These are the areas that I think need some further attention in our budget and I'm curious to know what others spend typically each month. Maybe our spending isn't crazy high?? We are a family of four (children 4 and 2).
Groceries? We are meat-free and buy organic milk, organic produce (but mainly just the dirty dozen, the rest conventional), very little soy "meat replacement" items and spend around $750 but I hope to get it down to 600-650. We also have a healthy garden and are still eating from it: lettuce, kale, broccoli, squash and our frozen summer veggies.
Medical payments? We pay close to $200 but that barely dents the debt! We are what I consider "under-insured" and no preventative care is covered (immunizations, annual exams, etc.). We're quite healthy but with two ER visits last spring, husband's minor surgery in May and misc. other visits, the debt still adds up quickly and we end up paying for it for years.
Dining Out? We always "try" to keep it under $100/month, but it often creeps into the $150 range. Ideally, I wish we could go lower and spend only about $80/month (which is about two times eating out at our favorite brewpub).
The only other area in our budget that seems high to me is our utilities (350 for internet/phone/electric/city services). We're spending more than we make each month so it's time to really address our budget.
I'd greatly appreciate your feedback as I know that so many of you are so knowledgeable when it comes to frugality and finances!!! Thanks in advance.