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

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that people in Ohio spend more money on groceries each week compared to those in any other state in the US. The study looked at how much people spent on food at home in 2023 and discovered that Ohioans spent an average of $173.12 per week. Hawaii and Alaska came next, with weekly averages of $170.25 and $169.37, respectively.

Why is Ohio so expensive?

The study did not provide a definitive explanation for why Ohio ranked the highest in grocery spending, but some possible factors include:

Higher taxes: Ohio has a 5.75% state sales tax, which applies to most food items, except for those that are purchased with food stamps or WIC benefits. Additionally, some counties and cities impose their own local sales taxes, which can range from 0.5% to 2.25%.

Higher transportation costs: Ohio is not a major producer of agricultural products, which means that most of the food sold in the state has to be transported from other regions or countries. This adds to the cost of fuel, labor, and storage, which are ultimately passed on to the consumers.

Higher demand: Ohio has a large and diverse population, with over 11.8 million residents as of 2020. The state also has a high concentration of urban areas, such as Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, where the cost of living is generally higher than in rural areas. Moreover, Ohioans have a preference for certain types of food, such as dairy, meat, and processed foods, which tend to be more expensive than fruits, vegetables, and grains.

How do Ohioans cope with high grocery bills?

The study also revealed that Ohioans spent less on food away from home than the national average, which suggests that they are trying to save money by cooking at home more often. However, this may not be enough to offset the high cost of groceries, especially for low-income households that struggle to afford nutritious and balanced meals.

Some of the strategies that Ohioans can use to reduce their grocery spending include:

Shopping around: Comparing prices at different stores and using coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs can help shoppers find the best deals on the items they need. Online shopping and delivery services can also offer convenience and savings, especially for bulk purchases.

Planning ahead: Making a weekly or monthly menu and a shopping list can help shoppers avoid impulse buying and food waste. Buying seasonal and local produce, as well as frozen, canned, or dried foods, can also lower the cost and increase the shelf life of food items.

Cooking smart: Preparing meals at home can be cheaper and healthier than eating out or ordering takeout. However, cooking can also be time-consuming and energy-intensive, so shoppers should look for recipes that are easy, quick, and use simple ingredients. Using leftovers, batch cooking, and freezing meals can also save time and money in the long run.


Ohio is the most expensive state for groceries in the US, according to a new study by the BLS. The reasons for this are complex and multifaceted, but they may include higher taxes, transportation costs, and demand. Ohioans can cope with high grocery bills by shopping around, planning ahead, and cooking smart, but they may also need more support and assistance from the government and the community to ensure food security and nutrition for all.

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