Memphis, Tennesse, USA downtown cityscape at dusk over Beale Street.

Average Cost of Living in Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis isn’t just for Elvis fans and enjoying the blues, one of the biggest features of this eastern Tennessee city is the low cost of living. As you search the Memphis houses for sale, you’ll find that home prices are much less than most large cities, making it easier to make your move, saving cash that can help you add or update features, use on that dream vacation, or anything else. 

Memphis offers all of the benefits of a larger city with a cost of living 15 percent below the national average. Of course, the cost of living includes a variety of factors, so we’ll take a look at each.

Median Home Price

The current median home price in Memphis is $205,000. Price tags can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood. For example, Cooper-Young tends to be a bit higher as it’s one of the hippest communities, with vintage buildings and an artsy vibe that makes it popular among young professionals and singles. Binghamton offers affordable brick cottages, cute bungalows, and single-family homes in central Memphis, popular among those of all lifestyles and ages with great nightlife, local dining, lots of green space, and a short commute into the center of the city.

The cheapest neighborhoods are Raleigh, Berclair-Highland Heights, and Parkway Village-Oakhaven, White Haven-Coro Lake. It’s important to consider value; however. The cheapest may not be the best place to live.


Tennessee is one of the country’s lowest-taxed states per capita, allowing Memphis residents to take advantage of even more savings. The city itself keeps its overall taxes low with no state or city income tax. The state ranks 46th for property tax burden and 43rd for individual income tax burden. 


Memphis is also among the lowest for utilities. A recent Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW) survey that compared the city’s water, gas, and electric utility rates around the country found the total was less than most other places in the country. For example, a typical winter residential bill in January 2021 was $234.10. As MLGW reports, for nearly three decades, customers in this city have spent less on winter utility bills as compared to counterparts in many metros areas. You’d pay much more living in Hawaii, Alaska, the New England states, and California. 

Groceries and Dining Out

It’s easy to put food on the table in Memphis too, as buying groceries is cheaper than average too. The cost of a gallon of milk averages $2.96 here, but living in Los Angeles you’d pay an average of $3.50. 

If you want to go out for lunch in the Memphis business district, the average cost including a drink is $13. In L.A., you’ll pay $7 more. 


Keeping the same two cities in mind, if you move to Los Angeles, you’ll pay an average of $2.64 per gallon of gas or $87 per month for public transportation. In Memphis, that gallon of gas averages about $2.30 while monthly public transport is less than $50 a month.