How much do you spend for groceries each week? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: How much do you spend each week on groceries? (Food only)
$50 or less 40 10.05%
$50-$75 68 17.09%
$75-$100 92 23.12%
$100-$125 100 25.13%
$125-$150 40 10.05%
$150-$175 31 7.79%
$175 or more 27 6.78%
Voters: 398. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope y'all don't mind me being nosy. I'm just wondering if I'm super extravagent or average or what. There are 6 people in my household (2 adults and 4 children ages 3-9.5) and lately I've been spending about $130/week on food only. (Not including beer for dh.) This gets us organic produce, organic beans and grains, hormone free milk, free trade coffee and free trade tea, cheese, cold cereal, frozen bagels, peanut butter, jelly, cold cereal, some soy products and very few convenience foods. So this works out to roughly $22 per person, per week. Actually, that doesn't seem so much when I put it that way.

Anyway, anyone feel like sharing?
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#2 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 09:25 AM
 
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I picked $125+, but for me that is in Canadian dollars, so I guess maybe I should have picked something a bit lower!! I just know that I spend way too much for just the 3 of us, and half the time a lot of it goes in the garbage, its something I'd really like to improve on!!

R.
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#3 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 10:42 AM
 
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Daylily, I am glad you started this, as I have been thinking of doing the same thing! I have read that the average US family spends $120 a week at the grocery store, but there are SO many variables! For example, my sister spends only $80 for her family of 4, but then they eat out A LOT, and the kids buy school lunches, etc. etc.

Here's the scoop on my family: I spend an average of $150 a week. There are 5 of us, and 3 kids ages 6, 3, and 13mo. I cook and bake mostly from scratch. This gets me mostly organic produce, fresh fish, meats, beer, disposable dipes for 2 (yes, I know!), loads of yogurt, butter, bread-making supplies, and plenty of beans and grains, coffee and tea. A few snack foods, too, such as corn chips and salsa, popcorn, hummus, and organic graham crackers. We never eat out, and dh makes his work lunches from this and I make ds' kindergarten snack from home, too. And we get WIC, so that covers much of our milk, eggs, cheese, and some cereals. All considered, I don't think we do too badly. When we lived in the UK, I spent slightly less, but I really couldn't get what I wanted with the money, because everything was so much more expensive. Within the budget I have stated, I get pretty much what I want, and I am very thankful to be able to do so.
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#4 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 12:03 PM
 
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thought it is a wonderful idea to see what an average person spends and compare where you stand in comparison to others, your grocery bill depends on so many other things besides what your spending habits are, like where you live matters so much.

Valeria
dd 05.17.2005
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#5 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 12:13 PM
 
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I usually place a coop order 1-2 times/month and that ranges from $100-200, depends what we need and of course we are talking cases of food here. I supplement that with about $50/week at home store.
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#6 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 06:51 PM
 
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I live in NYC so my prices are a bit inflated ($150-175 range for family of 3) but I'm also including my once-a-month natural food co-op orders because we do eat primarily organic if I can get it. I'm not militant about that because if I need bananas and can't get organic, I'll buy the non-organic stuff...you know how it goes!

Cheers...Robyn
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#7 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 08:04 PM
 
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We have two adults in our household. I spend about $40 a week on groceries. That's not counting pet food, or when we very occasionally eat out or buy sandwiches. My goal is $30 a week, but we tend to go over a bit

We get a good deal of organic stuff, but some nonorganic stuff too, especially if there's a huge price difference between the two and the item in question is not on the "dirty dozen" list.

I try to keep the processed, packaged stuff to a minimum. That helps a lot with the bill.

We live in the very expensive SF Bay Area.
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#8 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 08:25 PM
 
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How? I don't mean to be sarcastic- I really want to know how you manage to feed two adults on that amount of money.

I feel like we spend way too much for food- I spend $200-250 a month through my co-op buying club on staples- canned tomatoes, beans, tofu, flours, cheese, grains, etc. But even with that I spend atleast $50 per week on vegetables, milk, eggs... We don't eat meat and we bake our own bread (except bagels) and I do buy organic.

Sometimes I feel like we should spend less- but then I think about how meals are important to our bodies and souls. We don't eat processed/boxed foods, and we almost never eat out. We spend a lot of time cooking/eating together.

I suppose I'm torn on this- I want to be frugal and I want to eat gorgeous, yummy meals.

great topic
-jeanie
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#9 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 09:29 PM
 
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Hm, Elismama, I'm not sure why there's such a difference in our grocery bills - you seem to be doing/eating the same things we do (we make our own bread in a breadmachine, make yogurt, are vegetarians). One thing that I would like to improve in our diet is more fruit, which will add on to the bill quite a bit, probably... right now I eat only 1-2 pieces of fresh fruit a day and my partner eats even less, unfortunately... maybe you buy more fruit than us (and that's good!). We've just started regularly buying organic milk instead of conventional, so I'll probably see an increase there too.

I buy all our flour, rice, beans, oats, etc in the bulk bins at my grocery store... We don't buy juice... I grow a lot of my own herbs and I can buy the rest from bulk bins... I tend not to buy fancy veggies... carrots, potatoes, celery, lettuce, sweet potatoes and broccoli are our staples, and are pretty inexpensive. We get great, organic, cheap produce at our grocery store too. That's really all I can think of that keeps cost low...
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#10 of 90 Old 04-01-2002, 11:31 PM
 
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We spend about $120 per week to feed my husband, my 15 moth-old, and myself. We shop the bulk bins and buy mostly reduced produce, but all of the organic stuff that we buy really adds up.
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#11 of 90 Old 04-02-2002, 02:06 AM
 
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Are we including take out?
Probably around 200 per week and I am including odering out.
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#12 of 90 Old 04-02-2002, 04:35 AM
 
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Gee I guess it all depends on how much company we have over in a month as well as if we are in a meat or tofu mood, beer or wine or none mood. The best average I could say is somewhere in the $150-$175 range for our family of 4 (and what ever company may come over ).
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#13 of 90 Old 04-02-2002, 09:05 AM
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About 100 Euros so about $100 I suppose.
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#14 of 90 Old 04-02-2002, 09:25 AM
 
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100$ Canadian bucks,here.(Feeds 2 kids and a Dh)
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#15 of 90 Old 04-05-2002, 11:29 AM
 
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I spend about $120 a week for three adults, two preschoolers, a huge dog, and a cat. We don't eat out at all. Last time I ate food I didn't cook was weeks ago, and the last time I ate in a real restaurant was... about 7 months ago. <laugh/sigh> I would love to eat out more often...
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#16 of 90 Old 04-05-2002, 01:17 PM
 
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I spend approx. $50 Canadian per week to feed 14 mo ds, dh and me.
I try to choose organic, when available, as long as the cost isn't too much more, and depending on the food itself. I buy organic fruits and veggies when I can, esp. if ds is going to eat them.
I have to admit that I buy too much packaged convienent food IE.cookies, crackers (ds' are organic), m&m pre-made veggie lasagne, pre-made cabbage rolls etc... I keep some convience foods around for days that I either don't have time or feel like making dinner.

edited to add: we eat out approx. twice a week(order in pizza with our Wed. get together, probably everyother week), and order take out some Fridays or Saturdays. So this will change our weekly total to approx. $75 per week.
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#17 of 90 Old 04-06-2002, 09:20 PM
 
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about $100/week for 2 adults and dd... we buy only organic everyhing, inc. dairy and meat (not lots of either, but some)....

bigcats i'm amazed at your low figure, how do you do it? only organic vegies or what? don't eat alot? just curious. i'd love to get our food bill down some, but it remains pretty constant.
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#18 of 90 Old 04-07-2002, 04:01 PM
 
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We spend about 150 just on food a week for Dh,me and baby. More if you include non food items.

I like variety. I make all of our food and I love to buy all kinds of exotic fruits and vegetables. We have a wonderful farmers market and a well stocked coop. My hubby will eat ANYTHING, and I like to experiment with foods. I make sure we have at least one leafy green a day along with 5-7 other servings of vegetables a day.

Beans? Now how many varieties are there? Gotta try them all!! Brown rice? Long grain, short grain, basmati....

YOu get the idea...
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#19 of 90 Old 04-07-2002, 04:34 PM
 
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Oops, I read it a bit wrong. I spend around $60/week but that includes non food stuff from the grocery store. Just washing soda, borax, paper products etc. I would love to spend less, but ds is on an allergy diet and we eat some chicken/turkey/fish. I impulse buy more than I would like too. In all probability, our bill will go up when dh has a job because I will buy much more organinc stuff. We'll wait and see I guess.
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#20 of 90 Old 04-07-2002, 08:03 PM
 
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I just got back from the market and spent $75! I almost passed out! We are a family of 4; me and dh, a 4 yr old and the 13 m baby. Plus the dog and picky cat. That $75 included picking up film ($9), paper diapers for nite time use ($10), fancy cheese ($7), cat and dog food ($15), batteries ( i should really buy renewable ones. $6), and the things we needed for the week. When we were childless we spent between $20 and $30 on groceries and everything else we needed (t.p., deoderant, etc). Now I would guess we average about $35 to $45 a week. I'm sure it will go up as the kids get bigger!
~laura

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#21 of 90 Old 04-07-2002, 09:18 PM
 
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How many of you do organic produce? I find that it's really expensive. We go through so much milk that organic milk for instance is just too expensive. We do drink some soy but even that's expensive.
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#22 of 90 Old 04-07-2002, 09:37 PM
 
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3boys4 - i buy organic everything -if it's available. i have for close to 10 years now...for me it's a form of commitment - to myself, family and the planet. until recently we had no health insurance, so buying organic was one thing i could do to help enhance our health. as for the planet, i think what i spend supporting organic agriculture is a small investment to help bring some sanity and sustainability to our ailing biosystem. i mean really how much more is organic produce? if i spend $1.50 for a bunch of broccoli instead of .79 that's a .71 investment towards our planet. unless you're on food stamps most of us can afford that. most people "waste" more than that everyday on things totally unnecessary. when i first made the commitment to only organic we were fairly poor - dh & i making under $20,000/year total, and living in a fairly expensive housing market (bay area). i just decided that if it was important enough, that the means to support it would materialize - and it has. what we put in our bodies has a direct impact on our health, and what gets dumped onto/into our planet has a direct impact on its AND our health. it just makes sense to me.
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#23 of 90 Old 04-07-2002, 11:15 PM
 
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We spend about $400/mo for 2 adults and a 14 mo. We do one big shopping trip to the coop once a month where we usually spend between $250-$300. Then we pick up a few items here and ther the rest of the month.
It seems expensive, but we have very high standards when it comes to food. We eat practically all organic, lots of fresh produce, pricey yeast-free breads, cases of rice Dream, etc...
But, we don't really spend much elsewhere, other than house payments and utility bills.
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#24 of 90 Old 04-08-2002, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Most of our produce is organic, 3boys4us. I can't afford organic milk and I don't like that it's ultrapasturized and shipped here from the northeast. (I'm in Virginia.) I compromise and buy hormone free milk at Whole Foods which is the same price as conventional milk and it's not ultrapasturized. I agree with Steph that buying organic is putting my money where my beliefs are. Besides produce, I buy organic flour (white and whole wheat), organic beans, organic chocolate (occaisionaly) organic coffee and tea. Most fair trade chocolate, coffee, and tea are also organic. I like it that spending money on fair trade items helps ensure a living wage for some farmers. I save money by preparing most of our food from scratch and staying away from convenience foods. Organic oatmeal is 69 cents a pound. A 15 ounce box of mainstream cereal can cost as much as $4.
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#25 of 90 Old 04-08-2002, 11:38 AM
 
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daylily: if you don;t me asking, where do you shop? We have no organic grocery store near us (like wild oats which I loved) so the organic section at stop & shop has to do. The selection is pretty limited. Your kids are about the same age as mine. Do they ever ask for other stuff (non-organic stuff) We eat no junk food and rarely go out. But we do allow snack food like granola bars, pretzels etc.. I bake ALOT, cookies, brownies. At least 3x - 4x a week. They take lunches to school. We eat lots of fruit and some veggies. We do eat meat (dh refuses to give it up but will do 50% veggie meals). We spend maybe 100$/week. Dry goods I buy at the warehouse type places along with dog/cat food. I have hard time with organic foods. I like them but it seems like we consume so much food during a week non-organic is better on the budget.
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#26 of 90 Old 04-08-2002, 02:06 PM
 
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For Heaven Sakes!! How do you people do it? I feel good when we get through a week on $175. I buy as much organic stuff as possible, and we drink soy milk rather than cow's milk, but I do prepare our food from scratch, and bake, and buy bulk. And we rarely buy alcohol or coffee. We are two adults, two kids and a nursing baby. The baby has doubled her weight (9 lbs at birth) in 3 1/2 months on breast milk alone so I am eating like a sumo wrestler. The older two--6 and 4--are also very big for their ages (65lbs and 48lbs) and my husband is big and athletic. We do talk about trying to reduce our food spending, but then I am at the store and I think about how eating is life and I want our life to be a celebration.... I feel very much like Elismama. We are lucky now to be in a position to spend so much on food--in the past it was a struggle--but I would love to be able to spend more! There have been more than a few weeks that we've spent $350 on food. (Not counting eating out!) We do not waste much, either, and we are fit people. I do a lot of shopping at Wild Oats--and would love to do all of my shopping there. Expensive but so pleasant and delicious! Considering how much we go through, and that the baby will soon be plowing through solid foods too, I have been thinking we should start a co-op. In fact, I've been thinking we practically could order enough on our own to be a one-family co-op. I would love to start a non-profit ultra-responsible health food store that would sell to families at cost, or lower if neccesary--kind of like a health food WIC. Feeding your children well shouldn't break the bank!
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#27 of 90 Old 04-08-2002, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rene,

In the winter, I shop at 2 stores: a local natural foods store where I buy produce, cheese, grains, beans, oils, yeast and other staples. Then I go to a mainstream supermarket (Harris Teeter)for things like frozen bagels, cereal, etc. I also make a special trip to Whole Foods just for the hormone free milk. If I bought all our food there, I'd probably spend more than $200/week, easily. It sounds like we eat pretty much the same way you do. I bake cookies often and make things like bannana bread for snacks. I buy pretzels, but not chips or doritos or anything like that. I also rely on air-popped popcorn for snacks. It has some nutritional value and it's really cheap. My sister gave us a popcorn popper for Christmas 9 years ago and I use it regularly. It's one of the best gifts I've ever received.

In the summer, I skip the natural foods store and buy produce, eggs and cheese at the farmer's market. I also have a small vegetable plot and we pick strawberries, blueberries, and mulberries and preserve them. (We just go to U-pick farms.)
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#28 of 90 Old 04-08-2002, 05:33 PM
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Ahem....

I spend about $220/week on groceries.

Before you suspect steak and caviar I have two adults and five children living at home presently. I have three adult children (two of whom are very close-by my oldest's fiance' and secondborn's boyfriend.

DH and teenagers have hearty appetites.

I try to buy good fruites and veggies and quality food (oh, I spend very little on the doctor :-) and, as daylilly suggested if you do the math it's less than $25 per person

Some of you guys, well, I admire your frugality. SIL has two children and spends about $50-75/week I admire her.

DB
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#29 of 90 Old 04-08-2002, 06:20 PM
 
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I would like to buy more organic things, but the cost is too high for me! We grow many of our own veggies, so I figure we have organic produce for about 8 months of the year. (freezing, canning etc the surplus). And we have strawberries in the summer too.
When we lived near philly there was a place called produce junction we loved....
I wish I could find a co op here, but my searches have proved (ahem) fruitless (he he he).

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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#30 of 90 Old 04-09-2002, 05:58 PM
 
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To begin with, we are two adults and one 9 mo (who eats very little besides organic veggies). I am now a vegetarian and don't buy any meat. We shop at Trader Joes and the local farmers market every week. My bill is normally around $45 a week. This gives me mostly all organic and soy products. I am also recentlya vegan (or at least making a HUGE stab at it... seems my ds is now lacto-intollerant... a bummer for the ice cream lover in me). In the past I could spend $10 a week on ice cream. YUMMY! But not any more... then again I degrees.

Anyway, mostly veggies, some blue organic corn chips, salsa, soy beverage, cereal, pasta... you know the basics. We don't make a ton from scratch. I have the same flower/suger/type of stuff from when we married two years ago and I have only used it twice. How do you ladies and gents do it? Making bread and goodies? Not to mention that AZ is HOT already.

Anyway... we really try to keep it low but it can get up there if we have others over for dinner. I usually buy more food special for that event.
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