Poll - what is your monthly grocery budget? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What is your monthly grocery budget?
$50 per person or less 9 4.69%
$50-100 per person 49 25.52%
$100-$150 per person 75 39.06%
$150 or more per person 59 30.73%
Voters: 192. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are trying to put together our family budget and we're finding that groceries are costing us FAR more than we had expected. Is it just that food prices have jumped that dramatically? Or is it our spending patterns that are the problem? We try really hard to avoid buying processed/prepared foods, we try to buy different items where they're cheapest (spices at the Indian grocery, veggies at the farmer's market, canned goods at the discount store), but still we're spending a small fortune on food every month. I'm wondering if it's just that we're dramatically underestimating what food "should" cost. So I decided to come here and ask: what is your average spending on groceries per person each month?

ETA: for the purposes of comparison, let's consider "person" to be any member of the household over five years old. And include incidentals, too- toilet paper, toothpaste, dog food, that sort of thing.

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#2 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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How big a family do you have? Our grocery bill is approximately $450 a month. That includes food and general merchandise and sundries. It's usually just me and dh but we have his kids part time each month, too.

ETA: Oops, typo on the amount, I've just corrected it.
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#3 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 01:56 PM
 
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we spend about $700 to $800 a month on the 2 of us - we do shop at more expensive stores (Whole Foods, Wegman's and Trader Joe's) but also go to the farmer's markets 1x week for produce. I think eating cleaner is much more $$$$ and it shouldn't be

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#4 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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Every two weeks, I'll go and get grocery and household supplies. I usually spend max $150 every two weeks and that includes diapers (when the kids were young), cat food, detergent, kitchen stuff. We go through 6-8 gallons of milk a week so that adds up. I seldom buy produce at the store since we garden. So, all in all, for a family of 5 plus 2 cats, we spend roughly $300 for 4 weeks on grocery and sundries.

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#5 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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I hadn't thought of it as per person, but we spend $1K per month on food, and have 6 people. So, that would be like $166 per person?

We do a ton of organics, and almost all whole foods (as in little to none processed/packaged/premade stuff). I spend the most on fruits and veggies, definitely.

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#6 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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I am INCREDIBLY embarrassed to be posting this, but DH and I have tracked our food spending for the past 2 months and we spend $500/month on groceries, plus $150/month on fast food and $200/month on sit-down restaurants. And that doesn't even include diapers!

I know, CRAZY, right???? Unreal.

*sigh* I'm hoping that knowledge is power and now that we see those figures in black and white we can improve.

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#7 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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$434.82 for my family each month. We haven't really been trying to keep that down, that's just what it is.

We're 2 adults and 2 boys, a 3 year old and a 1 year old.

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#8 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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I voted $50-100 per person. It really varies by the month, and also the time of year.

We've gotten it way down. Just by buying differently. I stock up on sale items, and that is usually only staples like baking supplies. We forage nuts, plums, and berries, and I scored some great deals on raw local honey by the case of quart jars and iqf organic berries in 14# boxes. We do some fishing, and we raise most of our own meats, eggs, and have a butcher party in the early spring for pig meat my mom's dh traps. We garden seasonally, so that definitely changes our buying habits in the summer and sometimes fall. I buy most of my spices and specialty items (like spring roll wrappers or masarepa) online thru Amazon. I honestly don't even know if it's cheaper, but either I can't find some of them in my small town or they are not in my regular grocery store and I really don't like to shop more than one store.

We are 6 people, not including the toddler. Myself, dh, MIL, 20 (dd), dd (10), ds (8).

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#9 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 02:50 PM
 
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$300 a month for me, dh and 2 boys (the 3 of them eat a ton!). That includes everything for the house except dog food.

I make almost everything from scratch. Summer is spent freezing whatever fruit and veggies I can get my hands on. We raise our own beef and pork so that isn't included in the monthly budget. The last steer we had butchered cost us around $270 to cut and wrap and they're only fed grass and hay (and lots of garden waste). So pretty cheap for the amount of meat we get.

We also live in a pretty low col area.
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#10 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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I don't even know anymore. When X and I were together I spent about $200-250 a month. No that DP and I are together it's a lot more. I'm looking into menu planning again and shopping for just those items like I use to.

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#11 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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Have you seen the USDA cost of food index? Here's the most recent one. I think the prices are pretty high, but it gives you a place to start from:
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/usdafoodcost-home.htm

Our grocery expenses vary tremendously from month to month, but I think when you average it out it ends up right around $100/month/person.

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#12 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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It depends on the time of year. I spend a lot, mostly because of the priority we place on local foods. So my meat, cheese, and eggs cost more than typical grocery store prices, for example. We belong to a CSA, and also do a lot of gardening.

This time of year-- I think I spend about $50 a week at the supermarket, and about $40 a week at the farmer's market, and about $20 a week at the dairy, and about $50 on meat, and I have to figure in our CSA payments which amount to about $50 a month. So that's what, $700 a month, right, for five of us? But during peak CSA and garden season, I might spend as little as $20 at the supermarket, and during the winter I spend almost nothing at the farmer's market, and we use our large amounts of stored produce. But in early summer when the stored stuff runs out, I might spend more at the farmer's market. So I don't know. We don't eat out a lot-- that amounts to maybe $20 a month. Although in the winter, we eat out more because I get tired of being in the house.

I'm striving for $550 a month, which is $110 for each of us. Some months we spend much more, and some much less.

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#13 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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I spend about $200 a month on groceries for myself and my 2 kids (ages 4 & almost 6). They go to their dad's house one night a week and every other weekend. Last year I was down to about $150/month, but the daycare they were in provided food, whereas they are both in school now and I pack their lunches (which I am really happy about since I get to put what I want in their lunches ). We are veggie (well, the kids are when they're with me), eat mostly organic, and I make most things from scratch.

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#14 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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We spend $587 (I know strange number, that is just what I have left after all other bills are paid) on groceries and toiletries. We also spend $188.00 per month on the kids hot lunch program at school (Revolution Foods-Amazing-organic, free range and local!!). So that really comes to $775 for 5 of us, or $155 each. We are slowly transitioning to 100% Vegan. We didn't buy a lot of meat before, I am a vegetarian, as is my oldest son, and the meat eaters only ate chicken and fish that I buy from Whole Foods/HF Store and the occasional buffalo burger. I try to buy only organic also. My youngest is almost 5 and still in nite pants (sposies), we only use cloth napkins and towels and I use cloth . Can't get the DH on board for cloth TP, so I buy 7th Generation or other brands like that. We buy a lot in bulk, and I try to make a lot from scratch, but do get lazy. I could get that number down, especially since our old budget included organic school lunch stuff (our old Hot Lunch program was awful so I made their lunches daily). My DH has a tendency when grocery shopping to buy way more than was on the list that I gave him ...and always buys cr*p like Koolaid and junk food. So if he was "banned" from ever shopping again, I could lower the $587 by at least $75-85.
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#15 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 03:37 PM
 
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oh, and my kids are (almost) 12, 9 and 5.
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#16 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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$105 per adult. Note that our food costs ~30% more than lower 48 prices.

me, 28 & dh, 32.
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#17 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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We spend about 60-100 per the average 4. DD and DSD eat about as much as one person put together... DSS is slowly becoming that voracious pre-teen boy. This includes tp, tooth brushes and paste, cleaners, paper dipes, and other random buy it at the grocery store sort of stuff. That's not counting the school lunch budget, though.

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#18 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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This is hard for me. I would guess my monthly spending averages around $350-400 total. About half of that is spent on my co-op bill where I order stuff in bulk. The other 150-200 is spent at the grocery store supplementing. I feed DH, me, DS (2.5), and my dad on that.
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#19 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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We spend $550 a month on groceries and supplies for the three of us: Mama, Papa, and 6 Year Old Kiddo. So say $185 per person but we also have several annual bulk food purchases: 1/8 cow in February, lots of bulk fruit for freezing in the summer, etc.

So in reality we probably spend the equivalent of $200 per person per month. Really good food is important to me, so I get a lot of quality things, lots of fresh seafood, raw local milk, some exotics (chanterelle mushrooms and the like), and organic everything.
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#20 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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5 people in the house (1 grown man & 2 teenage boys, at that, lol) We spend close to $1,000 total. And sometimes more.
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#21 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 07:44 PM
 
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We have DH, myself and our two girls ages 7 and 3.5. We avg about $550 a month. It can go as low as $400 and as high as $600 depending on time of year, whats in season etc. I cook from scratch 99% of the time, we eat a meal out about once a month to a local run restrnt.

We live near the "downtown" area and we want to support it, so we eat out as a family or just DH and I for lunch in the warmer months once a week and winter once a month or so. That could be walking after dinner for ice cream or eating at the Italian place. Or splurging and eating at the high end place just the two of us. Or just grabbing a piece of pizza at the walk in/take out pizza place. This could run us $5 a month to $75. Or my parents like to take us out so they pay so that covers it as well.

I shop at two local owned groceries and shop the sales 90% of the time. Buy in season fruit and veggies, buy meats on sale, usually just pork and chicken since we buy our meat from our annual side. We also shop aldi and Trader Joes. I get a produce and dairy delivery each week.

I meal plan, feed the freezer, and I have a large walk in pantry.

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#22 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 08:19 PM
 
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Currently I am spending $300 mth for 2 adults(1 prego) and a 5 y.o. and 2.5 y.o. However, that isn't entirely accurate as I have already bought the chicken I use for the year- I get pastured chicken I buy it all at once as it is WAY cheaper that way. That works out to about $50 mth. And I have some mths were I make bulk purchases where it gets to be more as well. Oh, I see according to you the 2.5 y.o. don't count, but she certainly contributes to the budget- she can eat her weight in nuts which aren't cheap! Paper and cleaning products are very small part of the budget- maybe averages to $10 mth.

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#23 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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2 adults and 2 little kids (3 and 1). We spend $300. If it was in the budget, I'd easily spend twice that.
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#24 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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we spend 350 or so for the family of 3 adults and one teen
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#25 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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We have $315 budgeted for two adults and one two-year-old, or about $70 per week (4.5 weeks in a month). That includes cleaning supplies and paper supplies, but not diapers, which cost about $15 a month for us. Between myself and DH, we eat out a fast food restaurants maybe 4-6 times per month (single meal, so both of us would count as 2, kwim?), and we maybe go out to eat at a sit-down place once a month or less. These aren't included in our food budget.

ETA: $70 is a weekly average. This week I spent nearly $120 because my grocery store is having a huge sale on many of the staples that we use, so we stocked up. But some weeks I only spend $50. I only use the coupons I can get in the store circular (ie, usually no manufacturer's coupons because there usually aren't coupons for produce, meat, or generic dairy or canned goods). I splurge on organic fruit (usually only when it's on sale though), wild pacific salmon, cage-free eggs, and lots and lots of organic cow's milk. Our grocery store also has a rewards program where I get about 12-15 dollars back (as store credit) every three or four months. It's not a lot, but it helps. I shop at Fred Meyer (Krogers), FYI.

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#26 of 48 Old 09-24-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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We spend between $600 and $700 Canadian for our family of 5. We also live in a remote community where food is very expensive - over $7 for a gallon of milk, $14 for a block of cheese. I've worked very hard to plan our meals around the cheaper foods like turnips, cabbage, beans, rolled oats . . . We eat out around twice during the year and when we're on summer vacation. We also very rarely buy prepared food.

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#27 of 48 Old 09-25-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Right now we spend about $400-450 a month for DH, DS, and I. We enjoying eating out so we could probably add close to $200 dollars more to that to include restaurant meals, but I lump that in more with entertainment. Most of what we spend is on local produce from the farmer's market. I try not too buy too many convenience foods at the grocery store and certain things I do buy organic- milk and yogurt for DS is a big one. I would love to buy a quarter cow for our beef but I don't know if I can swing the cost this year.

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#28 of 48 Old 09-25-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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We spend between $400-500 for our family of 4, which i count our 3 y.o & our 9 mo kiddos who easily contribute to this total because of some of the purchases we make specifically for them (mac & cheese, fruit leather snacks, peanut butter, honey, nutella, yogurt, lots of fresh fruit & veggies because we make our own baby food too). I'm trying to keep this amount to also include many of our nfc (tp, paper towels, dishwasher soap, hand soap, laundry detergent) as we get many of these from costco and just transfer them into smaller containers to use on a daily basis. So I can't separate out between the 2 yet, but hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a better sense between actual grocery (food consumables vs. nfc).

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#29 of 48 Old 09-25-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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Ours is about $300 for a family of four (me, dh, 2yo & 3mo).. our food is about $200m and toiletries/cleaning/over-night sposies are $100m.

That's for eating at home, we use our "spending money" for eating out and such.

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#30 of 48 Old 09-25-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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If I'm very careful, I can keep to $150 per week for a family of three (including toiletries). I do a lot of cooking from scratch, not a lot of meat or dairy. Dh and ds are picky eaters and if there isn't enough variety or whatever dh will go shopping himself and buy expensive frozen foods because he feels like there is nothing to eat . So it is counterproductive for me to try to be too frugal. Ds eats few fruits and vegetables so I will buy expensive things like raspberries when they are in season. I get the dirty dozen organic.

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