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USDA Cost of Food List

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
So just today, I was berating myself for spending too much on groceries. Then it occurred to me to see how I measured up with other Americans. Although I spent more than I normally do, my total still fell in between the "thrifty" and the "low-cost plans."

Given that grocery prices are still pretty inflated, and that cost of living varies vastly in different regions, it probably isn't the best way to set food spending goals. You also have to keep in mind that this is only about what you spend on FOOD and not the non-food items that you pick up at the grocery store.

That said, have you seen which category you fall into? The most recent data is for August:

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publication...fFoodAug10.pdf
post #2 of 48
If I add up the individual numbers we are very close to the "low cost" plan.
post #3 of 48
We are slightly under the thrifty plan. I do have to keep track of sales, shop around, and make most things from scratch to stay at that level.
post #4 of 48
Gawd, we're way up there. We eat pretty frugally (am I allowed to use the word frugal to refer to eating habits? ), but groceries out here in the bush are... um... on the silly side of ridiculously insane.
post #5 of 48
Wow, I am just a bit above the low-cost plan. I buy mostly organic foods, too. I must be doing something right. Although I have been noticing that my 11 year old is starting to eat alot more lately. So, maybe I shouldn't be too complacent, huh?

You know, I really do cook nearly everything myself and never eat out except for a very rare pizza. But now that I am working and in grad school all of that cooking is getting very hard. Processed food is starting to sneak in.
post #6 of 48
We are right around the very max of the scale.
post #7 of 48
We pretty much fit perfectly in the thrifty plan. That surprises me. I feel like we have a lot of splurges & could feed us on a lot less if I had to.
post #8 of 48
We're right up at the top of the scale (which, honestly, doesn't really surprise me).
post #9 of 48
It looks like we are just over thrifty. But I don't take very good advantage of the amazing diversity of foods that are available where I live. Plus we eat way too many carbs (ie. bread and pasta) and don't buy meat. So I don't know if being thrifty is really a good thing, or just a result of culinary boringness. I guess we do make all our food from scratch (Is boilng pasta considered from scratch ?) so that is something.
post #10 of 48
We are a family of 5, eating on just a bit less than the thrifty plan for a family of four, which surprises me. Our budget doesn't feel particularly restrictive and we eat well, including a lot of organic and many specialty-type items. City-data gives our town a COL rating at just below national average.
post #11 of 48
Thrifty and sadly that is more than FS grants per month. (I fully realize that FS is not intented to cover the full amount of groceries per month) I am very grateful for any assistance we recieve I am only comparing the fact that 100% FS assistance is below the 'thrifty' amount in our state.
post #12 of 48
Below the thrift plan by close to 200.00, which suprises me since my area is considered high COL.
post #13 of 48
WOW! Thanks for posting this. I too always feel guilty for spending so much on groceries, and we have a high COL. But we are between the thrifty and low cost, that made my day!
post #14 of 48
Wow! What are they counting on that? We're a family of 5 and our groceries are well below the thrify plan for fam of 4, and very much below thrifty if you add them all separately. No we're not organic, as much as we'd like to be, it's just no in the budget. But hey, I figure we'd have a good lot more groceries if I spent even as much as the added up thrifty plan for us. For us, the added up thrifty is 157.30 a week, the added up liberal is 311.3 woo! I'd love to have 300/week for a budget!
post #15 of 48
We're below the thrifty plan. But our col here is really low.
post #16 of 48
We're at 65% of the thrifty plan, too. According to city-data, we're slightly less than average cost of living.
post #17 of 48
Wow. We're dead smack in the middle of the low-cost plan, and we eat almost all organic, free range, etc.

I guess I should pat myself on the back for that one!

ETA: I take that back. We're the low end of the low-cost plan. I didn't look at the part about the age of the kids.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
Thrifty and sadly that is more than FS grants per month. (I fully realize that FS is not intented to cover the full amount of groceries per month) I am very grateful for any assistance we recieve I am only comparing the fact that 100% FS assistance is below the 'thrifty' amount in our state.
Yep, my family of one adult and 3 little girls spend $403.00 per month on food. For our ages that comes out to $7 below thrifty plan. That is every meal except 2 dinners per week for my kids and snacks and a bunch of organics. I get what you are saying though. If I were working, there's no way we'd be able to eat this way on this much.
post #19 of 48
I went into our budget software to figure it out. If it's just for groceries, we're about $150 below the thrift plan. If I add all eating out, wine and groceries, we're at the low cost level.

DH eats out for lunch 5 days a week.
post #20 of 48
Really interesting, we are between thrifty and low cost. That doesn't really suprise me though. We buy the majority of our groceries in one trip to the city every month. Because of food allergies we pay a bit more for some snacky convenience foods though.
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