Speaking of food prices… The Kitchn just linked to a very interesting graphic on Bundle.com depicting the average per-household spending on food & drink, by city, for the year 2009. Arlington was #2 and DC was #6 on the list, with annual averages of $11,598 and $10,064, respectively. Zowie.
The graphic also shows the breakdown of money spent on groceries vs. money spent on going out to eat/drink. We buy a lot of expensive food both ways, though the tip is toward dining out. Oddly enough, some of the nearby metropolises (Baltimore, Philadelphia) are near the bottom of the list. I can think of some obvious factors that would affect the disparate rankings (median income, general cost of living), but I wonder what other factors are at play. How do Philadelphians spend less than half of what we do on food?
Not that our rank is necessarily a bad thing. In an article about how DC was ranked the fittest city in the country, it was mentioned that the DC area “has an above average number of people who eat the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables.” Fruits and veggies aren’t as cheap as a lot of unhealthy foods, so sometimes it’s good to be spending more. But still, that isn’t the whole story. $10-11K per year is a lot! Hmmm.