Using the information from that study, I made a spreadsheet of estimated grocery costs for each state. You can see the state in the left column. "Percentage of Average Grocery Cost" beside each state shows how that state ranks according to average (not in terms of spending, but cost of living in the food department). I was surprised to see that Michigan (highlighted yellow) came in fourth place as the cheapest state for groceries! South Dakota (highlighted orange) is about average.
The next two columns had to do with my own $10.00/wk grocery budget. It's unfair to hold Hawaiians and Alaskans to my $10.00 per week standard, but what SHOULD their grocery budget goal be, if not $10.00 per week?
Even though Michigan is the fourth cheapest state to grocery shop in, it is only 10% below average. I set my average budget, then, at $11.00 and punched in that formula for all of the other states. The cheapest state, Idaho, came out at only $9.39 per week. The most expensive state, Hawaii, came out to $17.05 per week. So technically, Frugal Food should have a different subtitle for each state. "How to Eat for $9.85 per Week in Texas" or "How to Eat for $15.08 per Week In Alaska".
The sad news (something I didn't realize when I published the book) is that $10.00 per week is probably a touch too low for 95% of the states, according to cost of living alone. "How to Eat for $13.00 per Week" would have been more accurate, and covered all states except Connecticut, Alaska, and Hawaii. Those states would still need their own book. :)
The GOOD NEWS is that most while most people might not make it on $10.00 per week, they could make it on a few dollars more using the same principles and techniques I talk about in my book. If I can do it, I know that others can as well.
Produce for the Non-Gardeners
My last column, "Additional Produce" had to do with a new book project; how to buy produce for $5.00 per week. This is a little booklet I'm working on for all of the non-gardeners* out there. Again I plugged in the numbers according to each state's ranking. Again, my Michigan standard was a bit below most of the other states. A more accurate estimation would be $6.00 per week for a majority of the states. $7.00 would cover all states except the three I mentioned before.
Where are you from? Do you think the chart and/or study is accurate?
*The word "garden" does not imply 100% free produce. Even though I do have a garden, my $10.00 per person spending still includes carrots, potatoes, and onions. It also includes the occasional purchase of other produce items I don't grow. Just wanted to clarify that! Some people seem to think that $10.00 per week does not include any produce, which isn't the case. However, my new book project is for people who must purchase ALL of their produce and aren't interested in gardening or foraging in order to lower food spending.
**Another note: most of the time, higher cost of living comes with a higher average income. This should cover the few extra dollars required for higher cost of living states.