The cost of buying and throwing away food and drink in the UK reached £13.7bn (€15.5bn) last year, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
The analysis, which combined the price of food that was not eaten with the cost to council taxpayers of sending it to landfill, revealed that households paid an estimated £520 each for uneaten food over the past 12 months.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, LGA environment board vice-chairman, said: "That is a heart-breaking figure in a world where hundreds of millions of people go hungry every day.
"With more than five million tonnes of edible food thrown out each year, way too much food is being brought into homes in the first place. Retailers need to take a large slice of responsibility for that."