Pennsylvania Pay the Most for Groceries Per Week Than Any Other State, Study Finds

Pennsylvania is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and scenic landscapes. But it is also the state where residents spend the most on groceries per week, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study, based on data collected in October 2023, found that the average Pennsylvania household spent $401.02 per week on groceries, which is $130.81 more than the national average of $270.21. The study also revealed that Pennsylvania households spent $109.21 per week on food out, which is slightly lower than the national average of $113.71.

Why are groceries so expensive in Pennsylvania?

There are several factors that contribute to the high cost of groceries in Pennsylvania, such as:

Taxes: Pennsylvania has one of the highest sales tax rates in the country, at 6%, and it also imposes a 2% local sales tax on food and beverages. Additionally, Pennsylvania is one of the few states that taxes candy, soft drinks, and prepared foods at the full sales tax rate, while most states either exempt them or tax them at a lower rate.

Transportation: Pennsylvania is a large and diverse state, with urban, rural, and mountainous areas. This means that transporting food from farms to markets can be costly and time-consuming, especially in winter when roads can be icy or snowy. Moreover, Pennsylvania has some of the highest gas prices in the country, which adds to the cost of driving to and from grocery stores.

Demand: Pennsylvania has a population of more than 12.9 million, which is the fifth-largest in the country. This means that there is a high demand for food, especially in the major cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where the cost of living is also higher than the state average. Furthermore, Pennsylvania has a diverse and multicultural population, which creates a demand for a variety of foods and cuisines, some of which may be more expensive or harder to find than others.

How can Pennsylvanians save money on groceries?

While the cost of groceries in Pennsylvania may seem daunting, there are some ways that Pennsylvanians can save money on their food bills, such as:

Planning ahead: By making a list of what they need and sticking to it, Pennsylvanians can avoid impulse buying and wasting food. They can also plan their meals around what is on sale or in season, and use coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs to get the best deals.

Shopping around: By comparing prices and quality at different stores, Pennsylvanians can find the best value for their money. They can also shop at farmers’ markets, ethnic markets, or online platforms, where they may find fresher, cheaper, or more diverse food options.

Cooking at home: By preparing their own meals, Pennsylvanians can save money on food out, which is usually more expensive and less healthy than home-cooked food. They can also cook in bulk and freeze or refrigerate leftovers, or use them to make new dishes.


Pennsylvania is the state where residents pay the most for groceries per week, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is due to several factors, such as taxes, transportation, and demand, that make food more expensive in the Keystone State. However, Pennsylvanians can still save money on their food bills by planning ahead, shopping around, and cooking at home. By doing so, they can enjoy the benefits of living in a state that offers a rich and diverse food culture, without breaking the bank.

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