Food spend down as home costs soar
People are spending less on food to cope with the rising cost of keeping a home, a new survey signals.
Average weekly outgoings on mortgages, rent and housing maintenance have rocketed by 56% from 94.51 euro in 2004/2005 to 147.73 euro in 2009/2010.
Five years ago, when the same survey by the Central Statistics Office was carried out, food accounted for the greatest single expense.
But money spent on groceries has dropped from 142.74 euro a week to 131.28.
Now, housing costs account for the largest chunk of weekly bills in Irish homes, at just over 18% of the average household's overall expenditure.
The latest CSO Household Budget Survey also showed an average weekly drop of 16.3% in money spent on alcohol and tobacco, against an 8% drop in money spent on food.
The overall average household budget - covering everything from food, alcohol and tobacco, to housing costs, clothing, fuel and transport - was 810.61 euro in 2009/2010.
That represents a 3% hike in family budgets over a five-year period.
Money spent on transport dropped 5%, while outgoings on fuel and light jumped 15%.
According to the survey, spending on food and clothing has steadily declined over the last 30 years, while money spent on housing has gradually increased.