How much do you spend a month? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
1  2
Meal Planning > How much do you spend a month?
425lisamarie's Avatar 425lisamarie 02:08 PM 03-23-2009
We spend about $1200

I don't eat 100% organic at all, as much as I can though. I shop from local people, and costco a lot.

Not really any specific dietary needs I guess....I eat mostly vegan, kids and DH eat everything

I bake my own bread, and literally cook everything from scratch. My bill is pretty high though because I often cook for my mom and dad during the week and try to find someone in need during the month to cook for. This month I've made a few things for a dear friend who's boy is allergic to everything and she doesn't know how to bake, so I make a few snacks for her to keep in the freezer for their lunches, and that can be expensive buying extra vegan chocolate, etc.

Food is basically my hobby though so it's justifiable and i'm not spending more than we can. That's the big thing I think. I could myself eat for pennies a day and often do just to see how cheap I can eat.

holothuroidea 12:22 AM 03-24-2009
Our budget is 65$/week for grocery and household items so that's about 260$/month. This budget also includes things like light bulbs, toiletries, toilet paper, etc.

This is for 2 adults and one infant in New Jersey (very high COL area).

I buy ONLY fruits, vegetables, meats and grains.
The only processed food I buy are dairy products (and dairy substitutes for me) like cream, butter, yogurt and cheese, pasta, and bread. I would take a nice cheese over a box of cookies for the same price any day. Because we do this, our grocery bills are very small. I also buy very large, cheap cuts of meat. They take longer to cook but it's worth it for half the price.

We eat very well, very healthfully and very cheap. It's a hard diet to get used to when you are accustomed to convenience foods but if you are motivated it is very rewarding.

We also have 15$ a week each for spending money, so if we want to get junkfood (I have a weakness for chocolate covered raisins and Fritos, haha) it comes out of our spending money.

TIPS: Use CASH, that way you don't spend more than you have. When I was using the debit card to buy groceries it was like... free food. If I dont SEE the money than the money doesn't exist in my head and I'm less careful about my spending.
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Sk8ermaiden 03:12 AM 03-24-2009
What is your monthly food budget? I am working it down. It has been $450-500. This month $400. I am aiming for $350 next month due to a few key changes and would LOVE to get down to $300 without sacrificing our quality or variety.

How many people are you feeding?
Just 2. My husband eats as much as my whole family of 4 did growing up (and never gains a pound. ).

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? Yes. Now that I am SAM I am working the budget and meal plan dinner 2 weeks at a time. I have all next month's planned out though, as we're going to join Costco.

Breakfast and my lunches I just always keep certain things on hand - I don't really "plan". DH I plan to pack him sandwiches/apple/yogurt 3 times a week and leftovers the other 2.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? No.

Where do you shop?
Used to be Randalls, and superHEB when budget wasn't an issue (man, back in the day I might spend $600/ month on the two of us), but recently it's been Walmart and our Farmer's Market (which, luckily, is on the unbelievably cheap side).

Starting Next Saturday it will be Costco once a month, farmer's market twice a month, our local meat market/butcher shop once every 4 months and WalMart once a week (milk/bananas/bagged salad)

We also budget $100/mo for eating out, which can be two nights or 10 depending on how we feel.
Baby Makes 4's Avatar Baby Makes 4 03:19 AM 03-24-2009
What is your monthly food budget? $800

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults, one teenage boy and one preschooler plus I am breastfeeding.

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? We meal plan for dinners and have the same standard breakfast and lunch foods around all the time.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? We are Feingold so most of our packaged foods are organic to avoid the artificial ingredients.

Where do you shop? Costco and Superstore

ETA: Any tips?

We meal plan in 2 week chunks and shop once every two weeks. If we forget something or run out then we do our best to make do without it unless it's really, really important.
at_the_hip's Avatar at_the_hip 06:57 AM 03-25-2009
What is your monthly food budget?
400-500 Canadian...much less converted to USD, LOL

How many people are you feeding?

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches?
yes - breakfast is flexible, This is the only way I can strictly maintain the budget.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc?
organic for high risk items like apples, berries, etc.
low-fat due to reflux in dh and I

Where do you shop?
local big box grocery store - except for meat which I get from the butcher (free range unmedicated)
cville-rn's Avatar cville-rn 06:49 PM 03-28-2009
What is your monthly food budget? 450, down from 600, down from 800! I am seeing how low we can go

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults, one baby, I am breastfeeding.

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? We meal plan for all dinners. Lunches I just eat whatever is around, usually egg salad sandwiches because we have chickens. Breakfast is the same every day.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? We try to buy as much organic and local stuff as possible.

Where do you shop? The local butcher, farmers markets, Kroger, and Whole Foods

ETA: Any tips?

We eat a lot of repeats. A typical week looks like this: pasta, tacos, quiche or pizza, tuna casserole or chicken, and soup. The other two nights are usually something "special". But that is our typical week.

I buy all of our meat at the beginning of the month from the butcher, and freeze it. Then I grocery shop every 2-3 weeks at Kroger and Whole Foods. In between I run to the local grocer for bananas and anything else small we may need.

I think we eat really well for that amount of money.

Caneel's Avatar Caneel 02:38 PM 03-31-2009
What is your monthly food budget? $700 to $900, which is crazy high.

How many people are you feeding? 2 adults and a small child

Do you meal plan for dinners? Yes

What about breakfast or lunches? Weekend breakfast, yes. During the week, I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk. DS has breakfast and lunch at pre-school.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? Not special needs but I avoid snack foods, sodas/bottled juices and packaged food.

IMO, we eat a lot of seafood and red meat

Where do you shop? Local (geography and ownership) down the street for everything but meat, local butcher shop for meat and occasionally visit farm stands in season.
mamaof5boys's Avatar mamaof5boys 02:24 PM 04-07-2009
OP- thank you so much for posting this!! I have often wondered what other people spend on food. Especially when you're trying to eat healthier.

I have to say, my jaw dropped when I read everyone's responses!!

I am embarrassed to say that for our family of 7, I spend over $2,000 on groceries, plus probably a couple of hundred on eating out!! It just seemed out of control, so I am trying really hard to cut back.

We joined Costco, and so far I think I've been able to spend about $500 for two weeks of meals, and then we end up going to Whole Foods for about $200 dollars worth of other stuff. So I haven't calculated yet, but I think we may have cut our groceries down to $1200 per month. But the thing that really bothers me is that I've only been able to cut expenses by not buying all organic food. I used to buy only Whole Foods meat and mostly organic produce.

I would LOVE any help you all have!! How do you eat healthy without spending a ton? I really don't buy too many processed things, and we try to make our own stuff. I'm hoping to do more of that now that the twins are two. BTW- did I mention I have 5 boys!?! I am desperate to get the food costs down. Everyone keeps telling me how much teenage boys eat, and I'm thinking if I'm already spending $2,000 now, what's it going to be in a couple of years?!
limabean's Avatar limabean 03:54 PM 04-07-2009
What is your monthly food budget? We didn't have one until recently, when I noticed that we were spending about $700/month at the grocery store and was horrified. That includes non-food items like toiletries and cleaning products, but still! Now we have a budget of $500, and I've been able to stick to it the past two months -- last month's grocery spending ended up at $430.

How many people are you feeding? Four, but one is a baby -- it's myself, DH, a 4yo, and an 11mo.

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? Yes, all dinners are planned. Breakfasts and lunches aren't systematically planned, but I always make sure there's sandwich stuff, crackers, fruit, pancake stuff, oatmeal, etc. in the house. We can make four typical weeknight dinners using one good-sized roast chicken and some basic staples -- common dinners are chicken/potatoes/broccoli, chicken tacos/beans/rice, chicken pasta/garlic bread/salad, and BBQ chicken pizza/salad. We'll eat stuff like that Monday through Thursday, then eat out on Friday, then eat something frozen on Saturday (so I don't have to worry about ingredients staying fresh that long, and so I don't end up having to go back to the grocery store later in the week and possibly spending extra money I didn't intend to spend) -- this week on Saturday we're having potstickers, fried rice, and edamame, all purchased frozen at Trader Joe's.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? No, none.

Where do you shop? Mostly Trader Joe's, with a few things purchased from the supermarket or Target.
rhiOrion's Avatar rhiOrion 01:32 PM 05-29-2009
Okay, this thread has been asleep for a while, but I just wandered over to this part of MDC and I am suddenly appalled at myself!

What is your monthly food budget? $500-600, including household items bought at the grocery store, and including eating out.

How many people are you feeding? 2

Do you meal plan for dinners? What about breakfast or lunches? I try to plan out what we're going to eat for the week, and only go to the grocery store one time. I try to make my lunches for the week during the weekend. My husband eats a sandwich every day, so that's easy. We eat the same things for breakfast every day, too.

Any special dietary needs, i.e. GF, DF, Organic, no soy, etc? Nope, though I do tend to buy almond milk for myself, as well as free-range, cruelty free eggs, and some organic/healthier stuff.

Where do you shop? Usually Harris Teeter. I try to go to Food Lion because it's cheaper, but it is just so painful to shop there. Our Harris Teeter is so much nicer.

But seriously, what the heck is wrong with me?! You guys with two kids are spending half as much as I do.

Actually, I think I know some problems:

1. We drink beer, and although we can settle for Yeungling sometimes... we way prefer good beer.

2. I am horrible at coupon clipping. One time a friend came by and we went through a ton of coupons and then went to the store together. I ended up spending twice as much as I normally do (though, to be fair, I did buy some stuff in bulk)

3. I tend to overcook, and I am not always very good at eating leftovers after about day 2-3. I especially have trouble with meat leftovers.

4. I tend to forget about food in the freezer until it's freezer burned and my brain/stomach just can't handle the thought of eating it.

5. Cooking is my hobby. Planning ahead is great most of the time, but if I get a recipe in my head, I end up breaking down and going to the store. But hey... at least my hobby feeds us! What has my husband's gaming and snowboarding done for me lately?
amandaleigh37's Avatar amandaleigh37 03:35 PM 05-29-2009
I budget $50/week (so about $200/month)

Family of 3 - DH, me (pregnant), and a toddler

We do get WIC, which gives us about $20/week worth of dairy/PB/beans/cereal.

I plan our meals (dinners only) weekly. If I plan something one night that requires a lot of ingredients to buy, I will try to even out the other days by using up stuff we have. Usually I can tell by looking at my grocery list if I'm close to budget or not. We also don't eat a lot of meat, which saves us money. We eat a lot of beans, pasta, etc.

I shop at Aldi & Kroger.

Tips: I only use cash. If I see something cheap (that I usually buy anyway), I stock up. Oh and make a list and stick to it! Don't go down aisles looking at things that aren't on your list
1  2