How Much Do Miamians Spend on Food?

Categories: Musings
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Have you ever taken a close look at how much you spend on food? For some of us, coming face-to-face with that figure may be quite scary. But according to personal finance site, Bundle.com, the average household in Miami spent $6,219 on dining out and groceries in 2009 - less than the U.S. average of $6,514.

Of the $6,219, the average Miami household spent $2,258 on restaurants and $3,961 on groceries. What's unclear is which zip codes fall into the Miami figures.

Bundle.com is backed by Citi, Microsoft and Morningstar, and relies on data "from the U.S. government, from anonymous and aggregated spending transactions from Citi, and from third party data providers." Currently the data reflects mostly purchases made with credit cards.  Still, I decided to play around with the database for a bit to see what came up with.

According to the site's database, the average monthly spending for Miami, Miami Beach and Hialeah (the three cities in this area on the site's drop-down menu that won't give you county data) in March 2010 was $554, $821 and $278 respectively. Those numbers were broken down as follows:

Dining out
Miami - $202
Hialeah - $85
Miami Beach - $301

Groceries
Miami - $352
Hialeah - $193
Miami Beach - $520

The database allows you to drill down further by zip code but it doesn't have specific data for all areas. When I attempted to see the spending for zip codes in North Bay Village or Fischer Island, I got the same numbers as we did for Miami Beach. When I plugged in zip code 33160, I got data for Miami-Dade County meaning insufficient data was available for that specific area.

For Coral Gables, it allowed me to drill down a bit further. I tried two of the zip codes listed by the City of Coral Gables in its city limits map. In zip code 33134, spending on dining out in March 2010 equaled that of Miami Beach at $301 while spending on groceries was a bit lower at $475. Residents of zip code 33146 spent $509 on dining out and $878 on groceries. 

How does Miami compare to other cities? A graphic of food spending in top cities put Austin at the top with an annual household average of $12,447. At the lower end of the spectrum, Detroit residents spent $2,246. And New Yorkers spent $6,847 on average. If Manhattan were isolated, it would have the highest average spending at $13,079.

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