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Costs of food in the USA



I'm going to be in the USA in several weeks and I'm planning now how much money I must have on me. I'd like to know something more about food prices and everything connected with it - for example where to eat cheap, which places to avoid, what about the prices in typical american fast foods such as KFC or Mc Donalds' etc. I mean especially big cities such as New York, Washington, Chicago, Miami etc. I don't eat much and I don't have to eat in glamorous restaurants as I want to make my travel as economical as possible but I wouldn't like to be hungry anyway :) And please be so kind and tell me something about prices of such basic things like bread, milk, butter, coca-cola, fruits.


Thank you for any help. All clues will be very helpful for me.



Thank you for quick answer.


It gives some idea of what to expect. To be honest I hoped to spend less than 30$ a day. 20$ would be fine - I think in many cases I'll buy my own groceries in order to limit my stays in restaurants just to dinners.


I think it depends on the cites and what you want to have. But normally I totall agree with CJ. In my opinion, if you want to have Chinese food, you should go to China town. I thinks Chinese food is much cheaper in China Town like Korean food is cheaper in Korean town. Also if you you plan to stay couple weeks in one place, you can try to rent a room instead of hotel.



It really depends upon what kind of food you want to eat.  I won't touch "fast food".  There are too many chemicals and genetically modified ingredients in them that will make you unhealthy very quickly.  


If you don't buy organic, you will also be eating a lot of GMO'ed fruits, vegetables, wheat (bread), corn (corn syrup is in most bread) and even milk. Sadly, there is no GMO labeling here.


Healthy food is more expensive.  Typically, a loaf of organic bread runs about $4 and 1/2 gallon of milk can cost between $3-4. Organic apples = about $2/lb. Organic butter = $4/lb.  If you can find a Trader Joes, market, they are less expensive. if you go to "health food" stores and buy super foods, (like hemp and chia seeds, goji berries, green drinks, organic fruits and veggies, etc.) you can stay healthy, have lots of energy, and keep below your $30 per day budget.


If you must eat conventionally grown food, the cost will be about 1/3rd -1/2 the price of organic.


If you stay at hostels or do some "couch-surfing" you can save money on accomodations, too.  Why not rely on the kindness of others onc ein awhile? Once I hitch-hiked around the western U.S. with a pregnant dog and my 2 year old son.  We lived off of peanut butter, Bragg's vegie-mineral drink and granola for weeks. Some people gave us places to stay, washed our clothes and gave us food to eat. It was a great trip.  I don't advise hitch-hiking these days, but you can go to to find rides.  You can also go to places where kind people congregate - like health food stores - and ask for assistance in choosing food.  Once you start a conversatoin, you might find that you are also offered a place to stay for a night or two.  Bonne voyage et bonne chance!

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