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USDA Cost of Food List - Page 2

post #21 of 48
What are they basing this on? Even at our worst we're right at the liberal plan which I think was really excessive.

Now we're just below the thrifty level? No way. I know we could cut quite a bit and I don't even coupon shop.

I'm just not sure where they are coming up with these numbers. Is it just food? No cleaning products or pet food? It just doesn't seem to add up for me or groceries by me are really cheap.
post #22 of 48
Thank you soooo much for finding and posting this!!

It is tough to put things into perspective sometimes when it comes to food cost. Our family is in the thrifty category, and we eat a lot of organic and wild foods that can seem very pricey sometimes! It's really nice to see that we are indeed as frugal as we think we are!!
post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
This bears repeating: It's just for the cost of food--not laundry detergent, shampoo, toilet paper, or anything else you might pick up at the grocery store.

It is based on national averages, so you're looking at how you compare to other Americans. It's not a recommendation....just a comparison.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
This bears repeating: It's just for the cost of food--not laundry detergent, shampoo, toilet paper, or anything else you might pick up at the grocery store.

It is based on national averages, so you're looking at how you compare to other Americans. It's not a recommendation....just a comparison.
This is what I was thinking. But that's how we factor groceries anyway, so my number is the same.
post #25 of 48
We are thrifty to low cost.


Since we are a family of 4, I took the two costs since I have a 4 yr old and 8 yr old and did an average.

$542 is thrifty and $697 is low cost. We are $573 avg this year for grocery. I was aiming for get it at $550 or less. Not happening.

Edited to add: this is just for food. We subtract anything that is not food and grocery related. We buy toiltried etc plus I make my own detergent and that is budgeted in a different catagory. Alcohol purchases such as beer wine etc plus eating out is a budget in its own. The main reason, we HAVE to eat but do not need to eat out (date night budget) and do not HAVe to have beer etc.
post #26 of 48
We are well below the thrifty plan as well. We mostly eat home-cooked food. I didn't realize that we were doing so well. We could spend more, but I don't like to. I could add some organics and pasture fed meat and still stay thrifty (I'm at least $200 a month below thrifty).
post #27 of 48
Whoa. We live in a low COL area and I make much of our food from scratch, we order pizza out once a month. Also, we eat a lot of beans. lol

I am below thrifty by about $300 dollars. ! And I have really been wanting to cut back more because I thought I spent somewhat excessively.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2SammyJoe View Post
We are well below the thrifty plan as well. We mostly eat home-cooked food. I didn't realize that we were doing so well. We could spend more, but I don't like to. I could add some organics and pasture fed meat and still stay thrifty (I'm at least $200 a month below thrifty).
For us, we have always been thrifty to low cost but I dont think we could go any higher unless it eats into our fun money such as eating out, wine etc. We also live in a high COL area though.


I am pleased to see so many people eating well on the low cost to thrifty.
post #29 of 48
What we spend a month for a family of 6: $475.
What the thrifty plan is for a family of 6: $768
post #30 of 48
we are a family of 6, and we spend $740 a month on just food, at the grocery store. factor in an extra $15 a week (on average) at the farmers market, that's an even $800 a month. we barely ever eat out as a family, now and then i'll grab a cheeseburger or something off a fast food dollar menu while i'm running errands. the thrifty estimate for 6 people (i added up separately) is $816.60 for a month.

so i guess we're doing better than i thought.
post #31 of 48
I loved this! I have to show it to DH. We are always worried we are spending too much and we are below the thrify plan. Makes me feel pretty good!
post #32 of 48
If you dig deeper and follow the associated links, you learn a few interesting things.

These numbers are based on having every meal and snack at/from home BUT they are not based on everything being made from scratch, esp. the Thrifty Plan! So, they include purchased breads, box meals, canned soups, processed foods, etc.
The numbers are also based on the MyPyramid food standards for servings, food group distribution, etc. I'm guessing a lot of people here on MDC (me included) don't buy into the standard "American diet", which changes things considerably.
Most importantly, the price numbers for foods come from Nielson Homescan data (now NCP) and represent average costs people actually paid for food. Not everyone uses coupons, shops loss leaders, meal plans, etc. so that can make a huge difference.


All that said...right now we're sitting at about $320 a month for a family of 4: 2 adults, a 16mo, and a 6yo. This doesn't include a bulk beef purchase we'll be getting in a few weeks, or the hog we'll purchase in several months. Even averaging those out over the next year, I'd say we'll still be between thrifty and low-cost plans. We shop sales, use doubled/stacked coupons, meal plan, maintain a hefty pantry, and generally do whatever we can to keep costs down.
post #33 of 48
we're in the thrifty plan including eating out once a week for ds and I and a few times a week for dh.
post #34 of 48
We're around the thrifty - low-cost plan on average. And we eat largely organic.

Course that explains why I thought our foodstamp benefits for so long were (IMO!) utterly ridiculous. (family of four, we got ~660ish dollars. A month. Now that DH is *FINALLY* working again its down to ~330ish. Which is bloody plenty!!)
post #35 of 48
Great thread! TY!

We are far below the thrifty plan, and our groceries in the sticks are far pricier than in say... Indy or Lincoln!

We are now a fam of 4 and are $200-$300 below thrifty-- I co op shop and make a lot from scratch, but we do eat as much organic as we can find regardless of cost-- it's all about availability here.

When we were a fam of 7 in a major city, we spent almost exactly $500 per month, mostly organic, without the benefits of a grocery co op! My xh thought I grossly overspent, LOL!!!! Some months I stretched those groceries out for 2 months.

Oh-- this includes pet food and soap, shampoo, etc. I know the chart doesn't, but I budget all the grocery store purchase together.

blessings
post #36 of 48
Converted into USD we'd be between thrifty and low cost plans as well. Although I think food is much more expensive here. We don't really watch our food spending too much, though. I buy some organic food and always choose fresh and yummy instead of cheap. I think it helps a lot that we're not very big eaters, and we don't buy beverages.
post #37 of 48
I also factored in we purchase a side of beef and a whole pig each and every year.

We cook from scratch 99% of them time, with exception to buying pasta we boil, buying baggette and laoves of bread from the local bakery. I also buy deli meat for lunches at school. Maybe that is why we are in the low catagory. If we bought a lot of the packaged stuff, it would cost us lots more considering what the prices I see on these items.

I do buy some items such as canned soup etc, but mainly when it is on sale and when our local food pantry requests it. I do not count that in our food budget, but charity since it goes directly to the food pantry. Our church does a monthly collection and the week before they always say what they are low on- toothpaste, PB and Jelly, speggetti sauce, pasta. So I buy about $30 worth of whatever they are looking for plus some other items like pads, etc if someone needs it.
post #38 of 48
wow! This makes me feel so much better about our grocery budget. We are a family of 3 with a grocery budget of about $600, including our CSA box of local/organic produce that is $45 per week.
post #39 of 48
With our family of 5, we are about $200 less per month than the thrifty plan at the current time and I haven't been very frugal lately. If I'm actively being frugal, we spend approximately $350 less a month. I very rarely use coupons or shop circulars. I do obsessively food plan and buy the majority of our food in bulk, however we buy processed, prepared food for DH and oldest DS quite often and they eat meat at every meal. We don't eat out at all, except for a monthly or bi-monthly take and bake pizza or special occasions like birthdays.
post #40 of 48
Wow, we're below the "thrifty" level by a good amount and live in a high cost of living area. I use coupons and shop at a few different stores after checking sales fliers, but felt like I could be doing better...I guess I'm doing pretty darn good as it is!
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