American Consumers’ Average Weekly Grocery Spending Increased by 17% During the Pandemic, Despite Fewer Trips

American consumers’ average weekly grocery spending increased by 17%, from $163 pre-pandemic to $190 now.

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The pandemic has reshaped so much of our lives, including the way we shop for groceries. From how often people shop to how much they spend, to which products they buy, the COVID-19 crisis has had an impact, according to a recent LendingTree survey.

Key findings

  • American consumers’ average weekly grocery spending increased by 17%, from $163 pre-pandemic to $190 now.
  • Nearly a third of respondents (31%) say they “almost always” overspend at the grocery store. Men (44%) are twice as likely as women (20%) to exceed their food budget.
  • About 4 in 10 consumers say they are going to the grocery store less often than they did pre-pandemic. However, men (51%) say they are going grocery shopping more often – women (49%) are the ones taking fewer trips.
  • More than half (53%) of our respondents say they hit up multiple grocery stores per shopping trip. For example, they head to wholesale stores for bulk items and then the supermarket for everyday needs.
  • Parents overspend most often, and also shop more frequently due to the pandemic than non-parents. To make up for it, 54% are couponing more frequently, and 60% say they visit multiple stores in search of sales items.
  • To cut down on shopping trips, 63% of consumers order food delivery at least once a week. Generation X orders delivery the most – 86% do so at least once per week, and of that group, 21% do so three or more times.

Whether it’s due to having more family members at home for every meal or because consumers tend to panic shop and stock up in times of crisis, the pandemic has definitely brought with it increased grocery spending costing households around $100 more a month than before the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, another LendingTree study found grocery store spending is up in 49 states.

“The more you plan and avoid impulse purchases, the better off you’ll be,” said LendingTree’s Chief Credit Analyst, Matt Schulz. “Add in some coupons, watch for sales, and earn cash back, and you can maximize your grocery spend even more.”