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How much is your monthly food bill? - Page 2

post #21 of 82

I live off monthly  about what some of you spend in food!!! can I come for dinner!!???  :)

post #22 of 82

Our family of 3 (dh, ds12, and I) budget $120/week, so $460/month on all food and some household supplies (but we don't buy many of those). We usually stick to this for groceries and casual restaurants.


Sometimes (maybe 6 times a year) we spend more to eat out. I spend some of my spending money at coffee shops, so maybe add another $5 a week? All told, probably $540/month average for the year.

post #23 of 82

We don't do well with our food budget. For 2 adults and 3 kids, we spend between $1200 and $1400 a month! This includes anything we buy at the grocery store, including paper/toiletry items. It also includes beer. We never eat out, but sometimes get a pizza for dinner. We also rarely eat meat. We eat organic for the dirty dozen.


We don't often find coupons for the items we buy, but we do try to buy extra when there's a sale.


We spend a lot on organic milk and eggs, as well as breakfast cereals. We also eat LOTS of fresh produce, like three or four different fruits/veggies with dinner each night.


I believe we live in an average COL area.

post #24 of 82

Ours is $500 per month for 3 people (2 adults, 1 child). We live in a high COL of living area, and I'm vegan, so a big chunk of $ each month goes to soy milk, tempe, ect which is pretty expensive. DH and DS will eat anything and everything. I'm chronically ill, so the past few months, way too much money has gone to pre-packaged and easy to make foods. This month I'm trying to cut down on the grocery bill by buying mostly fresh and raw foods and cooking from scratch instead of frozen and processed meals. 

post #25 of 82
Thread Starter 

Thank you all so much for sharing. Its so interesting, and helpful, for me to see what other families are doing. :)


My family of seven consists basically of four adults (two teenagers, my daughter eats as much as me and my son eats more than my husband!) and three kids, 4 - 9. Our food bill averages out to just about $1000/mo.


We get a three shares of beef a year, a chicken share through the summer with enough left in the freezer to get us through to the next season, a summer csa and we are starting to get a fruit/vege box delivered when the csa is not open. I get our dairy from a farm - mostly milk, eggs and cheese, but sometimes yogurt, though I'd like to get better about making it myself regularly. Bulk items I get from a small family grocery (oats, popcorn, beans, flour, sugar, pasta, etc.). Our bread comes from a local bakery, I get a few different kinds of loaves, have it sliced and keep it in the freezer to pull out when I need it. My husband also makes bread at home and brews his own beer.


As a family, we don't eat out, but will get pizza in a handful of times over the course of the year. I often eat out when I work, grabbing what I can at births. My husband tries to pack lunch, but if he forgets to bring it, will either skip or very occasionally, buy out.


I will go to Whole Foods for a couple different things, like condiments, canned tuna, potstickers, and a certain package of flavored rice. Same thing with Trader Joes (love the ak mak crackers, graham crackers and meringue cookies!). But our trips there are maybe every couple of months.  

I'd say our cost of living area is pretty average...

post #26 of 82


We spend a similar amount to Storm Bride, but (to my shame) in a much lower COL area. While there are a lot of organic and local foods in our diet, and a lot of homegrown produce for the adults (we live in a good area for all of that stuff), we also love our Mickey-Ds, takeout pizza and red, red wine ;-) 

post #27 of 82

Gosh the beginning of this thread was making me feel pretty bad at budgetting!


We are 2 adults & 1 3 year old (who eats more than me!). We spend $200 a week so $800 a month. We are in Canada so a little pricier & I fully admit our "local" grocery stores are awful. We eat a high protein diet so lots of meat but very little packaged stuff. Our biggest unnecessary is diet pop - out of control.

post #28 of 82

We budget about $500 a month for (5) 2 adults, 3 kids.  We are gluten free, raw milk, mostly organic, grass-fed, pastured meat.  We get most of our veggies through a CSA which is certified organic (this saves us a lot of money).  We live in NE Florida.  I make nearly everything from scratch.  I can almost all of our 'canned' food, freeze produce when it's in season, buy in bulk, etc.  We eat lots of cheap food...breakfast is mainly organic potatoes (hashbrowns, etc.), eggs..or oatmeal with lots of butter (grass-fed) and cream.  Lunches are leftovers, dinners are a meat, grain (mainly rice), and veggies.  

post #29 of 82

if i wasn't buying so many boxed processed foods i would be spending less but i get about $525. each month for 1 adult, 2 children (9 & 4). i often need to depend on other income for more food money the rest of the month. so really. our 'real' monthly food grocery comes to about $800. probably. we are vegan but eat a lot of processed foods such as daiya cheese, boxed cereals, kashi bars, odwalla superfoods smoothies, boxed nut/coconut milks & juices for school, gardein nuggets, field roast frankfurters and grain meat sausages, tofurkey lunch grain meat slices & pizzas, boca nuggets, dave's killer breads, etc. all that adds up fast as does produce.  i can't complain though...going vegan is the best thing that ever happened to us.

post #30 of 82
We were at $400 per month for myself, DH and DS(3) We added two kids in October, 5 and 2, and the budget went to $600. We have a separate $120 per month for eating out(mostly goes to a couple date nights). The $600 goes to groceries and other household items. We do mostly local and organic -very little prepared foods. I used to drive 30 miles to our co-op, but with the 2 additions, I couldn't manage that anymore, so I had to compromise on cost/quality of a few things.

The biggest expense is milk, and bread was also big - the two boys eat lots of PB/J and good bread was very expensive. Last month I got a sourdough starter going and now I bake ALL our breads. This helped cut the bill ($1.69 for a lb. Of organic wheat flour vs. $3-$5 for no HFCS bread) We also garden and can from that. I started making our cereal (granola) and that is way cheeper, too ($1.69 for a lb. of oats plus minimal cost of add ins compared to $6 for a box of similar Kashi) Can't convince husband to get a goat for milk, though.

Anyone out there have laying chickens? Do you find there is a savings there? We are going to start a coup this year. I expect (but don't know) that we'd about break even on cost of oppressing vs. Cost of our local eggs- obviously regular eggs would be cheeper, but we don't buy those.
post #31 of 82

We spend roughly $475 every month.  I'm a single mum of 2 kiddos.  We do eat gluten free foods, meats, organic (if we can) fruits and veggies.  Once a month we go out to eat~ 

post #32 of 82
$1K for a family of 6.
post #33 of 82

I spend $100-$500 a month on food. Feeding 3+ (boy teen, boy tween, and 6 mos old baby). Includes pet (1 dog/4 cats/3 parakeets) and chicken feed and we homeschool so it's 100% meals/snacks at home. I garden extensively, raise chickens/turkeys for meat/eggs, buy in bulk, buy only sale and stock-up and I live far from 'town' so a quick trip to the store is out of the question as is eating out--this saves me money and makes me cook from the pantry! I glean for my chickens from neighbors gardens and extras, and a local grain mill where my neighbor helped me get enough grain/corn for nearly 6 mos for free by just sweeping out at the end of the run.


I also participate with Bountiful Baskets and since I run my site, I get a free basket each week (that is $16.50 week a value that I don't count above and is about 20-25 lbs of produce each week! Some organic.). And the option there for full cases for great prices. I also get WIC. Summertime, I might spend nearly nothing and eat almost entirely from the pantry/garden/baskets. I spend a lot of time cooking from scratch, creative meal planning, and prepping shopping list (I shop generally only 1x per month for main trip, sometimes 2x if we are near a store on a trip). We eat well I think. I value buying local, sustainable over always organic, and recently my neighbor has been giving me her extra raw milk (YAY!).


I live in an average to lower area for cost of living, but pretty much higher for food (due to distance to get it!). I'd say includes 'eating out' but we rarely do it unless we're on a trip. I do spend max $20 on treats and eating when we go to town to shop and let them get 'junk' type food since it's just once a month! (3 hot dogs/soda at Costco or 3 slices of pizza, a 1/2 price Sonic drinks, popcorn at the feed store (.35 LOL) etc.)


Specifically my pets are dog ($24 every 2  mos), cats ($18 every 2 mos), and parakeets ($7 every 3 mos) and chickens ($15 every 2 weeks for bag of pellets--I have 50ish chickens at a time). Dogs and cats get scraps/extra eggs to supplement bagged Costco dog/cat food.

post #34 of 82

I theoretically try to spend $100/week including all toiletries, etc. More accurately it comes out to about $139/week... that includes co-op orders, Costco, and regular grocery store.  I live in a 1 adult and 1 child household, and some pets. I try to stock up on staples when they are on sale, then I can cut back other weeks by using pantry foods and refreshing our fresh foods. I also try to leave room for a treat or a meal from the deli. Generally I try to have $25/month for eating out, although we usually don't eat out. If I had a deep-freeze, I think I could make better use of meal planning by making extras to freeze. We have switched to more vegan/vegetarian diet, although we do eat some meat.

post #35 of 82

such diverse answers- like our community.

post #36 of 82

Alright, I think people need to start telling us what they're eating!  I can't fathom spending more than I do.  I feel I spend a lot.  Over 400 for a family of 4.  I know a lady that spends 50 a week and her meals are unreal delicious.  She buys Large bits of meat and divides it up per meal.  Of course she has the time to do it all.  She's a planner big time.  And sometimes she spends less.  I do know that in the summer she has a decent garden.  I just don't think I could spend more and get through all the food we buy.  I mean I was looking through my pantry to see if there was anything we needed and we still have quite a bit left.  Thats with going out to eat just once this past two weeks.  CRAZY! 

post #37 of 82

We have a high budget, but it's because we can afford it and DH has certain things he HAS to have, lol. We budget around 650/mo for just groceries. Family of 4 (one is 8 months old, but she can EAT!) We eat 75-80% organic I'd say. Meat, eggs and produce are either organic or local or both, milk is raw and local, I buy conventional condiments, sour cream, cheese, corn tortillas, and lunch meat(these are things we rarely use, so I don't bother spending a ton on it). We avoid high fructose syrup, we are gluten free, every one but DH is mostly grain and dairy free and avoid partially hydrogenated oil and most processed foods. We eat very little grain, so our diet is mainly meat, eggs, produce and dairy. I use olive oil and quality coconut oil liberally. Man it all adds up. DH isn't really a health freak, so he has things he hasto have in the house. Corn chips, cereal, orange juice, and ice cream. We budget separately for toiletries and paper goods..I don't really know how much we spend monthly on those items. I go every couple of months to costco to stock up, and usually spend at least $100 on those things. I use a coupon every now and then, but I don't buy a lot from the grocery store so coupons are pointless for us most of the time. I make ALOT from scratch. That said, we don't go to the doctor often at all. I invest in quality supplements and eat well so we can be healthy and spend less on doctor visits. I think it evens out.

post #38 of 82

oh and we have a separate budget for eating out. We go out at least once a week, sometimes only 2 or 3 times a month, and I pack all of DH's lunches and the kids and I rarely go out. If we do it's for something small to get us through until we get home to eat.

post #39 of 82

Oh crap, and alcohol. I don't drink a lot, but DH has a few things he has to have in the liquor cabinet. We typically wait until he's had a good week at work and stock up. I usually spend $150-$180 each time, but it's every 3-4 months.

post #40 of 82
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Alright, I think people need to start telling us what they're eating!  I can't fathom spending more than I do.  I feel I spend a lot.  Over 400 for a family of 4.  I know a lady that spends 50 a week and her meals are unreal delicious.  She buys Large bits of meat and divides it up per meal.  Of course she has the time to do it all.  She's a planner big time.  And sometimes she spends less.  I do know that in the summer she has a decent garden.  I just don't think I could spend more and get through all the food we buy.  I mean I was looking through my pantry to see if there was anything we needed and we still have quite a bit left.  Thats with going out to eat just once this past two weeks.  CRAZY! 

One of my significant expenses these days is actually prepackaged frozen fruit. I used to buy it occasionally for smoothies, then started snacking on it. I now buy at least a bag (approx. 1.5 lbs.) a week. That's only about $6.00...but I sometimes go through a big bag (2 kg) for $16-$17...and can finish one in a week, as well.


But, let's see. Last night, I spent $56, just "picking up a few things". That was one dozen eggs (I do buy those free range, organic, so they're a bit pricey), a bag of quinoa (not sure how much - I bought it in bulk....maybe half a pound?), a bunch of 8 bananas, a bag of frozen mixed berries (they were on sale, so I grabbed one), a bag of hemp seeds (not a staple, but I've been eyeballing them for a while...they're tasty), a bag of frozen perogies (don't buy those often, but they were on for $2.00, which is really cheap...and I've never quite mustered the "oomph" to tackle them from scratch), three pomegranates (snack to share for a homelearning meetup today - they were $1.00/each), a small box of "baby" mandarin oranges (also for the homelearning meetup - $2.00), and a mesh bag of avocados, which holds four.


Out of that, the pomegranates and the oranges will be gone today. The bananas will be gone tomorrow. I have no idea how long the quinoa and the hemp seeds wil last - depends on my meal planning in the next couple weeks. If I get on a quinoa roll, that will be gone in a couple weeks, tops. If not, it could sit in the pantry for a month or so. I eat two eggs a day, so a dozen ($6.99, unless I get them on sale) lasts just under a week, if nobody else has any.


One of our big expenses is boxed cereal. I'm trying to get away from it, for a lot of reasons, but I tend to get up after my three oldest kids (mostly because of dd2), and boxed cereal is easy for dd1 and ds2 to get for themselves. DS1 could fix something more complicated, but he's usually in a hurry in the mornings, so he doesn't. A $9.00 (jumbo) box of Cheerios usually won't last more than a week, even if we have other cereal in the house. The other kinds that I buy semi-regularly aren't available in jumbo boxes, so I pay the premium for buying in smaller amounts. A $6.00 box of most cereals will also be gone in a week. So...we could spend $50-$60 a month just on cereal. I really need to find a small crockpot and do oatmeal for the kids, but I never seem to get around to it.


We spend $40-$50 per major shopping trip (weekly) on produce...bananas, apples, some other fruit (mostly seasonal), carrots, onions, greens (we do buy premixed salad in a box - usually one a week), bell peppers, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, kale. We keep most of those things in the house on a regular basis, and also buy occasional asparagus (I'm the only one who eats it, but I love it), green beans, beets, etc.


Pantry...as well as the cereal and quinoa, I keep a variety of dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dates and prunes, plus occasional dried apricots, apple rings, etc.) and nuts (always walnuts and almonds, sometimes pecans and pistachios) on hand for snacks. We also have rice (white and brown) and dried beans. We buy tomatoes, coconut milk, tuna and beans in cans. I also buy Kashi bars and dried fruit bars when they're on sale, because I like to have a few in the car, in case the kids get hungry on our way home from something. The dried fruit bars are $21 for a box of 30, which is cheap. But, if I have them, ds1 eats them up pretty quickly, because he's at a "grab something on my way out" stage of his life.


We also eat meat - mostly ground beef, pork roasts (one of our local stores has sporadic BOGO deals on a huge pork loin - we buy two, then cut them into roasts and chops), and a lot of chicken. In most dishes (a few Indian and Thai dishes being the exception), I can't stand the taste of dark poultry meat, so we always use breasts, as well as thighs, etc., and they're expensive. We try to stock up the freezer when they're on sale. We also eat fish a couple times a month (usually). The price of that varies wildly. If I buy a big salmon fillet for me and the kids, it's usually around $18 for one meal! We don't do that very often.


I also buy bagged roasted sunflower seeds - a lifelong addiction, and a fair number of dark chocolate bars (I eat a little every day).


We eat too much cheese....cheddar and mozza, and spend quite a bit on that (it's usually priced at about $13 for 1.5 pounds). We used to spend a lot on yogurt, but don't seem to be eating that as much right now. We buy quite a bit of butter, and go through 2-3 gallons of milk ($4.70-$4.90/gallon) a week.


hmm....that covers most of my pantry/freezer, although I'm sure I'm forgetting things. My coffee is anywhere from $10.99-$16.99/pound (I've only paid full price once or twice - I grab it on sale). But, I'm the only one who drinks it, and I usually only have two cups a day, so it's not a big item on the ledger, yk?

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