Guess Which Country Spends the Least on Food?

Guess Which Country Spends the Least on Food?

Pop quiz: The residents of which country spend the lowest percentage of their household budget on food?

A) Pakistan
B) Russia
C) China
D) United Kingdom
E) United States

The correct answer may surprise you. It's E.

The average American allocates a mere 6.6 percent of his or her household budget — less than any other country tracked — toward food eaten at home, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, which Vox has used to create an illustrative map and chart. When you add in food eaten in restaurants, that percentage rises slightly, to 11 percent.

The average person in Pakistan, meanwhile, allocates fully 47.7 percent of his or her household budget to food eaten at home. In Russia, China and the U.K., the averages are 31.6 percent, 26.9 percent, and 9.1 percent, respectively.

Egyptians spend 42.7 percent; Saudi Arabians, 25.8 percent; and Mexicans, 24.9 percent. The denizens of food-centric European countries Greece, Italy and France spend 16.5, 14.2 and 13.2 percent, respectively, on average.

Americans spend so little on food, relative to other expenses, partly because, as a wealthy nation, we can afford to spend money on other things. But, Vox notes, even in absolute dollar terms, we spend less on food eaten at home than other wealthy nations do. Here in the U.S. of A., the average person spends about $2,273 annually on food consumed at home, far less than people in Germany ($2,481), France ($3,037) and Norway ($4,485).

That disparity may have to do with agricultural subsidies, technological innovation and a tax system that, though it may not feel like it when we're at the supermarket checkout counter, keeps consumer food prices down.

Of course, though it doesn't prove it, the data doesn't exactly scuttle the stereotype that we who live in the land of fast food like cheap grub. So to help do just that, let's all drink champagne and eat lobster and caviar! Here are a few recipes using those ingredients that, though they seem luxurious, won't break the bank. We are Americans, after all:

  • Ina Garten's Caviar Dip calls for cream cheese, sour cream, scallions, dill and "100 grams good salmon roe."
  • Giada De Laurentiis' Champagne Risotto incorporates 3/4 cup of champagne — perfect for turning dinner into a splashy special occasion. Mix up a champagne cocktail to make the night really sparkle.

Next Up

There’s Only One Holiday Drink Starbucks Serves All Over the Globe – Can You Guess Which One?

The coffee chain released a list of 27 festive beverages it serves around the world.

Which Is Better: Smoothies or Juices?

Both are made of fruits and vegetables, but they're not created equal.

Which Is Better: Spinning or Rowing?

Experts weigh in on which exercise will benefit you the most.

9 Thanksgiving Swaps That Will Help You Spend Less Money

#3: Choose recipes that call for frozen vegetables instead of fresh.

Which Is Healthier: Turkey or Beef Burgers?

Beef burgers get a bad rap for being too high in fat, but turkey burgers can cook up dry and bland. Here's what to know about choosing the best burger.

Which Restaurants Are Open On Christmas Day?

Take a breather after all that holiday cooking.

Which State Eats the Most Candy Corn?

See where your state stands on the love-it-or-hate-it Halloween treat.

Walking or Running: Which Is Better Exercise?

We break down the benefits of both, so you can decide which is right for you.

Which Grocery Stores Are Open on Christmas Day?

Forgot something on your ingredient list? Here’s where to go when you’re in a pinch.

Which Grocery Stores Are Open and Closed on Thanksgiving?

Here's where you can grab any last minute ingredients.



10am | 9c

Chopped Sweets

11am | 10c


12pm | 11c


1pm | 12c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30pm | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

7:30pm | 6:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

8:30pm | 7:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

9:30pm | 8:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

12:30am | 11:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30am | 2:30c

What's New