Bills. No one likes them, yet, unfortunately, they are a constant for most adults. While we can’t get away from our expenses, there is one thing you can do to help alleviate some of the strain on your pocket. You can choose to move to a place where expenses aren’t quite as… well… expensive.

One place where you might spend less on your everyday obligations is in the state of Texas. Texas has a cost of living that is below the national average. Cost of living is a benchmark that allows you to easily compare how expensive it is to live in one place over another.

For example, if you live in New York City, the cost of living there is 187.2. This means that, on average, you will spend 87.2 percent more maintaining your lifestyle than the national average cost.

To put that in more concrete terms, this means that if the national average price of a loaf of bread is $2.50, bread in New York City will be 87.2 percent more expensive or $4.68 per loaf. However, there are other cost of living indexes for specific items like groceries, healthcare, housing, and transportation.

For groceries, the cost of living in NYC is 116.6. So, bread in NYC should be closer to $2.92 per loaf. Compare that with the State of Texas which has a grocery cost of living index of 93.7, meaning groceries cost 6.3 percent cheaper than the national average. So a loaf of bread in Texas should only cost you $2.34.

Compared with NYC, you’d save nearly 23 percent on your grocery bills alone just by moving to Texas. This means for every $100 you spend in NYC, you’d only have to spend $77 in Texas overall. You could put that remaining $23 in savings for a rainy day.

Starting to think about moving to Texas? Let’s look at the cost of living for Texas overall and then look at the cost of living for 20 major Texan cities so that you can choose the best place for your money-saving move.

Overall Cost of Living In Texas

In this section, we will go over the cost of living for Texas overall, broken down by the overall cost of living, groceries, health care, housing, utilities, and transportation. We will compare them to both New York State and California to help you gauge how much you can save by moving to Texas.


If you choose to move to Texas from either New York State or California, you will save between 26.6 and 56 percent on your overall expenses. This means that for every $100 you spend in Texas you will have to spend $126.60 in New York or $156 in California.

Overall Cost of Living, Texas: 93.9

Overall Cost of Living, New York: 120.5

Overall Cost of Living, California: 149.9

Overall Cost of Living, America: 100.0


According to Mint, the suggested monthly grocery budget for a family of four is $892 a month. If you live in Texas, you might only need to spend $837.59 a month for the same family. However, if you live in California or New York, you’d need to spend $937.49 or $925.90 respectively. By moving to Texas you could save up to $99.90 a month on groceries.

Grocery Cost of Living, Texas: 93.7

Grocery Cost of Living, New York: 103.8

Grocery Cost of Living, California: 105.1

Grocery Cost of Living, America: 100.0

Health Care

In 2019, the average person in the US spent $11,582 a year on health care expenses. If you lived in New York, you’d likely spend about 5.8 percent more or $671.76 more per year. In California, you’d spend 7.6 percent less or $880.23 less per year. In Texas, you’d spend $532.77 less per year or 4.6 percent less.

Health Cost of Living, Texas: 95.4

Health Cost of Living, New York: 105.8

Health Cost of Living, California: 92.4

Health Cost of Living, America: 100.0


Housing is one spot where Texas is a clear winner for costs. Everyone knows how expensive housing is in California and New York but did you know that Texas housing costs are so much lower than the national average? In Texas, housing will cost you 15.7 percent less than the national average.

Housing Cost of Living, Texas: 84.3

Housing Cost of Living, New York: 132.1

Housing Cost of Living, California: 239.1

Housing Cost of Living, America: 100.0


The average US household spends $2,060 a year on utility bills. This same average family would spend $2,043.52 a year in Texas, $2,387.54 in New York, and $2,109.44 in California.

Utility Cost of Living, Texas: 99.2

Utility Cost of Living, New York: 115.9

Utility Cost of Living, California: 102.4

Utility Cost of Living, America: 100.0


Transportation can be expensive and it will; unfortunately be more expensive than the national average in Texas; however, you will still save compared to both New York and California both of which are over 30 percent higher than the national average.

Transportation Cost of Living, Texas: 103.3

Transportation Cost of Living, New York: 140.7

Transportation Cost of Living, California: 133.1

Transportation Cost of Living, America: 100.0

Cost of Living for 20 Texas Cities

Now that we’ve compared the cost of living for Texas between New York and California, we’re going to show you how the cost of living changes depending on the city you pick in Texas. We chose to compare the 20 most populous cities in Texas and then ranked them for their various cost of living indexes. The list below is in order of population size.

1. Houston


The most populated city in Texas was ranked the tenth-lowest city for all costs of living indexes together and was the tenth-lowest overall cost of living of the 20 major Texan cities. Furthermore, Houston had one of the lowest health care costs in Texas and housing is priced at nearly 20 percent below the national average. Not bad for the largest city in Texas.

Overall Cost of Living: 96.5

Grocery: 98.1

Health: 92.4

Housing: 80.2

Utility: 96.5

Transportation: 119.0

2. San Antonio

The second-largest city in Texas is also the city with the sixth-lowest cost of living. If you favor big city living but still want to save money for all of the finer things in life, you should consider buying a home in San Antonio, the housing cost  index here is 75.9, which is amazing for a big city.

Overall Cost of Living: 89.7

Grocery: 91.4

Health: 93.3

Housing: 75.9

Utility: 94.9

Transportation: 99.3

3. Dallas


Dallas, TX may have a high cost of living for Texas but it’s only 1.6 percent above the national average, and for a major metropolitan area that’s impressive, especially when you consider that the cost of living in Los Angeles is 73.3 percent above the national average and New York City is 87.2 percent higher.

Overall Cost of Living: 101.6

Grocery: 99.1

Health: 94.0

Housing: 92.9

Utility: 100.0

Transportation: 117.1

4. Austin


Austin is the fourth-largest city in Texas and is known for the multitude of tech companies, like Google and Tesla, that have offices located here. With all these high-tech companies moving into Austin, it should be no wonder that the cost of living here is slightly above average.

Overall Cost of Living: 119.3

Grocery: 96.7

Health: 94.4

Housing: 159.6

Utility: 99.1

Transportation: 109.9

5. Fort Worth

The cost of living in Fort Worth, TX is starting to approach the national average but for the fifth-largest city in Texas that isn’t half bad. Housing costs are still 14.5 percent below the national average making it a great place to buy a home.

Overall Cost of Living: 99.8

Grocery: 97.7

Health: 99.4

Housing: 85.5

Utility: 100.5

Transportation: 113.9

6. El Paso

As previously mentioned, Lubbock, TX has the highest health care costs on our list but El Paso is where you want to be if you’re looking for more affordable health care costs. El Paso had the lowest health care cost of living index on our list at 13.3 percent below the national average.

Overall Cost of Living: 81.4

Grocery: 92.0

Health: 86.7

Housing: 56.5

Utility: 97.1

Transportation: 91.9

7. Arlington

While Arlington was on the higher end of the spectrum for transportation and overall cost of living, they did manage to stay below the national average for groceries, health care, and housing and were right in line with the national average for utility costs.

Overall Cost of Living: 100.6

Grocery: 98.1

Health: 99.4

Housing: 88.5

Utility: 100.0

Transportation: 114.6

8. Corpus Christi

While both health care costs and utility costs exceed the national average in Corpus Christi, TX all other costs were below average, in fact, transportation costs for Corpus Christi were the third-lowest at 79.7.

Overall Cost of Living: 83.1

Grocery: 92.8

Health: 101.1

Housing: 63.2

Utility: 101.1

Transportation: 79.7

9. Plano


Plano, TX might have the second-highest housing costs in Texas but transportation is more than affordable here. Transportation in Plano is 12 percent below the national average. Considering that Plano was ranked the fourth-best city to buy a house, it’s no wonder why prices are so high.

Overall Cost of Living: 109.3

Grocery: 103.0

Health: 96.4

Housing: 143.6

Utility: 100.4

Transportation: 88.0

10. Laredo

Laredo was below the United States national average cost in all categories. Where Laredo excels is with housing costs. If you’re moving to Laredo, TX from California, you should be able to save a whopping 176.2 percent when buying a similar-sized home in Laredo.

Overall Cost of Living: 84.0

Grocery: 92.2

Health: 92.5

Housing: 62.9

Utility: 98.1

Transportation: 95.4

11. Lubbock

If you hate the cost of transportation, you should consider moving to Lubbock. Lubbock’s cost of living index for transportation was the lowest on our list at 73.1 or 26.9 percent below the national average. If; however, you have high healthcare costs, you might want to consider another city because Lubbock has the highest health care costs out of all 20 major cities on this list.

Overall Cost of Living: 79.9

Grocery: 91.9

Health: 104.8

Housing: 57.6

Utility: 93.5

Transportation: 73.1

12. Garland


If you spend a high amount on transportation, you may not want to move to Garland as it was tied with Houston for the second-highest transportation costs. However, with all the money you’ll save on everything else, you may not find increased transportation costs to be that bad.

Overall Cost of Living: 99.5

Grocery: 97.7

Health: 94.0

Housing: 85.5

Utility: 100.0

Transportation: 119.0

13. Irving


Irving is a beautiful Texas city and you’re going to pay a little more to live here than you might elsewhere. The cost of living is only slightly higher by less than one percent for both utility costs and overall cost of living. Housing was 6.1 percent below the national average and only 9.6 percent above the Texas average.

Overall Cost of Living: 100.6

Grocery: 99.6

Health: 94

Housing: 93.9

Utility: 100.2

Transportation: 111.2

14. Amarillo

Another great city that you can choose if you’re looking to escape the high costs of transportation is Amarillo. This city had the second-lowest transportation costs at 25.1 percent below the national average. Housing is also very affordable and should be nearly 40 percent below the US average home price of $272,446.

Overall Cost of Living: 80.1

Grocery: 91.7

Health: 103.9

Housing: 59.2

Utility: 93.7

Transportation: 74.9

15. Grand Prairie

Attribution: Michael Barera

Grand Prairie, TX is a diverse suburb of Dallas, so it’s no wonder why prices here are a little higher than the national average for the overall cost of living index, utilities, and transportation. However, for a major metropolitan area suburb housing costs are 9.4 percent below the national average making it a great place to buy a home.

Overall Cost of Living: 100.9

Grocery: 97.4

Health: 94.0

Housing: 90.6

Utility: 100.8

Transportation: 117.8

16. Brownsville

Topping out the list as the city with the lowest cost of living is Brownsville. People deciding to move to Brownsville, have the potential to save 29.7 percent on their overall cost of living. Brownsville has the number one lowest overall cost of living as well as grocery and housing costs.

Overall Cost of Living: 70.3

Grocery: 89.8

Health: 87.6

Housing: 38.1

Utility: 91.4

Transportation: 85.1

17. Pasadena

You can move to a new state without changing your city name, if you live in California’s Pasadena, CA, and decide to move to Pasadena, TX. The best part of moving to Pasadena, TX from the California city of the same name is that you’ll save so much money in every category Pasadena, TX was below the national average.

Overall Cost of Living: 91.2

Grocery: 96.4

Health: 92.4

Housing: 65.2

Utility: 96.4

Transportation: 117.1

18. Mesquite

Mesquite had the highest transportation cost on our list at 123.0 or 23 percent above the national average for America. While you’d still be saving money if you move to Mesquite from either California or New York, you will be spending approximately 20 percent more than you would be based on the Texas overall transportation cost of living index of 103.3

Overall Cost of Living: 98.5

Grocery: 96.7

Health: 94.0

Housing: 79.3

Utility: 100.8

Transportation: 123.0

19. McKinney

While housing costs in McKinney are far greater than both the national average and the Texas average, health care and transportation costs are low. For a suburb of Dallas, this can be a great place to live; although, you will spend more than the national average.

Overall Cost of Living: 107.9

Grocery: 102.0

Health: 96.4

Housing: 136.5

Utility: 100.2

Transportation: 92.0

20. McAllen


And finally, we have McAllen, TX. This city had the lowest cost of living index for Utility costs at 89.1 which is 10.9 percent below the national average. Housing is also affordable in McAllen, it’s priced around 41.7 percent below the average for the United States.

Overall Cost of Living: 78.6

Grocery: 92.1

Health: 90.7

Housing: 58.3

Utility: 89.1

Transportation: 86.2

The cost of living index is merely an indicator of how much you might spend. Overall, especially if you’re moving to Texas from California or New York, you’re going to save money by moving to Texas because of the cost of living.

If the cost of living in Texas has you considering making a move, contact Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate: HomeCity. They have realtors that can help you find the home of your dreams, today.