeping families.

But how “off” are they? Let’s try to get an answer to this question for once and for all.

How much do you spend at the grocery store every month?

Less than $500
$500 – $750
$750 – $1000
$1000 – $1250
$1250 – $1500
$1500 – $1750
$1750 – $2000
More than $2000

Now I realize that there are a lot of variables that go into answering a question like this, so I have also created a more “complete” poll. It is still super short — there are four questions and it will take you less than 60 seconds to complete it. But this one accounts for family size, age of children, and dietary restrictions.

Answer the Cost of Keeping Kosher Poll

Stay tuned, because I will be sharing the “weighted” results, which take into account your family size, age of children, etc — in the near future.

Please spread the word about this poll to your friends and family. The wider the sampling, the more informative the results!


  1. Rachel Wormeli says

    Brilliant idea and I look forward to the results. I would consider adding a poll question about location (or country) – filled it out, but we are in montreal, canada where prices can be significantly higher than in a large community lke lakewood or monsey.

  2. Hi mar a
    Cost of food also varies pending if we are entertaining guest for shabbat, which t guest/size of family and ages, is it every week or no and if we go out for a Shabbat meal how often as well as if my own kids are with us or our doing kids stuff for meal
    Thank you Rachel

  3. There is another variable for kosher food prices in the states – distance from New York. I can buy kosher meat at the Kollel store in Brooklyn that’s half the price of meat in Pennsylvania.

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