Before I started the research I thought these two variables would be more strongly related, however there were lurking variables that I had not previously considered that I discovered as I was conducting my research. The first lurking variable was how much families go out to dinner during the week. I myself very rarely go out to dinner, so it was not something I had initially thought would be a large factor in my results. Related to that lurking variable is the fact that some of the children living in the home (and the adults for that matter) may also get their lunch at school or work. A lot of children have a lunch program, and some workplaces have a cafeteria with affordable or subsidized lunches.


Because of this I ran two sets of data for comparative purposes. I not only researched the children under 18 living in the home, I also compared the weekly grocery bill to the total number of people living in the household. The positive correlation of .6453 between a household’s weekly grocery bill and how people in the home is only fairly strong. The positive correlation of .5440 is less strong for comparing a household's weekly grocery bill and how many children that represent household members are under 18 years of age. Most of the families I evaluated in my research were on the east coast, ranging from Vermont to North Carolina, however one family was in Utah.

I was very surprised to note that the family of 6 (with 4 children under 18 living in the household) only had a weekly grocery bill of $108. The lurking variable here is the kind of grocery stores folks are shopping at and the prices they are charged. It may be a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s high end, organically-friendly store, or a typical large Wal-Mart superstore or Safeway. The chances that they are going out to dinner is pretty slim, so the kind of store they are shopping at will likely have an effect on their weekly bill. Also, I didn’t ask them to differentiate whether this was just food or if alcohol and other household items were included in their grocery bill. For Massachussetts this would not matter since they don’t sell alcohol in grocery stores, but for a place like Vermont this could definitely contribute to a difference in weekly grocery expenses.