What's an average grocery budget for a family of 4? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-01-2008, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just curious. Food is where I tend to splurge, only because I don't buy myself anything else like clothes, etc. So I like the good stuff every once in a while. Just wondering if what I spend on average is way over the top or not.

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Old 10-01-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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I spend about $400-500 a month for our family.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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A good average number is $100/person a month (for a family of 2 more like $125/person b/c there are economies of scale to consider).

This would mean no special allergy diets, few organics, some packaged/processed foods, no super-frugal couponing. You could make the amount a bit lower by doing the super frugal meal-planning/couponing, you could increase it by using more organics or having to provide for a special diet (diabetic, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc...).
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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family of 4 here. gluten/dairy free and ours is average of 450-500/month depending on sales of what we need.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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I say this every time the subject comes up, it seems... it depends on what type of diet you eat, and where you live.

We eat a 100% organic/grass-fed/local diet, with virtually no grain. For that we pay a premium of roughly $600/month for the 2 of us, in an extremely high COL area.

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Old 10-01-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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I asked a similar question and got some good links and responses in this thread HTH!

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Old 10-01-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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I'm always shocked at how low some ppl do it. We have a family of 4, but our youngest is just 1 and doesn't eat much.

We spend about $160 a week at the co-op or market, but we also get a csa which is about $77/month AND we got to farmer's market and might buy a specialty cut of meat or some fruit.

We are very committed to supporting local foods so maybe that's why we are higher.
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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Yes to what Flowers said, almost exactly. But throw in a Pizza delivery or two.

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Old 10-01-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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We spend about 180 -200 a week. We are vegetarian but have lots of food allergies and other restrictions...

I am trying to so hard to get that down to 150...
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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Family of 8-- we spend about $200 a week, $800 a month, but my kids are insanely picky. I could do it for much less, but, alas...
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Old 10-01-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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As a family of 5 we usually spend $450 a month

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Old 10-01-2008, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I spent about $900 over the past two months, and that seems like a big number but it's within reason. I'll be paring it down a bit now though, there's definitely room to cut back on a few things.

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Old 10-01-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amila View Post
Yes to what Flowers said, almost exactly. But throw in a Pizza delivery or two.
I left out our mandatory take-out burrito night :
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Old 10-01-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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The USDA publishes the average cost to feed a family every month. They calculate the averages based on a "market basket" of food that would provide for everyone's nutritional needs at four price levels, thrifty, low, moderate, and liberal. From what I remember, the thrifty number is $525 and the low cost is about $660.

We've found that these numbers are a good range for our grocery budget. We live in an expensive city, try to eat organic and local - but also try to save money where we can. I also have a family that eats a lot!
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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We are a family of 5 with one on the way. We spend roughly $400-$500 a month on food. Every other month we do a co-op orde rhat is abtou $180.... so that averages in there. We coudl do it much cheaper if i bought a lto more junk. but wee try to do at leat 50% organics and 40% all natural stuff and abotu 10% is packaged/junk.
2 months back we were really broke. Seriolusly had to borrow grocery money adn we spent $300 for the month but shopped at super walmar tand bought moslty unorgnaic crap. The only organics that trip were dill pickles cause my kids have food dye allergies... adn they love pickles.. so if i serve somethign they don't really like,,, they can at least have a pickle wiht it to spruce up the meal... I can;t make dill pickles (have tried several times) and so we splurge on that.
I imagine with the rising food costs though our bidget will have to go up, and our organics will go down.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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i have no idea how people keep it so low!

we spend about 600-800 a month for a family of five though one is my one year old toddler.

and even then i feel its not enough. UGH!

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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Family of 4-I would say 4-500/month, and that is pretty thrifty for us. It doesn't include the big buys, like the 1/2 pig we'll get later in the fall. Frankly I would feel greta if I could up my budget to 200/wk and not worry so much.
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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We spend about $350-$400 a month, but we get a lot of meat for free. MIL owns a beef farm, we got a half of pork from friends for a bottle of rum and dp fishes a lot so we have a ton of salmon and halibut in the freezer. The only meat I buy is chicken and I only get it on sale.

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inkedmamajama View Post
i have no idea how people keep it so low!

we spend about 600-800 a month for a family of five though one is my one year old toddler.

and even then i feel its not enough. UGH!
We have a family of five as well (including a teenage boy) and we spend about 1,500.00 a month. I thought this a lot, but from the USDA chart we are right about on target. We live in the bay area in a very high cost of living area. I could easily spend more if I let myself!
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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We're a family of three and spend about $600 a month. This includes the stuff to pack DH's lunch with. We also buy a ton of fresh fruits and veggies every week.

We're on Weight Watchers (not the toddler) and our food costs have gone up about $200 a month since we no longer buy many pre-packaged food or junk food for that matter.

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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We used to be able to keep it under $400/month for 2 adults and 2 kids (ages 5 and 1) but with the cost of food these days we've been in the $450-$500 range most months.

We stick to only organic for the dirty dozen items and at the least do hormone free milk (organic when we can afford it). We can no longer afford organic meats so we go with the more natural meats and stock up when it is on sale.

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Old 10-01-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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We are a family of 6 and spend about $300 a month on food, toiletries, and paper products. We stockpile sales and have a garden with tomatoes, onions, peppers, strawberries. We use cloth for almost everything. We don't do much organic, though. We buy one specific bread (aunt millies), since they don't use HFCS, but we buy when it's on sale. We rarely buy junk foods, but do use Hamburger Helper from time to time. We try to cook as much as possible at home, and I pack sandwiches etc. for kids lunches, and leftovers for DH and myself.

This doesn't include about $100 we spend on eating out each month (1 meal per week).
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Getting a bread maker has really cut my grocery bill. We were spending $16 a week in bread (we like good bread). That is $65 a month. Now I buy flour and seeds in bulk and its way cheaper.

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Old 10-02-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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A family of three. We spend between $225-$300 a month. Depends on how much work feeds me or us for free.

We can never get it right with fresh veggies, so we end up buying tons of frozen ones.

There is a bakery thrift store near my apartment that sells bread, good organic bread, for dirt cheap.

We also are lovers of the manager's special bins. Find all kinds of good things in there, particularly meats.

Once a pay period I will sit down with my coupons and sales ads for the two major grocery stores I shop at (only 1/2 a mile away from each other) and match coupons with sales and plan menus around sale items.

I try to avoid going to the grocery store. I save a lot of money just staying the h*ll out of it. I figure, even if I get it for buying milk at the gas station, I still saved money because if I would have gone to the grocery store, there would have been no way I just would have walked out with milk. None. Either I would have saw something or my husband would have, etc. Just no.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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we only can spend 50 a wk because of finances. that is for a family of 4

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Old 10-03-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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$200-$250 for us. No junk food or organics. We just buy frugally and try to shop at places like WM and Aldi's where food is really cheap.

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Old 10-03-2008, 03:34 AM
 
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I don't even know anymore. Like $800, give or take $200...? We eat a LOT of meat and dairy (mostly organic), but do have a garden and coo/bake from scratch. I really don't know how everyone does it so cheaply.

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Old 10-03-2008, 04:37 AM
 
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I've asked around to my friends and most of them spend 400-550 for a family of four on groceries.

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Old 10-03-2008, 05:43 AM
 
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$2-300 depending on what's on sale. And that's including paper products, shampoo, soap, etc.

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:09 AM
 
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About $800. That includes 3 adults because my mom lives with us and a 6 yo dd who is not picky at all. We are on an all-natural diet because we feel better eating good food. I cook almost completely from scratch and we eat no processed foods, so there are literally no coupons out there for me to use. I particularly have a soft spot for things like gourmet cheeses and the more expensive meats (lamb and whole fresh fish, for example) which raises our bill. We buy our beef and pork from a friend by the side once a year, so things like hamburger, steaks, roasts, etc. are not part of that number. Also, we get some of our chicken from a friend, non-certified organic, and those are about twice the cost of regular chicken. Otherwise I get chicken breasts in bulk from Costco.
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