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#1 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you with a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children).... how much do you spend on groceries each month? By groceries, I mean, anything you get from the grocery store or health food store. (food, cleaning supplies, TP, suppliments, etc). Also, what do you spend eating out?

I have just added up our last few months.... and it seems like too much.
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#2 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I currently spend close to $600/month on everything (groceries, household stuff, beauty, and pet). If I'm really careful I can easily do it under $400. This is for a family of 5 plus 3 pets.

ETA: Eating out is probably $100-$200 on the high end.

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#3 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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Food: 400
Household supplies: 50
Pet: 30
Eating out: 60


I should say that I don't buy organic. We are on a super tight budget right now, and I'm trying to add in some organic staples, but cannot afford organic meat/dairy like I wish I could! We do eat very mindfully and try to be as healthy and whole foods as possible. We also only eat out when we have a great coupon or we go to "kids eat free" places and stay under $20/trip about once per week or less.

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#4 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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I would estimate around 800 per month for two adults, one child and one cat. And I work part time at our Co-op, so I get a 20% discount on groceries and supplements at whole-sale. We still spend allot to eat healthy. Probably 200-250 per month eating out.

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#5 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I just added up December's groceries for dh, who thought we'd spent $700 at least and the total for us was $350. 2 adults and 2 kids who eat a ton, one of whom is allergic to dairy. That's for everything household related. Dog food runs about $30 a month.

We rarely eat out, so it's definitely under $100 a month. I cook from scratch almost completely, ds2 eats breakfast and lunch at daycare, ds1 eats breakfast at school and some lunches at school.
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#6 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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378.66 avg over 06/09-12/09, includes household (det, soap)

Family 4 2adults 2 kids

Liz

ETA: This is for 3 meals cooked at home (then some taken for lunch by DH) per day plus 2 snacks per day.

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#7 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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Anywhere from $35-80 per week for two adults. We are expecting, so will be expanding the food budget in the near future, I'm sure.
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#8 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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$450 for 4 people, 2 dogs, 6 chickens in a moderate COL area. (This includes cold lunches for one child and hot lunches at full price for our teen daughter- full price because we don't qualify for reduced.)

Eating out would come straight out of the grocery money, and we don't do that very often. I eat out once a month at my book club meeting, but drink water and keep the meal under $9- usually around $5. I split with a friend if the entrees are huge or expensive. We go to a different restaurant each month. My husband occasionally buys a burger when he's on the run. My kids never eat their entrees in restaurants so we rarely go as a family. We sometimes do take out Mexican because everyone enjoys it, but have in the past year grown tired of the inferior quality of the "cooking" and can make tastier healthier replicas at home.

Dog and chicken food, toiletries and household stuff like laundry soap also comes out of the above budget.

Occasionally I go over it by $100 or so, and some months I spend less by about $100 or so. $450 is my yearly average.

I'm feeding a 1 highly allergic person (me!) and 3 picky eaters- and my DH is a meat freak. So it could be a lot cheaper if I had more support for a beans and rice style diet.

ETA: We're a family of 2 grownups and one teen, and one 8 year old, one small dog, one large dog and 6 hungry chickens.
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#9 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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Our grocery/household budget is $600/month and I struggle to keep it at that. 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 6 and 2)

Jenn: WOHM to a big girl (7/03), a medium girl (8/07), and a little girl (12/10)
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#10 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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I'd say around $600/month for everything. We rarely eat out. Maybe $80 a month for extras like coffee and bagels or the occasional fast food ( ) Thats for four people, one being a baby who eats what we eat ground up.

I remember when I could get out of the grocery store for $60/week but we both worked and bought breakfast/lunch out and ate out regularly. So it wasn't really a savings.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#11 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think we are spending waaaay too much. We have averaged $1000/mo for the past 4 months. My daughter has many food sensitivities, so I do tend to get a lot of specialty foods for her (snacks and quick food, for lunches etc.) We have also been sick a lot this winter so far, so been buying a lot of suppliments, and I am trying to buy more healthy/organic foods and cook healthier so as to avoid sickness. But I still think this is too much. I go in and out of being able to meal plan successfully, and I have been successfull the past couple of weeks. We don't buy a huge amount of beauty supplies, and I am working toward making my own creams and laundry soap.

How do you keep your groceries so low?
(we also have a dog and a cat, but that can't run us more than $50/mo)
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#12 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Ours is $75/week, so $325/month for 4 people. 1 pregnant mama, dh, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old (who eats more than the 3 year old, but they both eat like little kids).

It's hard for me to keep it to that, and I wish it was more like $100/week. At the holidays/birthdays, I budget part of our holiday money towards extra food.
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#13 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I think we're at about $75.00 a week. That's for me, dh, ds(3.5) dd who just turned one and a cat. Usually a lot less though

Some weeks it is more(weeks that we run out of cat food/litter/toilet paper all at once)

We are mostly vegan though...no meat, no dairy, but ds and dh eat eggs which I buy by the flat to save costs. Almond milk can be costly. And dd is part time soy organic formula which costs $23.00 bi weekly(no horribly expensive but still peeves me off...i wish I didnt have to buy the milk when she's got me as her own cow, but she just won't bf as much anymore..but thats a whole other thing)

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#14 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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About $800 for a family of 2 adults, and 3 kids (ages in siggy).

4 kids under 10
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#15 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by walking burp cloth View Post

How do you keep your groceries so low?
(we also have a dog and a cat, but that can't run us more than $50/mo)
Where do you live? That could make a big difference! I am from the midwest and have been schocked at the difference in food prices, like in California. That could be a small factor. I have also had to learn how to cook really nutritious food on a small budget--more bang for your buck! Check out this blog for some interesting ideas www.thenourishinggourmet.com I am not as traditional as the writer of this blog, but she has really made me see that you can make some really yummy and original meals on a tight budget.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#16 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hannah32 View Post
Anywhere from $35-80 per week for two adults. We are expecting, so will be expanding the food budget in the near future, I'm sure.
I think food was the least I spent on my baby, we home made our food, due to allergies, cost, and nutritional value. It was SOOOO simple. www.wholesomebabyfood.com is great help.

Not considering that commercial baby food is watered down, and there for less filling for a baby, we compared ounce to ounce of store bought and homemade. We bought 25$ worth of baby food a month, organic by the way, and compared to non-organic baby food, it would have been over 180$ a month. Organic store bought is OUTRAGEOUS to me. just a tip....
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#17 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Where do you live?
We are in a ski town in Colorado. The cost of living is pretty high here, but last year we were averaging $700 - $800 / month. I am not sure what we are doing differently.

Thanks for the link. I will check it out.
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#18 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:32 PM
 
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I'm planning on avoiding commercial baby food, mostly due to cost issues. My friend already has given us a food mill that she didn't really use. I also plan to EBF for about six months and start intergrating basic foods thereafter, give or take.
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#19 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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We have been $250-260 for 2 adults and 2 kids but we're reducing it to $200 right now. Basically, we make everything we can and avoid convenience foods. That includes everything household-related, except pets as they have their own tab in the budget. We probably spend an average of $20 a month on the dogs based on the yearly totals.

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#20 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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One thing (being an allergic person) I don't buy pre-packaged snack foods for myself because the prices are OUTRAGEOUS. $7 for a package of 5 tiny nutrigrain like bars for wheat allergic people, that's insanity.

Every once in a while I'll buy one of those items as a treat, but not as a daily food item.

Allergic people don't need packaged foods any more than non allergic people do.

One thing I do is settle on 8-10 dinner plans that are quick and easy to make from fresh ingredients without spending tons of money, and then I have 2-3 lunch or breakfast options that I keep on hand at all times. If one gets old I get rid of it and switch to something else.

Novelty and variety are budget killers. A person can eat oatmeal 5-6 days a week and switch it up on the weekend with something a little more frisky or time consuming. Needing a different cereal, or packaged yogurt etc that just gets really expensive.

We have available at all times:

Breakfast:

Cereal (I buy ONE type of whole grain no sugar cereal for times when we're rushed)

Eggs with fruit or toast (we have chickens.)

Yogurt with fruit or toast

Lunch:

Sandwich pb and J or meat/cheese/lettuce/tomato on whole wheat bread

Leftovers from dinner and either option of course is flanked with fresh fruit or veggies

Dinner: (not necessarily in this order)

Spaghetti night

Pizza night

Roast chicken mashed potato night

Fish night

Soup night

Fajita night (homemade tortillas are so multi-purpose, like lunch the next day)

Mom's lazy night (pick through the fridge and throw something together)

etc

Each of my dinners generally has a green salad and bread added to it. I am allergic to bread so I don't eat it.

Anyway that's how I do it. I limit what comes into our house. That helps a lot with waste, or things going bad. Snacks are fresh fruits and veggies, homemade bread, popcorn, cheese...leftovers.

Oh almost forgot, we don't really buy beverages. Milk for the milk drinkers (I don't let my kids drink it like water though) and we drink water. Special occasions I get cider. We 50% of the time have OJ, though we try not to drink our calories. Bad for teeth and your wallet.
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#21 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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We spend $400 on groceries/paper products. That is for two adults, one toddler, a baby, and a cat. I'd like to get this number a little lower, but I'm still working on the kinks, and still trying to find ways to make my meals even more healthful.

This is what we do/don't do: we rarely do anything organic, unless we get it from the farmer's market in the summer. I wish we could do organic meat/ dairy, but my pocketbook would scream at me. My family and I do split a grass fed cow once a year, and that has helped with our budget.

What we do: we take cash with us (this is key for me), a list, a menu plan for the week (designed around what is on sale). Cooking from scratch has helped me a lot, so I spend my time on the outer parts of the store - the produce section, meat, and frozen section.

Also what has helped me is having a goal in mind. What do I want to do with the money I'm saving after going through all of the work of doing this? We're trying to redo our kitchen and living space on cash, so we're saving every penny we can.

Just my two cents. Good luck! Everything is a process, isn't it?
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#22 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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How do you keep your groceries so low?
We live in a low col area. We raise our own beef and are still eating the last of the pork we raised. Our animals are all grassfed/hayfed so that makes it pretty cheap.

I also have a good sized garden in the summer that I preserve, plus farmer's markets and swapping with friends, and we eat in season and try to keep it local.

I shop the sales at 2 stores. I don't even look at the ads for other stores since these 2 have awesome deals really often and I know them well so it doesn't take as much of my time. When thins we use are on sale, we buy alot.

Of course, making almost everything from scratch helps a ton.
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#23 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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We spend about $1200/mo on groceries for six... that includes 'eating out', but our eating out is getting some premade deli food, maybe once or twice a month. We mostly eat porridge for breakfast, with some fruit and nuts occasionally. Lunch is usually a salad or just a bowl of veggies. Dinner is usually a rice bowl, tacos, or soup... some grains, veggies, and beans (we are vegan). I buy everything in bulk on sale. We don't drink any beverages, besides water from our tap and I don't buy any snack foods or premade, prepackaged products. I don't buy any fancy cleaning or grooming products... we use cloth napkins, vinegar, baking soda... I don't know how people get their groceries so low. It's our biggest monthly expense.
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#24 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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For those of you with a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children).... how much do you spend on groceries each month? By groceries, I mean, anything you get from the grocery store or health food store. (food, cleaning supplies, TP, suppliments, etc). Also, what do you spend eating out?

I have just added up our last few months.... and it seems like too much.
We are a family of 3, with two cats.

Our monthly budget for all groceries, household, and eating out is about $430.00 a month.

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#25 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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$400 a month for 2 adults, 3 kids, not including cat/dog food & kitty litter. That's another $50 or so a month. It's getting harder and harder to stay at $400 so I think we'll be readjusting our budget soon.

We rarely eat out, mostly it's subs or pizza maybe once a month so $15-50 a month.

Amy, mom to LadyBug, SnuggleBug and StinkBug.  Expecting BabyBug in August 2011.
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#26 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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We just increased to about $75/week for all grocery/pet/household items, for two adults, two kids, a dog, a cat, and a bunny.

This is up from $50/week. Part of the increase was just a bit of a reward due to a recent pay increase for DH. The other part of the increase is because we are switching our dog from a low-grade commercial kibble to a mostly raw diet.

We try to focus our diet on healthy, whole and/or homemade foods. I buy organic when I can and local when I can, but I will almost always prioritize local over organic. I live in South Florida, so local usually wins.

We do indulge in convenience on a semi-regular basis (is it still indulgence if it's regular? ), and we're certainly not above grilled cheese and french fries for dinner every now and then.

Eating out...I try to keep it under $100/month. All eating out $ comes from my spending $ (since I'm the only one who ever wants to! ), which helps encourage me to keep it down.
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#27 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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We are in WA, North of Seattle, and we spend about 600 a month for organic 95% and local. I cook almost everything from scratch and we rarely eat out.

Go Green I don't vax either, why mess with perfect?
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#28 of 95 Old 01-10-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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I am averaging about $550-600 a month for 2 adults, 2 kids & 4 pets. We buy our meat every other month (through a co-op) and it still is expensive.
I am trying to get it lower. I would like it to be around $100 a week.

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#29 of 95 Old 01-11-2010, 02:06 AM
 
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i just tallied and averaged my purchases for 2009, so i have definitive numbers instead of guesstimations:
groceries, bus fare, stamps and some housewares: 213/ month
eating out: 26/ month
big box stores: (housewares, gifts, some food) 42/ month

the categories overlap somewhat so i've included them all here.

eta: this is for one adult and two preschoolers, with frequent houseguests and dinner guests.
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#30 of 95 Old 01-11-2010, 05:18 AM
 
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I just finished our 2009 financial reports and our 2010 savings and spending plan. My categories are different than yours. We live in a high COL area. Two adults, one 8YO who eats as much as me, and one raw fed cat.

Food - $335/month has been our steady amount for nearly two years now and we've gradually increased the percentage of organics and have preferred local for even longer. This also includes the cat's raw meat and we've had her less than a year.

Dining - $130/month is our actual average for last year and we had allocated $200, which is down from years past. We've been cooking a lot more at home from scratch. Our food bill has sustained a far larger percentage of the responsibility of feeding us and has stayed steady on the dollar amount.

Household - $103/month is the new plan; but we averaged much higher each year going backwards. I kept lowering the spending amount and the actual expense has been steadily dropping, but has always been higher than budget. This category covers a lot of items. Basically, anything that goes into our home that we *could* take with us if we were to move. Home repair is separate and includes items for the home that would stay in this place if we were to move. I suggest separating out your household expenses from your food expenses to get a clearer picture. Also, most household items are much less expensive outside the grocery store.

Pet care - $10/month, which mostly covers cat litter and the start-up costs of rescuing a kitten (litter pan, scoop, clippers, brush, toys, adoption fee/vet visit, and spaying) averaged out over a two-year depreciation plan. There was some high quality canned pet food (Wellness brand and equivalent) included when she first came to us and again when we had a major flood and yet again when she was spayed - totaling about 6 weeks worth. THAT was far more expensive than the raw food diet we usually feed her!

I really recommend separating out more expenses for a few months to get a clearer picture of your family finances. Maybe it isn't the food part, but the household part that has gone up? Maybe your favorite restaurant has gone up slowly enough to not really notice, but has added up over time?

I took the time to compile a dining guide for our family last January based on our actual restaurant bills. Boy was that ever enlightening! So enlightening, in fact, that I kept a rolling 12-month current dining guide available for us to glance at any time we wanted to go out for a meal. I had it broken down into low, average, mid-high, and high per person dining options. We don't always want the cheapest place, but we don't always want "the best", either. We discovered, for our family, the best bang for our buck places in each category and consciously choose those places most often when we decide to dine out.

If it really is your food purchases, do a search here on MDC. There are oodles of threads with loads of great info on reducing food costs!

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