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What do you spend on groceries. - Page 2

post #21 of 95
We spend $400 on groceries/paper products. That is for two adults, one toddler, a baby, and a cat. I'd like to get this number a little lower, but I'm still working on the kinks, and still trying to find ways to make my meals even more healthful.

This is what we do/don't do: we rarely do anything organic, unless we get it from the farmer's market in the summer. I wish we could do organic meat/ dairy, but my pocketbook would scream at me. My family and I do split a grass fed cow once a year, and that has helped with our budget.

What we do: we take cash with us (this is key for me), a list, a menu plan for the week (designed around what is on sale). Cooking from scratch has helped me a lot, so I spend my time on the outer parts of the store - the produce section, meat, and frozen section.

Also what has helped me is having a goal in mind. What do I want to do with the money I'm saving after going through all of the work of doing this? We're trying to redo our kitchen and living space on cash, so we're saving every penny we can.

Just my two cents. Good luck! Everything is a process, isn't it?
post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by walking burp cloth View Post
How do you keep your groceries so low?
We live in a low col area. We raise our own beef and are still eating the last of the pork we raised. Our animals are all grassfed/hayfed so that makes it pretty cheap.

I also have a good sized garden in the summer that I preserve, plus farmer's markets and swapping with friends, and we eat in season and try to keep it local.

I shop the sales at 2 stores. I don't even look at the ads for other stores since these 2 have awesome deals really often and I know them well so it doesn't take as much of my time. When thins we use are on sale, we buy alot.

Of course, making almost everything from scratch helps a ton.
post #23 of 95
We spend about $1200/mo on groceries for six... that includes 'eating out', but our eating out is getting some premade deli food, maybe once or twice a month. We mostly eat porridge for breakfast, with some fruit and nuts occasionally. Lunch is usually a salad or just a bowl of veggies. Dinner is usually a rice bowl, tacos, or soup... some grains, veggies, and beans (we are vegan). I buy everything in bulk on sale. We don't drink any beverages, besides water from our tap and I don't buy any snack foods or premade, prepackaged products. I don't buy any fancy cleaning or grooming products... we use cloth napkins, vinegar, baking soda... I don't know how people get their groceries so low. It's our biggest monthly expense.
post #24 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by walking burp cloth View Post
For those of you with a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children).... how much do you spend on groceries each month? By groceries, I mean, anything you get from the grocery store or health food store. (food, cleaning supplies, TP, suppliments, etc). Also, what do you spend eating out?

I have just added up our last few months.... and it seems like too much.
We are a family of 3, with two cats.

Our monthly budget for all groceries, household, and eating out is about $430.00 a month.
post #25 of 95
$400 a month for 2 adults, 3 kids, not including cat/dog food & kitty litter. That's another $50 or so a month. It's getting harder and harder to stay at $400 so I think we'll be readjusting our budget soon.

We rarely eat out, mostly it's subs or pizza maybe once a month so $15-50 a month.
post #26 of 95
We just increased to about $75/week for all grocery/pet/household items, for two adults, two kids, a dog, a cat, and a bunny.

This is up from $50/week. Part of the increase was just a bit of a reward due to a recent pay increase for DH. The other part of the increase is because we are switching our dog from a low-grade commercial kibble to a mostly raw diet.

We try to focus our diet on healthy, whole and/or homemade foods. I buy organic when I can and local when I can, but I will almost always prioritize local over organic. I live in South Florida, so local usually wins.

We do indulge in convenience on a semi-regular basis (is it still indulgence if it's regular? ), and we're certainly not above grilled cheese and french fries for dinner every now and then.

Eating out...I try to keep it under $100/month. All eating out $ comes from my spending $ (since I'm the only one who ever wants to! ), which helps encourage me to keep it down.
post #27 of 95
We are in WA, North of Seattle, and we spend about 600 a month for organic 95% and local. I cook almost everything from scratch and we rarely eat out.
post #28 of 95
I am averaging about $550-600 a month for 2 adults, 2 kids & 4 pets. We buy our meat every other month (through a co-op) and it still is expensive.
I am trying to get it lower. I would like it to be around $100 a week.
post #29 of 95
i just tallied and averaged my purchases for 2009, so i have definitive numbers instead of guesstimations:
groceries, bus fare, stamps and some housewares: 213/ month
eating out: 26/ month
big box stores: (housewares, gifts, some food) 42/ month

the categories overlap somewhat so i've included them all here.

eta: this is for one adult and two preschoolers, with frequent houseguests and dinner guests.
post #30 of 95
I just finished our 2009 financial reports and our 2010 savings and spending plan. My categories are different than yours. We live in a high COL area. Two adults, one 8YO who eats as much as me, and one raw fed cat.

Food - $335/month has been our steady amount for nearly two years now and we've gradually increased the percentage of organics and have preferred local for even longer. This also includes the cat's raw meat and we've had her less than a year.

Dining - $130/month is our actual average for last year and we had allocated $200, which is down from years past. We've been cooking a lot more at home from scratch. Our food bill has sustained a far larger percentage of the responsibility of feeding us and has stayed steady on the dollar amount.

Household - $103/month is the new plan; but we averaged much higher each year going backwards. I kept lowering the spending amount and the actual expense has been steadily dropping, but has always been higher than budget. This category covers a lot of items. Basically, anything that goes into our home that we *could* take with us if we were to move. Home repair is separate and includes items for the home that would stay in this place if we were to move. I suggest separating out your household expenses from your food expenses to get a clearer picture. Also, most household items are much less expensive outside the grocery store.

Pet care - $10/month, which mostly covers cat litter and the start-up costs of rescuing a kitten (litter pan, scoop, clippers, brush, toys, adoption fee/vet visit, and spaying) averaged out over a two-year depreciation plan. There was some high quality canned pet food (Wellness brand and equivalent) included when she first came to us and again when we had a major flood and yet again when she was spayed - totaling about 6 weeks worth. THAT was far more expensive than the raw food diet we usually feed her!

I really recommend separating out more expenses for a few months to get a clearer picture of your family finances. Maybe it isn't the food part, but the household part that has gone up? Maybe your favorite restaurant has gone up slowly enough to not really notice, but has added up over time?

I took the time to compile a dining guide for our family last January based on our actual restaurant bills. Boy was that ever enlightening! So enlightening, in fact, that I kept a rolling 12-month current dining guide available for us to glance at any time we wanted to go out for a meal. I had it broken down into low, average, mid-high, and high per person dining options. We don't always want the cheapest place, but we don't always want "the best", either. We discovered, for our family, the best bang for our buck places in each category and consciously choose those places most often when we decide to dine out.

If it really is your food purchases, do a search here on MDC. There are oodles of threads with loads of great info on reducing food costs!
post #31 of 95
sigh... I post this all the time and keep trying to do better, but for us (2 adults and 2 children) it's at LEAST $1200 a month. That's more than our mortgage and car put together. It's huge. But no matter what I do, that's the lowest I can get it. Sometimes it's $1600 or more. I don't know how some people get it so low... I really just have no idea.
post #32 of 95
If my mortgage and my car were only $1200, I wouldn't have to spend only $300 on groceries.

I think we all do the best we can with what we have.

If we weren't in a situation where this was absolutely all the money we had, I'd definitely spend more money on food/household. Absolutely. In a heartbeat. But, I know that spending more=taking money out of savings=me going back to work once the savings is gone. That's not a path I want to go down. Gives me mighty high motivation to keep it low, you know?
post #33 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
sigh... I post this all the time and keep trying to do better, but for us (2 adults and 2 children) it's at LEAST $1200 a month. That's more than our mortgage and car put together. It's huge. But no matter what I do, that's the lowest I can get it. Sometimes it's $1600 or more. I don't know how some people get it so low... I really just have no idea.

Wow! Do you live in a high COL area?
post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom0810 View Post
sigh... I post this all the time and keep trying to do better, but for us (2 adults and 2 children) it's at LEAST $1200 a month. That's more than our mortgage and car put together. It's huge. But no matter what I do, that's the lowest I can get it. Sometimes it's $1600 or more. I don't know how some people get it so low... I really just have no idea.
Wow. WOW! I would absolutely never be able to afford that! Is it because of a high COL area, all-organic, or special-needs diets? I am definitely not snarking, just intensely curious about what could drive a grocery bill that high for a family of four.
post #35 of 95
Our usual breakdown for family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kiddos)

Groceries = $500/month
Target/NFC = $75/month
Eating out = $60/month (average 2 times at $30 a pop)

So grand total: $635/month

We meal plan a month in advance, we shop Costco, look for the sales at our local grocer & target.

Things which I think keep down our costs (which is still high, but coming down):
  • Buy in bulk but for items we use (like really _use_)
  • I do family cloth (and the rest of my fam are boys )
  • We've started to replace all paper towels with cloth
  • No-poo & cutting down on shampoo/soap use
  • CD for our youngest
  • I take leftovers for lunches at work
  • Adapting some take out recipes to be made at home, so we don't "miss" take out
  • Stockpiling, but then effectively shopping from the pantry during the month.
  • Learning to make some of the more expensive items speciality items I love (red, white wine vingear)
  • Buying spices in bulk
post #36 of 95
I spend about $500-$650 on 1 adult, 3 older kids (7, 9, 13), a dog and two giuniea pigs. this includes everything including lunch money, meals at work, pet care, toiletries etc.....we live in a moderate cost of living area, we are vegetarian, the kids are PICKY, I have no options for stores and I use a lot of convinience stuff. I work on my feet all day and the last thing I want to do is cook and clean when I get home.
post #37 of 95
We spend about $1100 a month on groceries, cleaning products, paper and household products, liquor and restaurants. It's too much, I know. We buy mostly organic and grassfed, natural meat. We are a family of 4 living in a high cost of living area.
post #38 of 95
Dabble wrote: Wow. WOW! I would absolutely never be able to afford that! Is it because of a high COL area, all-organic, or special-needs diets? I am definitely not snarking, just intensely curious about what could drive a grocery bill that high for a family of four.

We definitely do live in a high COL area. Food is really expensive here. I do buy a ton of fresh produce, I buy some processed convenience stuff, but we try to eat really healthy fresh food. There are SOME allergy concerns, as I became allergic to nuts while I was pregnant, so only certain brands of things are "safe". Mostly, though, it's just really expensive to buy food here. I'm in a suburb of Chicago, and everyone I know with a family spends what we do or close to it. It's crazy.

I have done couponing, taken classes on how to save money on food, everything you would try to do to save. It's just how much it costs here, for our family.
post #39 of 95
Probally close to $800. This is one financial area I'm really trying to work on. Will be coming back to read through the thread for inspiration! My problem is I run out of essentials every few days at times, and when I go to pick up just that couple of things I end up buying more
post #40 of 95
I do that, too columbusmomma, and just today I see I have to run for sugar, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. And I know I will see some other stuff there I need. Plus dh's birthday is Wednesday and i have to get him a cake OR make one... so that will add up.

Adding that I spent $270-something on Friday... and will be back there again tomorrow. So you see how it goes... no matter what, I just can't seem to save money on food.
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