Here's Where Your Money Goes When You Spend It on Food

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Many different parties are involved in getting your meal onto your plate—and they all get a cut of your dollar when you spend it on food. As Gizmodo reports, the USDA's most recent update of their "food dollar" breakdown is now available for consumers to view.


The 2014 data shows what percentage of the average American dollar spent on food is used to fund the various corners of the industry. Close to 33 cents for every dollar, the largest portion by far, ends up going towards food service costs. The next two highest areas, food processing and retail trade, account for less than that combined.

These numbers show a shift from the previous update based on data from 2013. Since then, the portion of each food dollar diverted towards services has increased by one cent, while packaging, transportation, and wholesale trade costs have all dipped. This suggests that Americans are choosing to spend more of their food budget at restaurants than at grocery stores, which, according to the Commerce Department, is exactly the case. 

In addition to being bad for your wallet, eating out can also have a bad influence on your health. One 2014 study showed that people who cook most of their meals themselves consume less fats, sugars, carbohydrates, and calories than those who don't. If you're looking to invest more of your food dollar towards store-bought ingredients, here are some tips for preparing them at home.

[h/t Gizmodo]