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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All- I am sure this thread is out there somewhere already, but I couldn't find it.... My husband and I are starting a budget and I am just wondering about other people's food budgets. What do you spend on grocerys a month? What do you spend on eating out a month? In our family it is just my husband, myself (I am 25 weeks preggo), and our 2 1/2 year old son. I feel like we are spending a lot of money on food, but I am having a hard time thinking of what we would cut out!!!! Thanks for your help!
 

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We currently spend way too much on groceries & eating out, but that's about to change since I'm becoming a SAHM on April 5.<br><br>
Our new goals are $400/month for groceries and only eating out once a week, so probably $120/month for eating out.<br><br>
We are a family of 5, but the baby is still EBF.
 

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I don't know what is 'acceptable' really. I just divided down all my other expenses, and what's left is our grocery budget. $75 bi weekly (payday). That's just for myself and my 3 1/2 yr DS. Soon i'll be able to spend less, as i'll have my garden, and hope to can a bit for the winter. Budgeting is tough! Good luck!
 

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It seems the average is a wide range- when there are threads like this. It's between $200-$800 and the family size ranges too- there are families of 5 that eat w/ $250/mo and families of 3 that use $800/mo. It depends on whether you eat all organic, some organic, no organic, local or supermarkets w/ the cheapest prices, if you guys hunt or have your own meat or are vegetarians and how often you go out to eat.<br>
The USDA has a <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2008/CostofFoodJan08.pdf" target="_blank">chart</a> on what they think is normal, it has "Thrifty, low-cost, moderate and liberal" cost of food per month.<br>
I found we can get by comfortably with a family of 6 on $350/mo- but we don't go out to eat and very little organic. We can squeeze by with $200/mo sometimes, but that's some serious planning and I normally can't do it for more than 1 month, as my pantry is too low for the next month.<br>
HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, we are definitely spending more than you guys!!!! We eat almost all organic and we eat out about 2 times a week. I would guess we spend close to $1000 a month total!!!!!
 

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We are a family of 3 meat eaters. Our "grocery" budget is aprox $400 a month, but that includes all personal items such as shampoo and soap, as well as home care products, like laundry and dish soap. Cat food/litter is also in that number. I suppose I could break it down and remove the non food items from the budget to get a more accurate idea, but that just feels like more effort than I care to put in. FTR, we eat out maybe 2x a month, and it runs us under $20 each time, so we don't count that in the budget. Sometimes I come closer to $500 and sometimes I come in under $400, but we budget to allow at least $400. Since meal planning, though, I think we're coming in significantly under budget <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I spend a lot of time and energy trying to budget. I've found t takes almost no time and energy though to blow it! We are striving for $400/month for groceries(not including non-food items) and $100 a month on eating out. This is for our family of 4. Sticking to our grocery budget seems to be easier than the eating out budget. I do try and buy local and organic. I've found that the times I stick to the budget the best are those times that I've made and stuck with a weekly meal plan complete with breakfast,lunch,and dinner + snacks. We usually waste less and spend less this way.
 

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i could easily spend 200-300/week on food, if i had that money available. Usually we spend around 100-120/week for a family of four. We like a lot of produce whether or not its in season, and we don't compromise on certain things.<br>
We budget by taking all our other bills that don't change like electric and housing, plus some other things that vary every month, and what we have left is available for food. Some weeks we have 300 left so our food budget is not limited, other weeks we only have less than 100 so we stretch, and use things in our freezer or pantry. We eat out/pizza once a week typically from a local chain and spend around 20$or less.<br>
It really depends on your income and where you live, how you budget for food.
 

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We budget $150/2 weeks, plus another $120/month for eating out. That's a total of about $420 for the month. We're a family of 3 (one toddler, whose eating waxes and wanes).<br><br>
I commited to a budget when I became a SAHM (well, a little after that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> , when I realized what I was doing wasn't workiing). For me, honestly, $300/month at the grocery store takes some effort. Meal planning, lists, thinking about what we eat. I'd love to eat fancy Whole Foods meats and seafoods every day, buy produce regardless of the price, and have as many "extras" as I want. As it is, it doesn't quite happen that way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you guys for your input. What is weird, is that I really do meal plan. I think I just need to really think more about what I am buying and how much each meal is costing. While eating organic is something I do not want to compromise on, I need to find a way to do it cheaper. Thanks again!
 

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I try not to spend more than $300 a month. I don't know why, I guess because I realized I could so that's my goal now. That doesn't include other stuff, like diapers and toiletry things.
 

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I had meal planned before my budget got cut, but I had to change the way I did it.<br><br>
I used to meal plan, then make a list from what I needed. Now...I look at the specials and at what I have in the house, THEN meal plan. I end up with a much, much shorter list.
 

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We eat about 90% organic, and for just DH and I in expensive Southern California we spend about $500 a month on groceries. We used to spend about $200/mo on eating out so we cut that drastically to $50/mo. But I, too cannot compromise on eating organic food. I would first stop paying for our health care and apply that money to whole foods which keep us well.<br><br>
We did at one time get by on $200/mo, but that was very little organic or free range anything.
 

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We eat about 90% organic, and for just DH and I in expensive Southern California we spend about $500 a month on groceries. We used to spend about $200/mo on eating out so we cut that drastically to $50/mo. But I, too cannot compromise on eating organic food. I would first stop paying for our health care and apply that money to whole foods which keep us well.<br><br>
We did at one time get by on $200/mo, but that was very little organic or free range anything.<br><br>
What's funny to me is our current budget still falls into the moderate category on that USDA thing- and it's almost all organic. We also eat alot of free range animal products and I read on another website that that was impossible to do on our budget. I do acknowledge that DH does not eat much more than me as he has a desk job, so that budget wouldn't work for a man with a hard labor job.
 
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