President's groceries

Dear Answer Person,Does the president ever do his own grocery shopping? And if he did, how much would it cost for him to go to the grocery store with his security detail?


Nope, they don’t do anything so mundane. Except for publicity tours or when campaigning. Probably more likely for a photo op when they’re at their vacation houses rather than a regular Saturday trip to a Safeway in central Washington. The security detail gets paid a salary wherever he goes, so this or that meaningless publicity stop doesn’t matter. Politicians are always being asked what a gallon of milk costs, but I think I’d rather have them looking at things in a little more macro way.

6 thoughts on “President's groceries”

  1. It’s very, very fuzzy. Theoretically, yes, but in reality most meals are probably picked up by budgets other than his salary as “official” business. There’s a Presidential Food Service that seems to only deal with meals relating to visiting dignitaries or when the President travels. If it’s in his personal quarters, not related to business, then it’s supposed to come out of his salary of $400,000. I would expect many of his meals to be working meeting with politicians, dignitaries, etc.

  2. I heard an urban legend about Bill Clinton trying to order a late night pizza at the White House. My understanding was that the pizza place thought it was a prank call and hung up on him (and why wouldn’t they?). This seems mildly relevant to the presidents+groceries thread.

    I can’t seem to find a corroborating website: do you know if there’s any truth behind the pizza incident?

  3. I can find no corroborating evidence, either. I think that’s why they call these things urban “legends.” Perhaps they believed who it was, but knew that he doesn’t carry cash on him to pay a tip. Or, the delivery drivers have a history of being shot as intruders when showing up at the White House guardhouse (as a disguise, that would make for a pretty weak attempt at trying to get through security).

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