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What is your monthly food budget? How much do you spend?


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I am curious how much others spend each month on food for their family.

 

How many are in your family and what do you spend per average on food?

 

What do you do to cut corners?

 

Any great ideas you want to share on saving money on your monthy food budget?

 

As always insight and wisdom is GREATLY welcome.

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We live in a relatively low food cost area. I spend $80/week for the 5 of us (but my girls eat lunch at school). We buy 1/2 cow at a time so that adds another $10 or so a week to the grocery bill.

 

We eat simple foods and I don't make things that call for buying special and/or high priced ingredients/spices, etc.

 

I buy what is on sale and cook with that. I am doing Savings Angel but not sure if I will keep it up or not. http://www.savingsangel.com Even without that I rarely bought anything that wasn't on sale and I use store brands, Aldis, etc.

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$400-$600/mo for food, cleansers, HBA, diapers and supplements. We have a separate budget though for eating out, which we often do on the weekends for lunch. We have a family of six, but my oldest is only 8 so I'm not dealing with teen appetites yet. I do have a garden pretty much year round also that supplements fresh fruit and veggies for us (I buy some still).

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I go grocery shopping every 2 weeks and spend $300-350 each time. I also spend another $10/week getting items that I can only find at other stores. So that's $160-185/week for a family of 5. If you assume a 4.5 week month, then I spend about $720-835/month.

 

The girls and I almost never eat out. My dh eats out for lunch every workday. He used to take his lunch, but he never got to actually eat it when he did.

 

The amount above is what I spend on everything at the grocery store - food, toiletries, paper products, trashbags, ..., everything except dog food (don't buy brands that are available at the grocery store).

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I work part time to pay for our groceries and most of our extras. I try to shop well so I have a little money left over as "mad money". I spend no less than $100 a week and no more than $150 a week. This includes cleaning supplies, diapers, wipes and eating out. On the weeks that I need to stay at $100 I plan all 3 meals, snacks and drinks on a menu and try to use what I already have on hand. I only go the the store once a week. If I run in to get a couple of things I always pick up junck that we don't need too. I have a small family (hubby, 12 yr old and 2 yr old girls) so most of the time Monday's dinner becomes Tuesday's lunch for me and the girls. We don't get fastfood much. If I pick up subway I get 2 of the $5 footlongs to bring home. Thay way we use our own drinks and chips. We will play some board games or rent a $1 movie and we have a family night at home for about $10.

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How many are in your family and what do you spend per average on food? There are 9 of us, regularly. I average about $136 to $245 a week on groceries*. I have been under, and over before though. No more ten $300 ever though, and not consecutively. It all depends on what we have going on that week.

 

What do you do to cut corners? I am trying to use less meat as a starter. More rice, etc as fillers. But my diet is supposed to be very carb prohibited, red meat 1x a week, no more then 3 egg yolks a week, 1 slice of bacon a week, etc... it's a 1500 calorie diet for Diabetics/Pre-Diabetics. It makes it very hard to merge feeding my large family cheaply, and taking care of my own dietary needs. More often then not, it becomes a one or the other thing :(

 

Any great ideas you want to share on saving money on your monthy food budget? Coupons, planning every meal down to every detail, no snacks (unless for dietary needs), no soda (unless for migraines), no sweets/desserts, sticking to the menu.

 

*Food only

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Ooh! I can answer this question! I have kept track of all grocery spending by month for 2010. This includes groceries, paper products, farmer's market or u-pick or fruit/veggie stands, pet food, toiletries, and diapers for my disabled child. Our 3 kids are relatively small eaters and I think food is probably on the cheaper end here. I started the year thinking I could do $650/month, but it's looking more like $675/month. Some months are more expensive than others. I had a high (July) of $1030 and a low (August) of $427. I do a Costco run every 6 weeks, so months with a Costco run are always higher than those without. I do some fruit picking and freezing in July that explains a little of why it was so high. I think that's also when I turned some shelves in the garage into a food storage area and started stocking up.

 

Like others, we don't do junk food or soda. Probably half the year we go out once or twice a month (something cheap like pizza usually) and during our busier months we might go out once a week. Dh takes leftovers for lunch probably 2 or 3 days/week.

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I spend $260-$275 for myself, dh, and ds7. That includes groceries, household & paper products, bath products, and vitamins. We go out to eat no more than once a month, generally for less than $30.

 

To keep costs low I coupon, stock pile when things go on sale, cook from scratch at home, and have 2 meatless nights a week (also better healthwise). We are about to buy our first 1/2 cow next month, but I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to budget it.

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$500-600/month for a family of 5. But my kids are 3, 5, and 7, so we haven't hit the ravenous stage yet. That amount includes everything that you could buy at a super walmart type store--food, HBA, meds, socks, underwear, about half my kids' clothes, impulse buys, etc. If it were to be just food? Probably more like $400/mn, maybe less.

 

I get the impression from some of these budgets that food budgets are more of a regional thing. My cost of living is lower in MI than it would be elsewhere. I went on vacation to New Jersey this summer and we went grocery shopping once we got there. I almost fell over with sticker shock at the prices I saw. It was nearly double what I normally pay.

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We are a family of six, and I spend $550 a month for food, toiletries, paper products and hygiene items. This does not count eating out, which we do maybe once a week and cheaply. We live in an area full of low cost food options. I regularly shop at a discount salvage grocery store and get things like a CASE of organic yogurt for $1. No, this is not a typo. We are very blessed this way.

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We spend 800.00 per month for our family of 6 (four growing boys) plus the dog. This includes all food, HBA, cleaning and laundry supplies, etc. I try to shop at the commissary whenever possible; Walmart if I can't make it to the base. We don't buy soda, chips, ice cream, or any of those sorts of foods (only for special occasions). The boys just eat a lot of food.

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I am curious how much others spend each month on food for their family.

 

How many are in your family and what do you spend per average on food?

 

What do you do to cut corners?

 

Any great ideas you want to share on saving money on your monthy food budget?

 

As always insight and wisdom is GREATLY welcome.

 

We spend around around $225/week ($900/month) for our family of 5 (ages of kids are in my sig) and our dog. That's all food, cleaning supplies and some toiletries. My main way of cutting corners is making a menu with breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks/day and not over-buying food. I live in Hawaii. A gallon of milk at the commissary or Costco is around $5.

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Ooh! I can answer this question! I have kept track of all grocery spending by month for 2010.

 

This is my New Year's resolution!! I am going to keep track of grocery expenses and coupon savings. January 1st, here I come!!

 

Love that you know where all the money is going! :)

Edited by clementine
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I use Quicken to track things, we average $350/month for food, $100/month for Eating out and $30/month for beer and alcohol. We have 5 in our family.

 

Food- this includes food, health & beauty and cleaning supplies. I coupon and get stuff super cheap when I can and stock up on things when it's cheap. My parents are beef farmers and we get a 1/4 of beef for Christmas, so this helps us tremendously. I still buy chicken, pork, some seafood. We do not eat organic, but I cook a lot from scratch. I do occasionally buy things like egg rolls, mini corn dogs, but only a few times a year. I do shop the drugstores for free health & beauty items, etc. Oh, we have 2 cats and this is included in there as well.

 

our eating out goes in spurts, there are times when we can go for weeks and not eat out, but when dh is super busy and we are working long hours, we eat out more.

 

Alcohol, dh drinks about a beer a day, sometimes 2, we also will have wine on occasion and hard liquor.

 

We live in a great area that has double coupons, very competitive grocery store sales. Also, I garden and freeze and can some stuff from that.

 

My dh is self employed, so our income fluctuates and have found this is one area that I can contribute to. I love to menu plan and clip coupons.

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I try to spend $300 or less per month on groceries, health & beauty, medicines and household products (napkins, foil, cleaning supplies, etc). We have 4 in our family.

 

Sometimes I use coupons, but haven't in a few months. I have saved huge amounts when using coupons, but it takes a lot of time to do the research and get it all ready (and I did use Grocery Game and A Full Cup, which helped a lot).

 

Besides buying store brand when I can, checking price per ounce, and so on, my main strategy right now is not going to the store (check the cupboard instead and see what I can do with what's there).

 

ETA: we do not eat organic and I do not have a problem with buying the kinds of things that make my life easier--mac & cheese (10 a box a while back), cake mix, frozen pizza, etc...

Edited by gardening momma
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I spend $400 month ($200 each pay period). This is for a family of 4. My children are 9 & 7. They key for me is meal planning & I only shop 2x month. It makes it much easier to stay in budget when I take these steps.

 

 

Susan

 

 

ETA - I make our laundry detergent & homemade cleaning supplies. That save a good bit too.

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We are around $400 here in a low cost area, feeding two adult men, me, and two kids all meals daily and two other kids that I share with an ex that come and go, and the odd grandchild or two that show up regularly. That includes the trash bags, cleaning stuff, ect. I haven't gardened for a couple years, had some skin cancer removed and now I am scared to be out in the sun much. We do have a lot of local produce available seasonally with good prices (I can and dehydrate), and we have a farm down the road that sells unpasturized milk for $2.50 a gallon (think yogurt and cheese).

We don't have big meat meals (I do put some into stirfrys, ect), we drink water or ice tea, I make almost everything from scratch. We eat a lot of oatmeal, beans, rice, potatoes, that sort of thing. We have soup at least twice a week. It is different from how I grew up, and I had to learn to cook things differently and I had to learn how to like beans.

Tonight's dinner was one lb of bacon fried with onion and mixed into three cans of pork and beans, then served over baked potatoes with a bit of shredded cheese. We fed three adults and three kids. Last night was one lb pasta with 1 lb sausage fried and mixed in and some pesto sauce added. That fed three adults and two kids, but with leftovers that we had for lunch today. Tomorrow is a pork fried rice stir fry, the day after that is homemade pizza. There is always homemade bread for a side if anyone is still hungry. I haven't been baking sweets as much since DH is complaining he is getting fat, but we did have a homemade pie for dessert tonight.

When grandkids get dropped off I 'charge' for babysitting in Coke Zero and Mr. Goodbars, my weaknesses. One daughter brings me a fancy coffee drink with her kids. Dh won't eat a packed lunch, he likes to get a dollar burger pretty much every day as he is out and about with his job. We can't complain, we are both overweight (although we have great cholesterol levels) so I guess we could cut back more. Just not the Mr. Goodbars, please!

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About $1200 a month for a family of 4- 2 adults, 2 teenagers. $Aussie is on par with the $U.S. lately so it's comparaable.

 

We live in a city with a high cost for fruit and veg and that's mainly what we eat. I go to Farmers Markets and buy some organic, some spray free, and the rest just what I can get and what is cheap (and we wash it well).

 

We could eat cheaper- much cheaper- if we really had to but we are reasonably careful, like to buy healthy and fresh food and some organic.

 

We still buy some processed and packaged foods - such as corn chips and salsa sauce for the kids to make microwave nachos- but not a lot.

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It may be closer to $850. That includes all household products, not just food.

 

I buy snacks for my dh for work (yogurt) and extra food for my kids for swimming. I also buy lots of fruits and veggies. We buy a half a cow each year, so we eat a lot of beef. I have a few in the home who don't drink milk, so I buy soy or almond milk each week.

 

The best way to keep our food expenses down without affecting the quality of what we eat is to cut down on cereal. Cereal is convenient but pricey. I make a lot from scratch, but less bread then I use to.

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Dh has given me a limit of $1,000/month (he's the money guy here-I don't handle it). It's like a challenge to me now. We average about $800. I don't shop sales too often. I usually shop the majority at the BJ's and get fresh fruits and veggies at the grocery store (better prices than BJ's and better quality). I probably cut it some, but I don't have to, so I don't. This is for 2 adults and 4-5 children ages 5-8.

 

 

 

What I do to keep it as low as possible:

 

menu plan-I only buy the food needed to make the meals for the month

 

no paper products/disposables-we use cloth for cleaning, napkins, feminine products, when we have foster babies I cloth diaper, etc

 

I make my own laundry soap

 

I don't clean my house unless it's for special occasions. :tongue_smilie:

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About $50 a week at most for a family of 3. I coupon like crazy and match up coupons to the sale ads (online mostly) for the stores. I buy things like shampoo, deo., etc. at CVS when they have the extra care bucks on them. I make my own bread 95% of the time in the bread machine & make things like pizza dough in it (in fact that is our lunch today --- pizza). I cook from scratch.... we never eat out.

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For a family of 6 (2 adults, 4 kids) with 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 fish and 4 snails I spend:

 

$30 every two weeks for raw milk (6 gallons)

$15 every two weeks for farm fresh organic eggs (6 dozen)

$120 at Costco every two weeks (food, pet food, non-food items)

$20 week for produce from a buying club I belong to

$40 every two weeks at grocery store for things I can't get elsewhere

 

So about $245 every two weeks or around $500 for the month.

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I spend about $200 dollars a week, but that includes pretty much everything except gifts.

 

I stock up on sales, shop at Sam's and all the grocery stores. I try to shop at a different grocery store each week. I enjoy cooking many things from scratch, we don't eat a lot of meat, and local or organic produce tops my list.

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We spend $400-$500 a month -- family of six (no teenagers.) We never eat out -- so this covers all meals, snacks, cleaning supplies . . .

I've been using $5 Dinner Mom cookbook. Each dinner (obviously) costs about $5. She teaches you how to use coupons but I don't really do that part since it also involves having an extra freezer. I do like her ideas for each (complete) meal. She has a website, too.

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How many are in your family and what do you spend per average on food?

 

It is myself, and 3 children (10yob and 2 girls 8yo and 4yo). We average $185 per month for food and $50 each for eating out and household items (although I try to cut these down-everything tends to get thrown in here since I budget every penny. So, if we buy some Christmas decorations...it goes here. Extra gifts? Goes here. Etc). I *could* spend more, but we can eat well at this budget level, and I could also spend less, if needed (I could also qualify for food stamps, but choose not to go that route since we have wiggle room in the budget even without them; I'm actually taking a trip to England in April with my Mom, doesn't seem right to be on public assistance with that in mind, kwim?).

 

What do you do to cut corners?

 

I menu plan and shop sales. I watch for things we use a lot of to go on sale (ie PB for $1 a jar or less? I'll get 3 months worth, since it goes on sale for that price about every 3 months. Ditto for spaghetti sauce). I actually budget $35 a week for "regular food" and $35 a month for stock up items. Aldi is my friend. I plan visits to my parents around the JayC ads....

 

Any great ideas you want to share on saving money on your monthy food budget? I love the people at livinglikenooneelse dot com for ideas and support on frugal living. Otherwise, living in a low cost of living area is *very* helpful, but its not really something one can do much about....

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About 800-1200 per month. This includes paper and cleaning products.

 

It would be less expensive for us if we had less food allergies, or if we were all allergic to the same thing. This drives up the food bill quite a bit!

 

This is for 5 people-2 adults 3 kiddos

Edited by bluemongoose
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I am curious how much others spend each month on food for their family.

 

How many are in your family and what do you spend per average on food?

 

What do you do to cut corners?

 

Any great ideas you want to share on saving money on your monthy food budget?

 

As always insight and wisdom is GREATLY welcome.

 

 

We get paid bi-weekly and I always set aside $500 which includes food, household stuff and toiletries. We are a family of 5.

 

Recently, I started meal-planning (just 3-4 weeks ago) and I feel like that has helped us saved some money, but I can't say for sure yet.

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I grocery game so that helps a lot. I spend an average of 75 (usually less) on that a week and then another 150 or so a month at TJ's, Sprouts and Costco on our healthy stuff. So - about 450-500 max. That is down from 750-800 before GG. I have 5 in our family - one teen and two younger boys.

 

Plus, I have quite the little 'store' as my boys call it!!

 

Edited to say that this is everything except gifts also - dog food at Costco, etc. Oh, and my 'fun' money - little treats here and there and the very RARE eating out is a little more a month or left over GG cash.

Edited by 3byzaz
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We live in a moderate to high food cost area. That includes cleaning, paper, toiletries and my husbands rather expensive eye drops, allergy medicine, and stomach medicine.

 

Ways we cut:

Low meat night 1x per week

Few processed or prepared foods

No store bought cookies or crackers

No ice cream

We try to use only 3 cleaners

Cheap detergent, soap, shampoo

We don't buy organics

Make our own salad dressing

Use frozen veggies instead of salad kits

Don't throw anything away

Lunchmeat only on Sunday

Use paper towels only for cleaning toilet and meat dripping on counter- use rags for all else

No cereal- eat oatmeal or eggs and toast instead

 

Some luxuries I buy:

Swifter pads and liquid

Cheese- we eat more cheese than necessary

The Sunday Lunchmeat and chips

Hot sauce

Soy Sauce

Mayo

(I consider all condiments luxuries.)

Cat Food (it's a stray we feed and give medical care to)

Wine- we buy one 5.00 bottle almost every week

 

 

We use a lot of rice and potatoes- potatoes are great nourishment. They fill you up and have tons of vitamin C, protein and folic acid

 

We use dried beans at least twice per week

 

The kids and I usually have left overs for lunch.

 

I bake either cookies or bread every week.

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We average $300-$500 a month for 2 adults and a teenage boy. This includes non-food such as household, HBA, pet food and treats, paper goods, etc. Since I buy multiple categories of items at the same stores, I don't separate the food costs from the rest.

 

This is an average, because about few months (it varies) we go to BJ's and stock up on meat, paper products, and a few other bulk items. Those are the months we get closer to $500.

 

I match sales with coupons and use stock-up strategies.

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this is the kind of question that will be different for each area of the US.

 

We're a family of 9 and I spend a lot on feed (Ha! Freudian slip? I'm keeping it for the funny). We also live on the East Coast. 1400 a month or thereabouts.

 

I make a lot from scratch-mostly everything, actually. Even cleaners. If I were Warren Buffet I would probably still do the same. :D

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We spend around $700-$800 per month, which includes all toiletries, cleaners, pet supplies, etc. for 5 people. I'm pretty happy with what we spend. I haven't the time or inclination to do much couponing or shop several different stores. We could spend more than we do, we could probably spend less, but there are things we are not willing to give up.

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I am curious how much others spend each month on food for their family.

 

How many are in your family and what do you spend per average on food?

 

What do you do to cut corners?

 

Any great ideas you want to share on saving money on your monthy food budget?

 

As always insight and wisdom is GREATLY welcome.

 

We spend about $500/month for our family of 5. This is for food and most toiletries, paper, & plastic goods. We live in NYC with its extremely high cost of living.

 

We cut corners everywhere. I think almost 90% of what we buy is on sale. I stopped the mega-couponing years ago, it took too much time and hassle. I'll still use them on occasion, though.

 

We really just buy the basics, pre-thinking almost all meals, beverages, & snacks. We eat around the sale items. My high-schoolers get packed lunches every day and dh takes his, too. We don't buy junk food or sugary soda.

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IIRC my avg for this past year was $500- I buy our chicken for the year all at once- and sides of beef and lamb- that probably added about $100 a month to the budget for the year. I haven't done much to cut back this year to be honest, I had a new baby and was a bit busy. We are a family of 5- 1y-3.5y-6y. and 2 adults- one a nursing mom. We are gluten, dairy, and soy free, dye and preservative free and try to eat grain-free.

 

We don't do fancy cleaners- pretty much, vinegar, baking soda and Barkeeper's Friend. I use cloth napkins, diapers, wipes, rags- haven't ventured into cloth tp yet! We generally don't do snacks unless I find them at the discount store. Usually we don't eat out as there is hardly anything safe, if we do it is really basic and cheap. I menuplan and try to stay out of the store, I think those are the biggest savings for us.

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I have just started budgeting my grocery bill for $200 biweekly and that is for me and one teenaged daughter and an outside cat. I know I could cut corners but I usually don't spend as much as $200 but it is there if I need too. I am sure the more comfortable I get with my budget I can get even smaller with it. It also includes any toiletries and cleaners I need from Walmart. I have recently started cooking more from home and I am trying to get my daughter to make more stuff from scratch for lunches vs something that comes out of a box. I am hoping to get it to $300 a month in the near future.

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