Americans spend more on their Fidos and Fluffies each year than they spend on booze or men's clothing.
People shelled out an average of $502 annually on their pets in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to the $456 they spent on alcohol and $404 they spent on men and boys' clothes.
Just pet food alone cost the average household $183 -- which is more than folks spend on chicken, cereal, bread and candy. Vet services adds another $143.
Though families cut back on their overall spending during the recession and ate out at restaurants less, their spending on pet food remained constant.
Nearly three-quarters of American households own pets. There are about 218 million pets nationwide, not including several million fish.
Not surprisingly, married couples with no children living at home spend the most on pets, while single folks spent the least.
Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is a big business -- and no, not everything is fair in love and war.
Guys plan to spend an average of $108 on their sweethearts this Valentine's Day, twice what women plan to spend on their significant others. Ladies plan to spend only $53, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
Flowers and jewelry tend to push up the average costs MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - Feb 14, 2013 9:28 AM ET
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