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What do spend per month on food -normal diet/family of 5

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Okay.....just need a quick response. We are doing our taxes, and we are deducting the extra money we spend on special food. We all have allergies and are on the GFCF diet. I know what we spend, but what I need to know is what does an average family spend on normal food per month? There are 5 in our family. 2 adults, and 3 boys ages 8, 5, and 2.


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 25
Damn near MILLIONS of dollars, it feels like! :

Seiriously though, we're a 5 family as well, with 2 adults and 3 boys ages 8, 3 1/2 and 19 months, so for all purposes we mirror your family. We go through so freaking much food all the time. We average $150/week and that's a very low figure, without factoring in extras like special events, picnics, bringing snacks to school, feeding friends that come over on the weekends, etc.
post #3 of 25
I don't have a link handy, but I know the USDA has various "how much food should cost for X size family" charts, maybe poke around their website?
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks! The USDA says the "moderate" cost for family of four is about $800/month. Low budget is a little less than $700.

We spent an average of $1300-1400/month at the health food stores. We actually spent more in food/treatments than our total income. No wonder all the credit cards are maxed out. Autism is expensive!!!! I guess the good thing is that we'll be getting money back.

Was it worth it? YES!! YES!! YES!! Peter just finished his last homeopathy treatment, and I would now consider him fully recovered from Asperger's syndrome. He is just a normal kid now (with a little bit of catching up to do behaviorally, since he spent 6 years of his life doing nothing but screaming.)
post #5 of 25
You can deduct extra mileage to travel to a store for the special food too I believe. Do document carefully (save receipts, etc) and have a doctor's note because I think taking that deduction (especially the first time likely) can be an audit flag.

Remember also that you can only deduct the amount over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. So for us it has never been better than what we get over the standard deductions even though we have huge medical expenses. I think, though, that's partly because we have a HSA and run the max we can through that which is pre-tax and can't be used for taxes.

edited to add...you are spending more than your family income in food and treatments? You need an accountant because I'm sure that will be an audit flag. It's also not sustainable/is a horrible decision if I understood that properly. How are you paying rent and/or mortgage?

Can any of those treatments be let go?
post #6 of 25
Originally Posted by PB's Mom View Post
Thanks! The USDA says the "moderate" cost for family of four is about $800/month. Low budget is a little less than $700.
I guess we're doing pretty good at $600 - $650 including resturant visits and health food. But our kids are still little.
post #7 of 25
We are a family of five and try to keep our monthly food budget to $500 a month.
post #8 of 25
Moving to finances and frugality.
post #9 of 25
We are also on the GF diet and we are spending about $125/week on groceries for our family of four. Some weeks I spend less and some more, depending on whether it's a CostCo week or just a "bare basics" week at the grocery store.

I have started to buy very simple, wholesome foods. We are vegetarian so we have dried beans in our pantry for about 2/3 of our meals. Different beans made different ways. We use a lot of corn tortillas with our meals. I fry them on the griddle and they work nicely with the bean dishes. I make lentil soups and black bean soup and chili and all kinds of things. Rice is another big staple in the diet. On those nights I will stir fry some tofu with frozen veggies (bought in bulk from CostCo). We even have spaghetti with rice! It's rather good. I just use a can of spaghetti sauce poured over fried onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Then we eat it with rice instead of pasta. For schoo lunch my dd loves her tostadas and a pudding cup as a treat. For breakfast dh eats GF oatmeal, dd's drink Instant Breakfast (their choice, not mine, but I choose my battles). For snack I make some yummy GF muffins that I have on hand at all times to combat the munchies, and also dh will take a couple to work. For processed foods we buy pudding cups, Instant Breakfast, the spaghetti sauce, and a couple of stir fry sauces, and the frozen veggies in huge bags from CostCo. Pretty much everything else is cooked from scratch, and this is our main diet.
post #10 of 25
We have one adult and 3 kids and a dog. and spend about $500-$550 a month. that is no organic and with coupons. but includes paper products and health and beauty (I get a 10% rebate from work one day a month so try to get everything there on that day. I usually spend about $400 and then another $100-$150 on bvread and milk and produce through out the month.)
post #11 of 25
We're a family of five - 45, 41, 17, 4, and 11 months - and we spend $450/month on groceries in Wisconsin.
post #12 of 25
We're a family of 5, 3 adults and two boys 7 and almost 6. Our budget is about $700 Cdn a month, which is a bit less than $600 US right now. We have all sorts of food allergies and intolerance as well but I never completely cut out anything. I cook greater varieties so the person who has allergies can eat this and other people can eat that. One of us can't eat any rice, one of us can't eat any bread, one can't eat any eggs or fish or nuts, two are lactose intolerant, two love dairy of any sort, three veggie lovers, two meat eaters... Sometimes I wish everybody can just eat everything without being picky, but I think that only happens in Africa.

You cured you son's autism with food? How does that work? I have a mildly autistic son as well.
post #13 of 25
we are a family of 6 and we spend 450 per month which includes food, diapers, TP and any HBA we need for that month. But I cook everything from scratch and shop sales as much as possible.
post #14 of 25
We have a family of five--with two teens and one 8 year old. We live in a very high cost of living area (the SF Bay Area). We typically spend 250.00 per week (sometimes more), which falls under the moderate range according to the USDA chart. So roughly 1,000.00 per month. We only eat out once or twice a month.
post #15 of 25
We budget $500 a month ($125 a week) for 2 adults, 5yr old, 3yr old, and an 8 month old. I make a lot of stuff from scratch and we usually have money left over at the end of the week, which we will put towards something else or have a night out.
post #16 of 25
About $400 including our specialty flours for GF and I'm lactose intolerant. Not sure if that is helpful for you though.
post #17 of 25
Between $400-$500 for our family of 5.
post #18 of 25
$700 per month on at-home food, mostly organic, and another $200 or so on eating out. (Dh is self-employed and restaurant lunches are crucial to his business.)
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
You cured you son's autism with food? How does that work? I have a mildly autistic son as well.
It's not quite as simple as changing the diet, although that was huge for Peter. It starts with the lyme disease. They are now connecting lyme disease to autism and other spectrum disorders. I had NO idea we all had lyme. Apparently I had it and passed it to each child during pregnancy. Only one child ended up with Asperger's. So...we worked on getting rid of Peter's lyme and other co-infections, and also clostridia, yeast, mycoplasmas, parasites, etc..... also on detoxing the heavy metals (pathogens hold onto metals....so you start by getting rid of the infections). The lyme and other infections weaken the immune system. These kids tend to have genetic mutations in their methylation cycle that prevents their bodies from turning glutamates into GABA. GABA is the calming chemical in your body. Glutamates are an exitorary. Normally excess glutamates turn into GABA, but Peter's body didn't do that. Too many glutamates excite the nerves to death, causing issues such as inflamation (everywhere, but also in the brain), and FOOD INTOLLERANCES. Gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats) and casein (all products with milk protein -not just lactose) are VERY high in glutamates......so the body launches an "allergy" or an "intollerance" to these foods as it's way of saying "I don't need any more of those glutamates right now." You can usually see a HUGE difference by removing these foods. Other foods such as dyes, aspartame, etc... are also issues. Unfortunatly, the sensitivity is usually so severe that even one bite of these foods is enough to cause a reaction that could last for several days or even a week. Even the kids who don't show much improvement on the diet can benefit from avoiding the extra glutamates. The idea is to heal the whole body, since the infections and toxins do so much damage. It took us about 4 years to get Peter better. I wouldn't change a thing about how we did it. We were very lucky and got the best help from the beginning. I don't look at autism as a difference of personality. I look at it as an illness. If you look at the symptoms of Lyme neuroborreliosis, it is very similar to autism. It causes neurological damage among other things.

Okay..........sorry for getting so technical....but when you have a screaming child 24/7 you tend to get desperate (Peter was the extreme end of anger/rage issues). So, I have a few thousand hours of research behind me. If anyone wants any more info...I'm always glad to share.

By the way, the food issues can vary by child. Peter's blood test came back reactive to just about EVERY food on the test (200 different foods). Some kids are very sensitive to corn or soy or eggs...... However, a blood test is not always the best way to detect an intollerance to wheat and dairy. They are often negative (such was the case with Peter). There are better tests (stool celiac test, and urine peptide tests) that give more accurate results.

post #20 of 25
"Normal" diet - family of five, including one teenage boy (yes - it makes a difference). I spend about $800/month at the grocery store, but that includes non-food extras, such as freezer bags, toothpaste, floss, toilet paper, etc., etc. I'm not sure what we spend on actual food, but I'd guess $700 or so?
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