How much do you spend on groceries? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we're finally making a budget. We've never had an official one before. I really don't like to skimp on food; that's the one thing that I hardly ever look at prices for, I just buy what I want. But I'm starting to feel like there needs to be a limit somewhere.

It's just me, dh, and a 2 year old. I'm pregnant and dh is a bottomless pit so we probably eat on the higher side of what's average for a family our size. We eat a lot of organic and higher-quality stuff.

So anyway, what's your food budget and family size? I need a ballpark to shoot for.

ETA: I live in a rural area of WV, so on average food is probably cheaper here, but like I said, we buy the highest quality stuff we can find around here.
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#2 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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We spend about $350-400 a month on food (for two adults and two children)

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#3 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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We budget $300 / month plus our CSA ($200 / year).

We sometimes go over, but we are trying to stick to that number. We shop sales and work from the freezer and pantry a lot. We eat meat, but less than the average family, I would guess. There are two adults and one toddler. We also don't go out to eat much - our budget for that is $30 / month.

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#4 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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For two adults and three children: $250-$400/month
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#5 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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I just got home from shopping. I spent $53 for the week. Dh and I take turns baking cookies and muffins for snacks, we plan all of our meals including breakfast and lunch. We eat loads of cheap, but healthy foods. All told we average $250 a month for 2 adults(I'm pregnant) and a 4 year old.
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#6 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 05:53 PM
 
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We budget $300 and rarely go over that amount. We do not buy organic, but do eat fresh veggies and more expensive healthier products (like soy cheese, yougurt, real juices, etc.)

That is for two adults, a 6.5 year old, and a 3 year old.

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#7 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 06:51 PM
 
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I'll make you feel like you have a bit more space here.

When it was just DH and I, we used 375$ a month for food.
After DD came it went up just a little to around 450$ a month. This was mostly because I needed more comfort food due to living in a construction zone for the first time in my life. When I was pregnant with DS our food expenses went up to 800$ a month. I ate lots of wild salmon (15$/lb.) and lots of good organic beef (12+/lb.).

We get lots of local, organic, raw foods and we are still currently spending around 800$ a month.

Keep in mind this is partly due to still living in a construction zone and how hard it is to prepare things from scratch when I first have to clean up all the building materials to even think about cleaning the kitchen. We buy way too much convenience food.

I am hoping that when we move into our new house we can cut back to around 600$ a month which would be quite something for me.

Anyhow, I am not the picture of frugality but saw this thread and thought I'd better post about my realities and how sometimes they are sooo not frugal.

I live in Northern NM and we have 1 natural grocery store.
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#8 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 07:34 PM
 
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Last month we spent $500 on groceries, for three adults. Mostly veg, nearly all organic or local produce, dairy and eggs. But that number includes a baby shower I hosted, which cost me over $100 in food and drink for 11 guests.
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#9 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 08:02 PM
 
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we generally spend about $200 for two adults and one toddler. we've been pretty terrible about keeping to our budget lately but that's my goal limit.
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#10 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 08:10 PM
 
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We do about $300/month for two adults, two small children (and I'm pregnant) and it is tough. I'm not used to having to be so careful with money, but we really need to be, so I go to two different stores (one has cheaper produce, the other has cheaper everything else,) stock up when things are on sale, buy store brands, etc. We don't have the money to eat organic, unfortunately, although we are lucky in that my in-laws have a huge garden that produces lots of veggies (organically) and my husband's family hunts, so we can get a bit of meat from that. It is difficult, though, and it stinks that we can't really afford organic fruits and such (ok, and I would like to buy more "convenience food" or eat out more.... I don't like cooking that much.) $300 is doable though.
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#11 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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I'm going to be the lone ranger here because we budget $650 a month for food and sometimes go over. That's for two adults and one child. Why so much? I'm not sure! Organic milk, soy milk (for dd, who is allergic to cow's milk), and soy yogurts are our killers: That's about $25 a week right there. We only eat meat about 3 times a week, and I try not to buy a lot of processed foods, so you'd think it would be lower, but it's just not. Some of my every-week staples are the following: 1.5 gallons of milk, 1 gallon of soy milk, 7 individual soy yogurts (can't find a store that sells yogurt in one large container), 3 or 4 soy smoothies (dd loves them), bread, veggies, lots of fruit (that adds up too -- I probably spend $30/week on produce), 2 loaves of bread, beer for dh, crackers, 2 or 3 pieces of meat, eggs, and some of the more specific things I need for particular dinner recipes. One of the reasons we end up going over is that dh, who is less into good eating than I am, makes a weekly "junk food run" and easily spends $25 a week on that. : It annoys the heck out of me, but when I ask him to curtail his purchases, he gets cranky, so I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm thinking of giving him an enevlope with $20 in it for every week, and letting him really "live" the budget, but OTOH, I have never wanted to "mother" him and I don't know how he would respond to that.
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#12 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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Between 100-150 for two adults per month (baby is still ebf).

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#13 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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Around $500-$600 for 2 adults & 2 children.
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#14 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 09:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisie125
Between 100-150 for two adults per month (baby is still ebf).
Wow! How do you do this?
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#15 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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I try to stay around $500/mo for 2 adults and 3 children (although, the baby isn't eating much yet - my bottomless pit 3 and 5 yo make up for it!)
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#16 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 09:46 PM
 
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I budget $60 per week plus milk delivery which we pay monthy at about $30 a month. We buy only organic and plan everything. There are two adults and two children right now. We make lots of stuff from scratch.

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#17 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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We spend between $500 and $600 per month for two adults and three children. DS1 and DS2 eat like it might be their last chance -- DS1 is a teenager, enough said. Also, DS1 has Celiac disease, so we end up buying a lot of specialty foods for him and making double or a lot of things like breads and such. Honestly, the boys account for about half of my grocery budget.

We buy local, organic, grass-fed beef, buffalo, chicken, eggs, produce and milk. I try to buy in bulk, through buying groups and co-ops that I'm involved in, for things like grains. We buy local raw honey -- the price of that stuff is astronomical, but it is a sweetner I'm happy with, and it really has helped with DH and DS2's seasonal allergies.

We cook pretty much everything from scratch. I don't have a garden this year (long story) so I'm buying all of my produce, and we eat a lot of fresh fruits and veg. Eating in a manner that I consider to be healthy is not nearly as cheap as it would be if we were eating "junk" foods.

ETA: I wanted to add that I think that monthly spending absolutely depends on where you live. There is no way I could spend $300 per month and still eat all organic. I plan my menu a month in advance, try to save where I can, buy in bulk where I can, and there is just NO WAY.
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#18 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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on average around $300 for me my 2yo and 11mo. it really depends though. I buy some organic, not all and we are veggie. I try to cook from scratch but sometimes I splurge on convenience foods for the sake of time and that is much more expensive. I am starting to do more cooking and freezing, it helps a ton! I don't buy extra snacks other than pretzels,crackers and popcorn. I do splurge on good coffee and some specialty items.

ETA- I'm in southern AZ

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#19 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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Dh just figured this out for us.

We spend 600+ a months that includes eating out.

We are a family of 5.

We don't eat processed foods, we eat grass fed beef, buy raw milk, and buy in bulk.

We also hunt, so we have deer, grouse, quail pheasant, turkey in our freezer.

We have a small garden that mostly tomatoes, that we will can.

My : off to you can do just a couple of hundred a month on food. :
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#20 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 10:20 PM
 
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From the various posts I've seen on this, I think it's impossible to get a good number based on the estimates of others across the U.S. and in other countries. I would post where you are, or at least urban, suburban midwest, etc. to get a better picture. It makes a huge difference, as can veggie/meat eater/special diet issues.

In NYC, 2 adults and 1 toddler, we have $125 a week or so, including personal care stuff like toothpaste and dog food.

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#21 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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Right now, it is just DH and I (we're hoping that will soon change ) and we spend about $450/month on food (including eating out) and household/ cat stuff. We don't eat a lot of meat and we have a garden. We're probably at about 1/2 organic- more during the summer when we have farmer's markets around. We eat most things from scratch. I do like my fair trade, organic coffee and the occasional wine- DH likes soda once in a while.

I am really amazed at how little a lot of people are spending.
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#22 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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For one adult and four children, we spend about $550/mo. We eat very little convenience food, but do buy all organic dairy. I pack my lunch every day. It goes up about $25/week when dh is home.
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#23 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 11:15 PM
 
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Yes, this is extremely variable depending on where you live. Cost of living in the D.C. area is high because of housing, but it seems we do have cheaper good food than a lot of other places. I feel very lucky to have so many good choices for buying good groceries, especially my co-op.

Once our housemate moves out, I actually expect our per-person amount to drop quite a bit. His juice, cereal and soy milk consumption represents about a quarter of our food budget. :
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#24 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 11:19 PM
 
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With the preface that we are on a very TIGHT budget this month and we have a fully-stocked freezer and pantry, we have $100 (visa gc actually) budgeted for all household expenses for August.

Typically, we have $150 or so for 2 adults.
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#25 of 90 Old 07-27-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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We spend about $75-$100 a week for 2 adults and one kiddie. I live in the South.
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#26 of 90 Old 07-28-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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We spend about $300/month for 2 aduts and one toddler. We buy what we can organic but it is hard since we have link and the only place that has organic meat doesn't take the card. I think we could get by on $200 if I planned meals better. We also eat at my parents once a week and at least once a week at inlaws...sometimes twice. This helps out a lot.
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#27 of 90 Old 07-28-2006, 12:54 AM
 
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ITA that location is everything. I doubt very much that those folks who are spending less than $300/month on food have to pay $3.69/ half gallon for organic milk. I'm always thrilled when it goes on sale for $3.50/half gallon. : In-season organic peaches were $4.99/pound when I was at the store yesterday. Gotta love LA. *eye roll*
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#28 of 90 Old 07-28-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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At the grocery store here, organic milk is $2.99-3.99 a gallon, depending on brand. My co-op has pasture-fed, organic milk from a local farm for $2.50 a half gallon! We have to return the bottle, though.

And msjd123, it is nuts that you are so close to the SOURCE of most of the organic produce in this country and you're having to pay those prices.
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#29 of 90 Old 07-28-2006, 02:28 AM
 
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We have two adults and spend between $75 and $125 per week between the grocery store and the farmer's market. We eat organic as much as possible. I'm in Chicago, and organic milk can be as much as $5.00 a gallon here, even at Trader Joe's. At the regular grocery store a 1/2 gallon is $3-4. We cook a lot and go out one night a week for date night, and usually go out for lunch after church.

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#30 of 90 Old 07-28-2006, 03:15 AM
 
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: I believe we spend $600-1000 on food from grocery stores PLUS going out to eat more than we should (probably $400 a month, sometimes more). We are trying to lessen both of those amounts, drastically. 2 adults, 2 children. Pretty pitiful, right? We eat mostly organic, tons of berries, fruits, veggies, meat, cereals, etc. Raw cheese is usually in our house, also. We regularly have people over to eat though so some of that goes to feeding others.

We live in one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. (according to housing prices, at least, I assume all other prices are high, too).
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