What's Your Monthly Food Budget? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 83 Old 01-16-2014, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious what everyone's food budget looks like. We have 3 in our family and spend $550 and mostly buy organic and in season. Is this average ?
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#2 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 06:21 AM
 
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We have three also, but our budget was about the same. I got it under control recently and I am working towards a friendlier budget right now. Food is much less expensive here in the summer then in the depths of winter when the plants are dormant. In the spring, summer and fall our spending for food drops considerably.


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#3 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:24 PM
 
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Our budget is about $150 per week if we are careful. Before vegan, we could get away with $120. There are 7 of us but we do not shop organic and this does not include protein powder or vitamins that we buy monthly.

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#4 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:25 PM
 
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I would guess about $500 per month, including things like paper towels, tissues, toothpaste, etc. We are a family of 5. I cook most dinners from scratch (few convenience foods) and my husband and school-aged child almost always bring a pack lunch to work/school. We don't eat out much. We eat a lot less organic than we used to. Trying to keep costs down.


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#5 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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We have 3 kids and spend about $750 in food, including organic box every second week. Don't eat out, maybe once every 2 months. 

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#6 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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500 a month for two adults and baby. I live in Canada where food is crazy expensive! $5.00 for a gallon of regular milk and $8 a lb for chicken breasts! I cook from scratch and don't buy many processed foods and limit the meat. Budget includes diapers, toilet paper, etc.
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#7 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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About $350-400 for a family of 3. We eat organic and I try and make most of our meals, but luckily our Costco has been carrying a ton of Organic and even local products lately so that makes it easier to buy in bulk. In the summer we grow our own produce or buy it at the market.

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#8 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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My family consists of my husband, three children ages 14, 11, 9 and me. We spend around 330 a week on food. I buy some organic but not much. I do cook most of our meals from scratch. I'd say of the 330 about 80 is on produce from a 'fancy produce place' I only buy produce that is in season. We do not eat out except for the occasional pizza made every two months. After reading everyone's post I spend a lot more then most of you. We are in central New Jersey. I'm sure location affects cost. My kids do take premade snack food in their lunches but this is food they only eat in lunches.

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#9 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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About $900 a month for a family of five. We eat organic, vegan/macro, I cook a ton but we still spend a lot. In the winter we try harder, keep it down to about $800/mo. bc we have less money to spend but that is what it usually ends up to be. We're in SE Pennsylvania.
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#10 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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Always love to see what others spend. We spend about 350 a month, (depends on the monthly budget, sometimes less sometimes more.) for our family of three plus a baby. We eat very little grains and no wheat, mostly protein and veggies. Wish we could afford organic right now, maybe in the future. fun thread.

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#11 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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We eat all organic. Our typical month runs $900-1200 for a family of four. This includes household items, vitamins and toiletries. In Seattle.

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#12 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 03:13 PM
 
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We typically spend about $400 - 450 for a family of 3 (plus a 20 year old who sometimes joins us).  Our budget includes some high quality supplements, bottled water and paper products.  We get lots of free (slightly imperfect) produce through my job managing a farmers' market and my husband's job at a food co-op.  We cook most things from scratch with the exception of curry pastes and Indian food that we sometimes buy.  The USDA has a chart of US average food costs. I always think I'm doing pretty well when I compare our spending to the chart, especially when you realize that the chart is mostly standard American diet with lots of cheap calories.

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#13 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 03:45 PM
 
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About $900 for family of five. I think its the teenagers that spike us up!


 
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#14 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 03:53 PM
 
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$1000 a month for a family of 6 hungry people...that figure includes all food, toiletries, cat food, litter, and beer. 


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#15 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 03:59 PM
 
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We spend around $1,200 a month for a family of 5. That includes coffee, supplements, homeopathy, toiletries...We eat all natural and mostly organic. Avoid most dairy. I would love to bring it down to 1000. We live in Connecticut, I grew up near Seattle I would say food costs are comparable.

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#16 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 04:45 PM
 
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We have a family of 5 (two adults, two 5yo, one breastfed baby) and we spend about $1000-1200 per month on food, if you add up groceries and anything bought outside the home (stop at the bagel shop, coffee stand, etc). We live just a touch north of Seattle. 

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#17 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 05:02 PM
 
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80-900/month in the desert of south california for me (preggers) hubbs and 12yro son. Mostly Gaps/Wapf, mostly organic, meats are 90-95% pastured/grassfed. This included most supplements and vitamins plus toiletries to some extent. THis does include @30-100 a month for the 7 parrots (& 10 parakeets in the aviary) we live with, as I get my supplies at cost, from work.  

 

I do most of my shopping at a natural-ish grocer called Sprouts, and Trader Joe's. I don't generally use farmers markets as a.) they aren't held during the summer here because it's TOO stinking hot, and b.) as much as I would love to support them and my local farmers, the prices are way over what I would spend for organic foods at my local stores ;-(  If it was even close, or just SOME things were over priced I would shop the hell out them!


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#18 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 06:41 PM
 
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We are a family of two adults, 1 4yr old and two toddlers.

We spend about 800-900 per month. That includes toiletries, laundry soap, pull-ups, coffee, etc.

We buy meat in bulk from pasterured organic beef and chicken. But then buy some fish etc from grocery store.

We eat a lot of organic dairy. Some organic veg and some conventioanl veg.

We cook a lot from scratch but also buy some processed foods. We do a frozen pizza now and again...but recently turned into once per week in between wifes night shifts.

We spend more now than we used to. But right now we have 14 month old twins, a kid in kindergarten, I work full time days out of the home and my wife recently went back to work full time 12 hour night shifts out of the home. So our cooking has become more convenience foods and our shopping lists lazier.

 

We are good with $800.

We live in a HCL Canadian City.


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#19 of 83 Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay I guess we are about average though toiletries and vitamins we have budgeted as household items and eating out( the occasional cinnamon roll or pizza) we have budgeted under our eat out expense.
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#20 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 06:59 AM
 
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For our family of four (two adults & a four- and five-year-old) we spend about $500 a month. We eat organic and almost exclusively from scratch; I get very good deals buying in bulk at our co-op. Our budget also includes supplies for our pets (litter for the cat & food for both cat and dog), and toilet paper (we use cloth everything else).

 

We live in a low-COL area (western NY) at the moment but our budget is actually higher now than it was when we lived in central CT, which has a much higher cost of living. Food was more expensive there but I make more of our staples from scratch than I did then.

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#21 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 07:09 AM
 
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Wow! 
There are three of us (DH, my 15 mo, and me), and I try to keep our spending under $250/month. We are vegetarians who eat organic when we can, and I work off an organic CSA share from May through October locally. But now, for example, we eat a lot of cabbage, sweet potatoes, grains, beans. We hardly ever eat out, I make most of our bread and sweets, and DH volunteers at our local brewery in exchange for beer. I make a lot of ferments, too (sauerkraut, beet kvass, dandelion wine, etc). We buy most of our produce on sale. We live an hour outside of Boston. I don't feel like we suffer!


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#22 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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My baby and I are on WIC, so that helps out a lot.  We have $200 a month budgeted  for groceries, but I'm trying to make the actual spending closer to $100.  We can get meat and eggs from my in-law's ranch, so I think I can get by spending less than $25 a month.  (Only three of us).


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#23 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 08:31 AM
 
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My family of 6, including me, spend about 300-400 per month on food not including food for our dog (which I'm learning to make from scratch) or toiletries ( some of which I make from scratch and am trying to learn more). The only paper products we use are toilet paper. In the summer its a bit cheaper because we buy at farmers markets in bulk where we get freebies or deep discounts(reasons being our family is beautiful, our kids are gorgeous, or they remember those days, or even because we are almost caught up to having their 8 kids,with our four. Although one time we got a 20 lb. bag of corn for 10 bucks because we were all sporting Phillies shirts. Its funny.) I am also getting WIC for 2 of my kids which helps but since we don't,drink THAT much milk, I've learned to make yogurt and cheese from it.
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#24 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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I am in awe of those of you who have larger families and don't spend that much per month! We don't live in a particularly high COL area, but a gallon of organic milk is still about $6, a bunch of kale (enough for one meal) will be $4, etc. So not that cheap. If I had time to shop at 4 different stores to get the best deals, and could make breads from scratch, I could get our monthly total lower. But that's not happening any time soon, so around $800 it is! We could easily spend $1200 if we weren't careful. 


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#25 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 08:38 AM
 
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We spend about 1,000-1,200 per month for a family of 4 on organic foods (including toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.). I see many of you are spending way less. Please tell me the secret as I would love to spend less!!

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#26 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 08:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcollado80 View Post
 

We spend about 1,000-1,200 per month for a family of 4 on organic foods (including toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.). I see many of you are spending way less. Please tell me the secret as I would love to spend less!!


Hah!  We don't even have an income of $2000 a month, so I'd almost trade you places! 

 

Anywho, I don't know what your area COL is like (mine is fairly low), but here are some tips:

 

There are organic coupons out there. 

Look for sales.

Buy your staples in bulk.

Plan, plan, and plan your weekly meals in advance.

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#27 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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Same here, we don't even make that much. I am a SAHM so during naps or when the kids go to bed I can cut budget corners by making a lot of my own stuff. But ditto to couponing, finding sales (I shop at 2-3 different stores), and planning in advance,as much as possible.

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#28 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bflohockeygirl View Post

For our family of four (two adults & a four- and five-year-old) we spend about $500 a month. We eat organic and almost exclusively from scratch; I get very good deals buying in bulk at our co-op. Our budget also includes supplies for our pets (litter for the cat & food for both cat and dog), and toilet paper (we use cloth everything else).

We live in a low-COL area (western NY) at the moment but our budget is actually higher now than it was when we lived in central CT, which has a much higher cost of living. Food was more expensive there but I make more of our staples from scratch than I did then.
$500!
How do you do it? I feel like I make everything from scratch but maybe the cost of living is a bit more here in oregon....... Humm. I am going to see if there is anything online that compares cost of living!
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#29 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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I get $417 in food stamps right now and I spend about another $100 or so cash.

 

I buy TP online and my toiletries are pared down to Bronner's soap and Earthpaste and not much else.  I'm working on perfecting my DIY Earthpaste to reduce costs even more.  For now, I buy it in quantity from vitaglo.com.

 

I start on the 3rd of each month by going to BJs.  I get some decent wild caught salmon, lamb and chicken, organic veggies, and some staples like Kerrygold butter (we use about 6 lbs/mo), organic raw coconut oil and organic quinoa.  They also have organic olive oil and healthy canned tuna and sardines packed in oil.  Also really good uncured bacon.  I usually drop $300 in one trip, just food.

 

I belong to a local co-op where I order a beef and pork share every couple of months.  That's anywhere from $85-125.  Lately I've been trying their local, organic produce box which is $35 EOW.

 

Raw milk is $10/wk at a local HFS.  They are ding-dongs who don't realize I shouldn't be using my EBT card for what is legally considered dog food, so as long as I have a balance on the card, I use that to pay for the milk.  I also get local raw honey at the HFS.

 

I am a totally foodie and prefer to cook and bake from scratch rather than buy prepared.  As I've gotten more into TF cooking, I am pickier and picker about brands.  This has raised my monthly food bill in spite of me doing so much more scratch cooking, but I'm ok with it bc I can see the difference it makes in the health of my kiddos.

 

ETA:  Forgot to say its me, 20yo ds1 and 10yo ds2.


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#30 of 83 Old 01-18-2014, 12:12 PM
 
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My budget for 1 adult and 1 child is $250 a month...I also spend about $35 in cat supplies and $10-12 for things like toilet paper,shampoo and laundry soap for the month...

 

We are a gluten,dairy and soy free household...

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