Did your state make the list?
the main points
- The cost of household essentials varies greatly depending on where you live.
- Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas are a few of the states that have the lowest cost in certain categories.
- There are steps a person can take, such as conserve energy and take care of your health, to reduce the amount they pay for their daily expenses.
The cost of living isn’t the only – or even the most important – factor when deciding where you want to live, but it’s definitely a topic on everyone’s mind. While there are some states that tend to be more affordable than others, determining which one has the cheapest cost of living is not as simple as you might think.
Some states have affordable housing, but more expensive than groceries and utilities or vice versa. Here’s a look at countries offering affordable prices on five common household essentials.
Cheapest Grocery Store: Texas
Grocery stores in Texas are 10.6% cheaper than the national average, according to the Missouri Center for Economic Research and Information (MERIC). This amounts to approximately $776 annually Save on groceries Compared to what the average American family spends on it.
One of the reasons groceries are so cheap in Texas is that the state leads the nation in terms of the number of farms and ranches. With so much food grown close to home, it doesn’t cost nearly the same to move it around, and grocery store owners can pass on those savings to their customers.
Cheapest Homes: Mississippi
Home prices in Mississippi are 36.2% lower than the national average, according to MERIC. This determines the annual Mississippi average housing costs At $7,750 less than the average American counterpart. If you’re interested in how your country stacks up, check out our research Average home prices by state.
Since housing is most people’s biggest expense, it’s no surprise that Mississippi also has the lowest cost of living overall. However, it should be noted that these numbers are just averages. There will likely be some areas of a state where costs are above average and others where costs are below the state average.
Cheapest Facilities: Idaho
The total cost of living in Idaho is in the middle of the pack, but its utility costs are surprisingly affordable. Residents pay 18.2% less than the national average, according to MERIC. This represents a savings of about $757 per year compared to what the average American would pay for their services.
Idaho is able to keep its costs low because more than half of its electric costs come from hydroelectric power rather than traditional power plants. The state actually has the fourth highest share of renewable energy in the country. Its use of natural gas falls within the lowest third of the states in the country.
Cheapest means of transportation: Tennessee
Transportation costs in Tennessee are 12.1% lower than the national average. This equates to an average annual savings of $1,189 for the average American.
But the actual savings will likely depend on where in the state you live. Those who live in cities and have access to public transportation are more likely to save than those who live in rural areas and must drive frequently.
Cheapest health care: Arkansas
The average cost of health insurance in Arkansas is 19.9% lower than the average cost of health insurance in the United States. This will save the typical family $1,030 more than the average US price. But there are a lot of variables here.
Older people and people with chronic health conditions may save more than if they lived in another country. But they may also spend more than one person visits less often.
Tips to save your basic costs
If your state is not on the list above, this does not mean that you are doomed to pay high costs for everything. And if your state made the list, that doesn’t mean you always get a great deal. Like anything else, you need to be aware of what you are spending and look for ways to cut costs. Here are some tips to help:
- Shop the sale and find coupons to use at the grocery store.
- Compare costs on apartments or houses before buying, and don’t forget to include relevant costs, such as home insurance and maintenance.
- Turn off lights and TVs when not in use and consider raising or lowering the thermostat a few degrees, depending on the season.
- Use public transportation whenever possible and combine errands so you don’t have to drive as much.
- Do your best to stay healthy and invest in good health insurance coverage to reduce out-of-pocket medical costs.
No matter where you live, making moves like these can help you reduce your monthly costs without changing your lifestyle too much. See if you can brainstorm some additional ways to save and then put them into practice.
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