A recent Times magazine article -- I don't know if it's online, I was reading it in the library -- stated that these days, the average American spends 9% of his or her income on food. I ran the numbers on our software for the past quarter. Groceries weighed in as our biggest expense at 33% and eating out was 5%. Granted, that's just percentage of our expenses and does not take into account what we put into savings and retirement and so on, but still, nearly 40% of what we spend is spent on food. Who are these people who spend only 9%? I count myself as fairly frugal, and we eat largely vegetarian, homemade meals. As anyone who has followed my sparse posting might remember, I agonize over what I spend on food: organic or no? from the farmer's market or from Albertsons? Do I buy a milk goat? Do I shop at the local coop and bring my own bags for bulk items or do I go to Vitamin Cottage where it's cheaper, but the bulk items are prepackaged? I put a fair amount of thought into my food purchasing. I can't imagine the average spendthrift only paying 9%. What is the average amount for these boards for a family of four, and how does this 9% figure come about?