Although Americans spend a great deal of money on unnecessary goods and services for themselves, they also spend a large amount on gifts for others. The average amount spent on gifts (including housing, apparel, and entertainment items) per household in 2009 was $1,067. This amount has increased from $887 in 2009. Households with incomes of less than $5,000 spent an average of $479, while households earning between $5,000 and $9,999 spent an average $261, the lowest amount.
Food away from home includes all meals at fast food, take-out, delivery, full-service restaurants, and at vending machines and food carts. In 2009, the average household spent $2,619 on food away from home, compared to an average $1,762 in 1989. The group which spent the most in this category, relative to household income, are those which make less than $5,000 a year. This group spent an average 6.2% of their total budget on food away from home. Those making between $5,000 and $9,999 spent 4.7%.
Douglas McIntyre, Michael Sauter, Charles Stockdale
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