or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › How much is your monthly food bill?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How much is your monthly food bill? - Page 3

post #41 of 82

We (myself and DD) survive on roughly $300 in SNAP benefits every month. Literally $0 spent on eating out- unless a friend treats me to coffee or local ice cream or something of the sort. I am veg, try to eat mostly vegan, and DD is being raised lacto-ovo veg. Luckily, at 15 months, she is still nursed about 8 times a day- which saves a lot on our food budget. Due to food allergies, I have to buy lots of special products for myself. Due to my LO's developmental delay, I have to buy lots of special foods for her- lots of freeze dried fruits and veggies that will dissolve in her mouth, as she has issues with chewing. I do not use the WIC program because my daughter and I would not be able to eat over 90% of the food it covers. (The cost of the food I would get with WIC does not cover the cost of getting over to the WIC office). Fresh food is a luxury for us. We do not have it in our budget to join a CSA, nor do we have the land or space inside to grow food. I make sure to get a variety of foods for my daughter, while I eat lots of beans& rice style dishes. In order to get my veggies, it's canned or frozen for me. I would love to do all local, organic, join a CSA, grow my own food... yeah, when we win the lottery! I was hoping to get DD to feed herself from her first taste of table food, but alas, she is 15 months and still figuring out a pincer grasp.


When I my stamps hit, I spend about $75-100 at the beginning of the month on dry bulk goods- buckwheat, lentils, nuts, beans, rice, hot cereal, etc. I spend about $35-50 on special allergen-free products for myself, then about another $30-40 on special freeze-dried finger-foods for the LO. The rest of that money has to last throughout the month. LO has begun to chew a little better, and can finally eat some of my bean& rice style dishes for dinner with half a jar of 2nd stage baby food added. 

post #42 of 82

For me, the $500/month does not include eating out (which we do not do consistently enough to budget it, some months never, some months a few times) and it does not include alcohol. Dh and I have a $50/month alcohol budget for beer and wine. It does include toiletries, laundry and cleaning supplies.


I could easily spend closer to $1,000/month (still with only 2 adults and 2 younger kids) if I bought all organic meat, dairy and produce. I do buy quite a bit of organic produce and occasionally organic ground beef and milk, but not 100%.  If every single produce, meat and dairy item I purchased was organic, our food costs would easily double, and that's just not in the budget.  I could also spend loads more if I bought higher end wine.  I can't remember the last time I spent more than $10/bottle, it was definitely while I was still working.

Edited by colemom - 1/7/12 at 1:22pm
post #43 of 82

Oh boy. This is something that's a hot topic for me because I really need to make some changes in this area. We spend way too much on food and household products- about $1000-1200 a month for groceries (including pet food and household supplies), school lunches, and eating out combined for a family of 5 with three teenage boys and one pregnant me.  It's been really challenging because my youngest son is vegan and I'm diabetic and need to eat very low carb (I can't tolerate beans and legumes all that well, even) and I need to eat quite a bit throughout the day to keep my blood sugars controlled. With some recent changes in our living situation, we've had to really evaluate our budget and have made cuts every where else- this is the next logical step, but for some reason I'm struggling to get it under control. Our COL is fairly high in our area, but I know a big part of it is just going to take me getting more involved with better meal planning and sticking to it rather than heading to the store every night after work to pick up something for that night. Anyone know of any good frugal meal planning sites or have any tips? We want to eat well but it's getting more and more tempting to cut costs by eating cheap junk and I just don't want to do that!

post #44 of 82
For the first 3 years we were married, DH and I were students, and we spent $50 a week on food (all food -- including $2.99 Tuesday at Subway and 99cent tacos at the bar, which was the extent of our dining out).

When we graduated and got better jobs, we could relax a bit, and we started eating more meat, more local, some organic.

After DD was born, it's crept up even more. I think we spend about $500 a month. We do buy more organic (though really not a whole lot) and a ton of produce, especially fruit. We probably go out to eat 3-4 times in a month (maybe twice to some place nice-ish -- sushi or Greek or the vegan cafe -- and once or twice to Subway or Papa John's).

I shop weekly at the grocery store down the street from my house. It's not the cheapest, but it's very convenient. I usually make 4-5 dinners per week (and at least one of those vegetarian). I make things that we can eat two different nights -- like a crockpot of vegetarian chili or a baked lasagna or spanikopita -- and I sometimes re-purpose leftovers. We eat eggs or oatmeal or homemade waffles or dry cereal or fruit for breakfast and we eat a really simple lunch. DH takes stuff like PB&J and piece of fruit or pretzels, carrot sticks, and a baggie of frosted miniwheats (he works through lunch a lot). I usually eat a salad, sandwich, leftovers, or Marie Calendar diet frozen meal (I buy 10 when they go down to 10 for $10). Other than the ocassional frozen lunch for me, we don't do much processed. We do get a 12-pack of diet Coke each week, DH has at least one a day, but we only buy beer/wine for parties.

We had a half CSA this summer (all organic) that worked out to only $20 a week. Score!

ETA: This was probably clear from my post, but it's a low cost of living area.

Also, the $500 includes msc cleaning supplies and toiletries, but we use so very little of those that probably everything but vinegar is negligable. (We use homemade detergent and I don't wear makeup, etc)
post #45 of 82

last month we spent about $350 on food

post #46 of 82


Edited by Callimom - 2/11/12 at 6:38pm
post #47 of 82

My budget of approx 400-600 per month is for toiletries and groceries... basically anything I buy at grocery store, costco, etc. So that could include a coffee and cookie to a deli meal to basic supplies like toilet paper, canned beans, tortilla chips and noodles. We don't eat a lot of meat, and have eaten less for health reasons which also benefits the budget.


Our meals consist of breakfast, lunch and dinner. I generally buy as many things organic as possible for the things we ingest, and do conventional things for shampoos. I make my own household cleaners. Over the years our house has been egg/gluten/dairy free. Although those have all tapered off. I still try to add in gluten free and dairy free items (dairy free milk tends to be cheaper). I generally buy things from scratch, although recently I decided to be kind and buy a few packaged things like frozen meatballs, canned soup, and frozen waffles. Occasionally I will get a rotisserie chicken, then render the carcass for a large batch of chicken soup to freeze. I make my ds's lunches for school and use dry cereal or frozen waffles for breakfast (or I try to cook up a batch of extra  pancakes or french toast to put in toaster throughout week). When my ds is with his dad, I am not good at cooking for myself.


The challenge has been making meals that are acceptable by my ds and myself. We have different tastes, so it can be challenging to find the compromise.

post #48 of 82

oooh, our newest savings has been in shampoo/conditioner.  I didn't want any petroleum products, but couldn't afford expensive natural shampoos so we stopped buying shampoo and use a baking soda rinse followed by a vinegar rinse.  This combined with a quick suds up once a week, or every other week, with Dr. Bronner's has made our hair happier, and saved on shampoo. 


Its the first switch I've done that DH is happy with.  Normally he just gives me an eye roll and goes along.

post #49 of 82


Originally Posted by kanga1622 View Post

We budget $300 a month for our family of 3. I try to stick to $60 a week and use 4 week months to stock up on the expensive stuff. This includes all groceries but not household supplies (toilet paper, toothpaste, etc.). DH and I each get some spending money each month that we can use on extras like soda, takeout pizza, or snacks that I refuse to buy using the grocery budget.


We live in the middle of the Midwest, very limited organic, minimal processed stuff other than pasta. I have the blackest thumb in the world so we do not garden. I am hoping DH can try some containers this summer for some tomatoes and peppers. We do not drink alcohol and soda is a luxury so it comes out of DH's spending money (I don't drink it). We do limited coupons as I don't find them for the stuff we buy very often. I do however use rainchecks from our store to get some out of stock products for the sale price several weeks later.


Generally our weekly grocery budget is $15-20 produce, $20 meat, $20 on everything else (canned goods, dairy, eggs, DS's triscuits).

Wow I don't know how you do this- is food very cheap there? $60 a week wouldn't feed just me.  I can't eat your 3rd category but $20 in produce and $20 in meat would be like maybe 2 days of food here for one person. You're very lucky :)


I budget $600 a month but it's very hard to do that.  It's the 7th and I've already spent $300...  We have 2 adults, and 2 young kids.


Although the only thing I can eat is produce, meat, eggs, and legumes. I can't eat the same thing very much or I'll become allergic to it.  Every cheap food that exists I ate a lot and became allergic to it from leaky gut.  My son is most likely allergic to something, we're just not sure what, so I try to feed him like me to see if his symptoms clear up.


post #50 of 82
Originally Posted by aeterna View Post

$1,250 per month. For two people. That's the average over the last five months.


I think I'm going to throw up. =S

We were there about a year ago. Our food spending ranged from $1,500 to $2,000 every month. DH and I both spent a few days in a daze after we found that out. We've changed a lot about how we eat and how we spend our free time (which was largely at restaurants back then). We're now at $500-700 in any given month, and we're much healthier. It's odd because now I wouldn't want to go out to eat as much as we were before. It had gotten so bad that we would go out to places and not even enjoy it - just for the sake of going out.

post #51 of 82

Yeah we cut back on eating out and only do it if it's something we really want badly and have never been able to cook correctly.  Our friend had a restaraunt that was italian/croatian... LOVED IT!  We went there a lot.  No matter how many times she tried to teach me how to make chivapci and borek... I couldnt do it.  her baklava was to die for.  I have that one down. 

post #52 of 82

DH and I have just started tracking how much we spend on food  - about $200 every two weeks.  Lots of fresh veggies and fruit, beans, almond milk, eggs, cheese, pasta, potatoes, rice, couscous.  We are ovo-lacto vegetarians but trying to stay away from too much soy for its negative TTC effects.

post #53 of 82
Originally Posted by jaidymama View Post

The challenge has been making meals that are acceptable by my ds and myself. We have different tastes, so it can be challenging to find the compromise.

This is a problem here, too. DS1 will eat almost anything - not absolutely anything, but most things. He does have definite favourites, but he's willing to give most things a whirl. DH will try things, and will eat whatever's put in front of him, but I don't feel good taking advantage of that by making foods I know he doesn't like,  yk? DD1 and ds2 are both much more selective and they have very little overlap in what they each like ot eat. I'm also moderately picky, and my tastes are very different than anyone else in the family. Finding meals that we're all at least okay with is very difficult.

post #54 of 82

Wow, $1200 seems like a lot to me.  We really reigned it in when DS2 was born and I started to stay at home.  We are a family of 2 adults, 2 kids.  I budget $450/month on groceries and another $100/month for household expenses like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, decor, etc..  We are gluten free and dairy free so that is defiantly an added expensive of $75/month and I have been eating a lot since breastfeeding.  Having kids and trying to find gluten free/dairy free inexpensive snacks is hard.  I could defiantly spend less ($450 seems like a lot) if I needed to but this is very comfortable for us.  We don't really budget in for eating out as it is hard with our dietary requirements, but if we did it would come out of the grocery fund.  Good Luck!! You can do it!!

post #55 of 82

We spend about $1300 a moth on a family of 8, about 60% organic.

post #56 of 82

We spend whatever we get in SNAP.  The last couple months it's been $200 for 2 adults and 2 kids, but we also got WIC during that time.  Then I spend maybe $25 on dog and cat food, and maybe $3-10 on household supplies.  We use family cloth and I make our own laundry/dishwasher detergent.  We eat really well on $400 a month, but just got benefits for $600 a month which is enough for us to eat almost all organic.  I have no idea what the COL is for our area, probably pretty average.


ETA: I found out our COL and it's 119.

post #57 of 82

I have reduced our grocery spending from around $1200/month to around $600-750, and that includes feed and hay for our livestock, for our pets, and sugar for our bees.


I just spent $400 at Aldi and expect to not need to go back for 3 wks.  We do get very low cost meat (nearly free) by taking advantage of the wild pig population.  I'd say we've gotten at least 2 full upright freezers full of meat from them over the last year.  I also make bone stock out of the many bones I can get.  Otherwise the only time I buy meat is maybe a pack of lunch meat or some bacon.  We eat very little beef, until recently when my mom's dh had to put down an injured cow for someone and harvested as much of the meat as they could.  We eat domestic rabbit for our white meat, and either the occasional beef, duck, or liver for red meat.  We don't nearly as much fish as I wish we did, but so many are dying from the drought.


We forage and preserve and garden and have goats for milk and hopefully soon, cheeses.  I use mostly honey to sweeten. 


For cleaning I make my own laundry detergent, and use vinegar and baking soda and borax for most other things.  Soon I hope to make all our soaps for bathing, too.


I try to stay out of the grocery stores as much as possible.  That's the key to not overspending, at least for me.  I cook most things from scratch but do buy some unsweetened cereals, and pickles when I run out of the ones I make.  We also buy taco shells and tortilla chips.  Snacks are leftovers, or fruits or raw veggies, cheese, yogurt, pickles, tortilla chips and salsa, etc.  Breakfasts are oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, yogurt, fruit, veggies, eggs, etc..Often in the winter we'll have a nice hearty soup w/lots of good bone broth for breakfast.

post #58 of 82
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post

We spend about $600 for a family of 6. (Two adults, a teen and 3 kids 8-10 y/o) That doesn't include eating out, which we very rarely do lately - maybe once or twice a year. But it does include entertaining at home and we have a largish party (20-25 guests) at least monthly and usually another family for a meal every 2 weeks. That amount would include alcohol (again not big drinkers  but we keep "guest" wine and beer). We don't currently have any pets.


This is very impressive!

post #59 of 82
Originally Posted by MonkeyPrincess View Post

Grocery, eat out, order in, drive thru, beer/other beverages, everything. How many people are you feeding? Whats your general location/cost of living area? Do you buy mostly conventional foods, garden, coupon, all organic, etc.?
If your willing, I'd love to see a breakdown.
I am curious how my family of seven compares...(as soon as I'm on my computer, I'll post our food budget.)

Unfortunately, the budget went out the window during the holidays. We really need to get back on track!


There are three humans in our household including, 2 adults and a 2.5 yo who's a great eater, but has allergies to over a dozen foods, so he needs some specialty foods. We also have 2 big dogs. I live in the midwest US, but never see these great food prices others are always talking about. Most of our food is conventional, but we have to buy "allergy safe" specialty products for my son if he needs bread, rice, cookies, etc. For some reason, I will only buy organic apples (but usually nothing else organic). We eat a lot of meat due to my son's allergies and the only yogurt he can have is coconut yogurt at close to $2 for a single serve carton.


Groceries - Human Food Only is $120 a week (avg. prices $2/lb produce, $2/lb sale meat up to $5/lb non-sale meat, $5/loaf tapioca bread for my son, $2/loaf wheat bread, $3/gallon OJ, $3-6/bag safe brown rice or quinoa, $6-7 jar of sunbutter). For a special occasion, I'd spend more. I try to wait for sales for the conventional non-perishables for my husband and I, to balance out the specialty stuff for our son. We never buy alcohol, but do buy soda. My husband drink 1-2 cans a day, but I am a terrible diet soda addict (thankfully my body wouldn't let me drink it while I was pregnant). Soda is usually $4.79 per 12 pack and we buy about 3 per week, so that's close to $15 just in soda!


Out to Eat - Our budget is supposed to be less than $40 a week, but it's probably been more like $55 lately. That includes two dinners someplace like Panera Bread Co and a fast food lunch. My son can only eat food I prepare so the out-to-eat budget is for two adults.


Dog Food - The dogs go through a big bag every two weeks or so, so I'm guessing we average $70-80 a month on dog food. Dog food prices keep going up. It's gotten ridiculous! We've gone down on quality (from better to middle grade) to balance the raise in price, but when we go to the bargain food, one of the dogs always gets sick and will completely stop eating. She has a sensitive tummy!


Toiletries/Paper Goods - The Target budget is $140 a month for things like diapers, wipes, TP, laundry and dishwasher detergent, etc. I use a lot of coupons for this stuff, but still have a really hard time keeping on budget with this one.  Diapers, wipes, and my son's special soap (allergies and eczema) are over half the budget. 



Assuming 4.5 weeks per month, that's about $985 for everything.


post #60 of 82

We spend about $900 a month. This includes dog and cat food, cleaning stuff, all of the misc. household stuff. We eat out once a month or so, about $50.


There are 3 adults (oldest kid is 18 this week), a 14, 8 and 2 year old. We eat a lot of organic, not much processed food. We have various diets, but our home is meat free. 


I shop at Costco, the farmer's market, Trader Joe's (for pita bread, tofu and nuts), a local grocery outlet and we get a CSA box (a large size). Every few months we do a natural foods bulk order with friends. I buy in bulk and have a large food storage pantry. I can pickles, jam, beans, etc and we have a large freezer. If someone offers us fruit I say yes and freeze it or make jam if we can't eat it all. I have a soymilk maker that I make almond milk with, we rarely eat cold cereal, I meal plan for breakfast and dinner. We eat probably 40 lbs of fruit a week above what is in our CSA!


I think we do pretty good.



New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › How much is your monthly food bill?