Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ask the Internet: How Much Do You Spend on Food?

Today, a CHG-related question I can’t believe we’ve never asked before.

Q: How much do you spend on food?

A: Husband-Elect and I live in a not-upscale 'hood in Brooklyn, New York. For groceries, we usually blow somewhere between $50 and $60 per week, all meals included, except for maybe one office lunch and one night of takeout/restaurant dinner.

Sweet readers, how about you? If you could include your general location, the number of people you feed, and your average weekly/monthly food bill, it would be fab. I’d love to get a general idea of what kind of expenditures others are looking at. Thank you!

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

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105 comments:

Wonderland Papers said...

We (2 people) normally spend between $75-$90 a week on groceries. On top of that we usually eat out once a week. We live in St. Louis which supposedly has a lower cost of living. I would like to see our grocery bill go down a little bit

Jasmine said...

I live in Pittsburgh, PA, and I go grocery shopping about once every week and a half and spend around $18...so maybe $60 a month total including a couple of coffees and a visit to Chipotle.

Trista Teeter said...

We budget $350 per month for a family of 4 (including a 2 and 4 year old). We divvy this up by putting $75 towards each week, leaving an extra $50 to put towards stocking up on certain items on sale or just treating ourselves. This does not include the husband's $50 eating out budget...

We're on the east coast of NC, and I use as many coupons as I possibly can.

Cathy @ Chief Family Officer said...

I've been working on getting this number down, but right now it's about $100-125 for four people (two adults, two kids). I buy all organic/RBST-free dairy, 95% hormone and antibiotic-free meat, and 75% organic/pesticide-free produce.

Cathy @ Chief Family Officer said...

Oh, I meant to add that we live in Los Angeles.

Myrnie said...

We live near Seattle, NOT a cheap place :) I spend about $90-$150 a month on groceries, depending on if I'm stocking up that month or not. Two adults, a 5, and a 2.

Ros said...

My partner and I live in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), and food prices are overall fairly high. We'll tend to budget 100$/week Canadian, which is about 90$ in USD, depending on the exchange rate.

This includes all meals, at least 2 dinners with friends per week (still cheaper than going out...), as well as wine (which is expensive here! OMG taxes!) and an addiction to good cheeses.

Kimberly said...

One person, suburban Maryland-
average week would be I guess $50 at grocery stores (we go almost every day at lunchtime, from work), maybe $10 at the farmers market
once a week or so a dinner out, usually ends up about $40

I don't like those numbers - I've never looked at them very closely, as you can see because I really can't even tell you for sure how much I spend.

I am going to get started improving this!

MMB said...

For an international view...My husband and I live in Istanbul, are vegetarian, and spend about $30 a month on groceries. Most of that is on vegetables, olives and cheese. We rarely eat out but do occasionally order pizza or cig kofte (Turkish bulgur -or raw meat- meatballs) but he receives about $100 a month from his company on a kind of food debit card which can be used at many restaurants so that covers the pizza and his other food needs while at work.

gfpumpkins said...

I budget $250 of my graduate student stipend for food a month for only myself. A plus: I live in Madison WI (ie, not expensive). A somewhat minus: I eat gluten free (but I eat few food substitutes). I eat out only once or twice a month, and usually only at places that are reasonably priced, or cheap.

Anonymous said...

We (husband and I) live in the twin cities, mn, and I guesstimate we average between 50-75 per week on groceries. THat includes the 20/week for our CSA share (can't buy that much organic veggie goodness in stores for that price) and 90% of meals including lunches. Dinners/lunches out without the other spouse come out of our personal "fun money" not my weekly food allowance which really keeps that down.

It's hard to track how much I really spend since I have a very full chest freezer and pantry so some weeks I spend 10 for milk, lunch meat and apples, then the next week is 150 at costco replenishing.

I love cooking so I don't mind spending more since we rarely eat out except for with friends

Anonymous said...

I should clarify our CSA in MN was prepaid back in May, but I still count that towards what our budget is if we decide to renew or look for a different one next year, in trying to decide value for the money.

We would love to have our own garden as we have the space, but the bunnies eat everything, including my tulips, crab grass, and one of them is contemplating my lilies. At least the don't touch my rhubarb. . .

Love ours, but the pick up isn't the most convenient, However, I now really like radishes!

abbi said...

For two adults, $75-100/week on groceries...plus, we eat out a couple times too...man, that seems high compared to these numbers from others. I consider myself pretty frugal too!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I live in Houston, TX.....I think we spend way too much on food, but it's working for us. During CSA season, we spend $25 per week on that and another $25-$35 on meat, eggs, produce at the farmer's market. We also spend approx. $200 per month at the grocery, but that includes toiletries, etc. If it's not CSA season, you can add on an additional $15ish per week for produce at the market.

Our "eating out" budget is somewhat astronomical. We love to cook, but both work long hours, so on the weekends, we'll eat out a couple of times to rest and then may grab something during the week.... Maybe $150 a week on eating out or more if we go to a nice(er) rest.? Eek! I can't believe I just typed that.

willa said...

For three adults (me, my husband, my college-student brother) I strictly budget myself to $150 per month. It's much easier to just have my brother give me a third of that than to give my kitchen over to someone else. We live in rural IL, which is unexpectedly pricey. The only way I can stick to my budget is to shop at Aldi and plan meals extensively. We rarely eat out because this is the land of Applebee's and The Olive Garden.

Christine said...

I live in Elkhart, IN, with 8 other women. We spend ~$35/person for all our meals and all our alcohol, paper goods/cleaning supplies, etc., etc. We also have 7-15 guests for one larger meal every week.

I stock up at Adi about once every 3 weeks.

martha said...

I live north of Seattle WA...I am feeding a family (army) of 7: 2 adults and 5 teens(adult sized!) and many of their friends too.We always have 1-4 extras!I love cooking for a crowd!
I spend $600 a month. We eat as close to nature as possible and eat meatless at least 2-3 times a week. I buy very few prepared items- only on sale. I buy bulk grains and beans, can fruit and veggies, make jam from u-pick fruit, and bake my own breads and granola.

Anonymous said...

For me, my husband, and my stepdaughter (who we have 50% of the time), we spend 22$ a week on our CSA plus 75-90$ a week at the grocery store. We're in Denver, Colorado. We follow a lot of the CHG guidelines, so I think we eat about as cheaply as we can, but I'd love to see it go down a little more.

Jenny said...

Two adults, small town Alaska (food is really expensive), $100 a week. That includes all cleaning and paper products, and booze.

Alphacyg said...

My husband and I and five kids (10, 7, 5, 3, 1) spend about $125 per week on groceries.

I live in the uber-cheap Midwest and cook from scratch a lot. We both work from home, so we're able to spend a bit more time in the kitchen, and less time commuting.

I'd like to learn more ways to serve fruits and veg, which is why I love CHG.

Raven said...

In rural Montana, for a family of 4(2 toddlers) plus a big dog, we spend about $350 a month IF I'm being careful. It can easily go $100 more if we're eating out or if we are buying alcohol. That's slowed down lately as I am pregnant and it takes my husband longer to get through a bottle of wine by himself. No CSAs here, slim pickings at the farmer's market (mostly honey, soap, baked goods, and handicrafts) and a 66-day growing season. :(

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

I live in Portland Oregon and spend $400 a month for a family of 6. We only eat organic and I use no coupons. Payday I go stock up on bulk items from Winco (about $200)and the rest of the month I do shopping once a week just for milk or what not. $50 for each week but rarely do I use it all. I buy all my produce from a local produce stand which only sells organic or produce from farmers who practice green (who don't want to pay the $10,000 bill to be certified). I make everything from scratch and we do not buy anything prepackaged like crackers, chips, etc. No soda's, junk food, nothing.
And of course I show you how to cut your bills, slash your grocery bill and save money in every aspect of your life on my blog.
Surviving and thriving on pennies

Aryn said...

We spend about $100-110 a week on groceries for the two of us in Los Angeles. I'm gluten-free, which adds about 25% to our budget. It also includes our toiletries and cleaning supplies. I spend $20-40 at the Farmer's Market, $30-50 at Trader Joe's, and $15-40 at Ralph's, depending on how many cleaning supplies I need to buy!

We also buy eggs at the farmer's market and try to get grassfed beef and pastured pork at the market when we can, so that's another increase.

Jenna said...

Akron Ohio here, and for my husband and I and the 4 cats - it's about $60 a week. I bumped it up from $50 when I found out I had celiac and I started packing all my husband lunches for work. Oddly, by adding the $10 to the week, we're saving about $25 because he was spending about $35 a week on work lunches.

The area we live in is one of the best I've been in for cost of living - that $60 buys a lot of fresh produce, all the local & grassfed meat we eat... and still gives us room to splurge on occasion on eating out. The cats eat pretty healthily too :)

Diane said...

I am single and spend between $35 and $40/week. That doesn't include wine. It could probably be a lot less if I didn't eat meat - I eat meat or fish 1 to 2x a week. I live in CA.

Always A Lady said...

My husband and I spend $60-80/week on groceries, plus eat out about twice a week. We used to spend $40 at an ethnic market, but after some bad experiences with the meat and produce we only go there for staples (beans and such). We just got married and started living together, so I'm still getting used to feeding a man who eats 2-3 times what I eat. He's also not so good at eating leftovers. I used to eat for $10-25 a week pre-wedding. Oh and we live in Los Angeles.

alternakiddy said...

I and Fiance-Elect live in Queens, on the border of up and coming Jackson Heights. So for two people it's between $50-60, we eat out on Friday and usually on the weekends we find tasty things to eat. I also look at the sales, use coupons, and comparison shop at other stores in the neighborhood.

Once a month we go to BJ's mainly for stuff we use in bulk.

Annie Jones said...

For myself, my husband and our 7yo granddaughter who lives with us, we average just under $200 a month, or about $65-$70 a week. We live in the Kansas City area.

c.r.a. said...

My wife and I live in DC, and we spend about $60/week on groceries. We eat out/get takeout probably about once a week as well, and that can be anywhere from $15 for pizza to $100+ for a fancy celebratory dinner. I'm pretty happy with what we spend. We don't each much meat and what we get comes from the farmer's market, so it is expensive, but tasty. And from June to October most of our vegetables come from the CSA (which is about $25/week) or our garden.

Anonymous said...

I live in SoCal and, due to many food allergies, am forced to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, preservative-free . . .

I feed 1 person @ $140/month and I thought I was doing pretty well but when I see what others are doing, I am sure I could eat for less.

Ali said...

For two people, we spend $90-$130 (Canadian)/week in Vancouver. That covers all meals except for the odd weekend restaurant dinner. We eat mostly meatless, and cook from scratch - including baking our own bread, making granola, hummus, pasta sauces etc. Organic milk, and organic & free range/humanely raised meats (which is why we only eat meat about 1-2 nights/week - too expensive!!). Vancouver is pricey.

Heather said...

I am almost embarassed to admit this - 2 adults and 1 child - $800 a month and that doesn't include eating out. (We rarely eat out.)

I live in PA and a normal cost of living area. I buy no packaged foods (except for juice and seltzer/mineral water) and cook everything from scratch.

I will always buy local when possible and always from US, aside from certain cheeses and other "good" imports.

I admit to being a food snob.

DH EATS. Dinner is often his only meal of the day so a lot of food is cooked and eaten.

For example, I made a shrimp dish (with pasta and veggies and a salad) the other night. I used the entire 2 pound bag (wild shrimp from FL) and there were no leftovers.

A couple of months ago, I kept track of every cent spent on food and I was floored by how much we spend.

j. said...

Including all cheating and soda, I run between 10 and 18 dollars a week for just me. My ideal spending is closer to $30 a week, though, which would let me have some vegan ice cream and more fresh veggies.

Erin said...

I live in a suburb of Kansas City and budget $75 per week for just me and my 9-yr-old son. This summer I'm spending $15a week (included) on my CSA fruits and vegetables. Reading this, my budget seems comparatively high. We eat mostly fresh and organic, almost nothing packaged, and very little meat.

Brand-Eye said...

My family of four (2 adults, 4-year-old and 8-year-old girls) in NE Ohio spend about $120 at the grocery and maybe $20 at the farm market (seasonally) a week. I don't clip coupons but I do shop mainly at Aldi.

Angie said...

I live in a trendy neighborhood of Brooklyn and spend about $35/week just on groceries for just myself. Kris, I've noticed that you shop at the same supermarket chain (Key Food) but seem to find everything for much cheaper-- I'm guessing it has to do with the differences in our neighborhoods?

If I get really lazy and don't bring lunch to work at all, that can add up to another $40/week, but lately I've been relatively good about that so it's more like $15/week including snacks, coffee, etc.

I spend perhaps another $30/week dining out with friends, but I don't really consider it part of my food budget since it's a social thing, rather than a "can't / won't eat at home" thing. I almost never do takeout or delivery, so that doesn't factor in at all.

Samantha said...

I am in Central California. I pay about $80-$90/week for groceries--that includes everything: food, booze, paper products, etc. We buy a lot of meat & fresh produce.

emil said...

Family of 3 in NYC, $55/week on "fast food" (meaning, take-out without waiter service like a deli, not McDonalds), $140/week on groceries, and $71/week on sit-down restaurants = $277/week. Yowza!

chacha1 said...

I would hazard a guest that, including takeout!, DH and I spend at least $100/wk. We live in Los Angeles, but the high cost of eating is our own choice, absolutely. He buys raw milk at $8/half gallon, we buy grass-fed beef and eggs, and wine is part of the grocery budget. :-)

Texicanwife said...

Afraid I'm about like Heather!

There are 3 of us in the home, hubby & I and one grown child. I spend between $125-$150 a week for grocery products. [Other incidentals - toiletries, laundry supplies, pet food, etc., and our weekly bill runs right at $200 a week!]

I purchase local, and organic when possible. Cook everything from scratch. And we rarely ever eat out! [Who can afford to?]

I make out my menu in advance for the entire week, and shop exclusively from my list [if it ain't on the list.. we don't buy it!]

Looking at others here, I am wondering what I am doing wrong???

Help!!!

Can someone send me an email with hints or suggestions???

I talk to other locals, and they all tell me the same story! We are in WV, near the VA line. Is it locality???

Help!!!

Milehimama said...

I live in Houston, TX and feed a family of 10, including an 11 and 12 year old boy. We have two special diets here - my husband is on Atkins, and my eldest son cannot have MSG, food coloring, or artificial sweeteners (so no Ramen or Kraft Mac here.)

I spend less than $2 per person per day. My average weekly bill is between $120-150. I buy antibiotic and hormone free meat, and that's a big expense. So is fresh fruit and veggies. My kids eat fruit almost exclusively for snacks. About $40-50 a week goes to fresh produce. I don't buy all organic there, but only buy organic apples, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and spinach. I buy almost all of our food at a conventional grocery store (not farmer's markets, CSA, or cow share.)
I make many things from scratch, but not everything (especially not bread.) I buy hormone free milk, but not organic.

G. said...

We live in Boston, MA (very expensive) we spend about $100/week including paper products, cleaning supplies, etc.. We are a family of 4. this is not ideal for us as the area is very expensive but, I do my best to stick to our cuurent budget. We lived in a smaller more rural area before moving here and I spent around $80 and that served me very well. Here it is a little harder. :) I can't imagine living in NYC. It's probably the same if not worse as far as cost of living goes. :)

Meganne said...

My boyfriend and I manage to get by on about $100 - $150 a month in Columbia, MO. He's a vegetarian, and I make just about everything from scratch, meal plan with revamped leftovers, and shop specials faihtfully.

Me said...

Good Lord--you people are good. I have no idea what we spend (for our family of 3). I spend a lot of time at Whole Foods and Costco. I am excited if I get out of Costco for under $200 and at WF for under $100. I have a full pantry and full freezer as well.

Oh--we also get a delivery of organic fruits and veggies each week (which costs about $30)

erinforse said...

2 adults, in Minneapolis. We spend about $30/week on groceries, which includes toiletries but not cleaning items.
We try to go to the farmer's market when our schedule allows, and spend $20 on veggies and fruits there. On a farmer's market weekend, we also spend about $20 at the regular grocery store to get bread and whatever we couldn't find at the market.

We also eat almost entirely vegetarian; he buys deli meat for lunches and we very rarely buy fish for some extra protein that isn't supplemented by grains or veggies. We probably have fish (tuna, cod, catfish or salmon) 3x a month. Also, we buy most of our grains in bulk when we can.

We also make a list of meals for the week and stick to the list, sometimes we splurge and get candy or cookies, but we generally try to make all our treats (yay, new ice-cream maker!)

tyKa said...

Here in Northern California, we spend $90-$100 each week on all groceries (including paper products, etc). And we shop at a local Co Op and farmers market.

Jennifer said...

I feed 2 adults, a hungry 2 year old & a 100% breastfed baby (which only means mom eats more). I'm also currently not eating dairy which adds a bit to our costs. We spend about $60/week on groceries & $50/week eating out. We live in Connecticut.

Janette said...

You all are amazing. Food is the largest part of the budget- about $500 a month for two of us. We eat meat at almost every meal.
With my daughter and grandson with us- we may go over that budget as well.
I cannot see that we have much that we can cut coupons with...

cool mum said...

We live in NYC, Upper East Side--2 adults, a hungry toddler and baby. We spend between 75 and 100 per week. It used to be a lot cheaper, then I had to make big changes and limit carbs when I was pregnant. Protein can be so expensive!

Cassie said...

We (the DH and I) live in silicon valley and spend about $100 per week on food. We are trying to bring that down by cutting out the daily bottle of wine and eating vegan. I also made a $5 batch of split pea soup that I'll eat every day for lunch this week. Score!

Jillian said...

We currently spend about $140/week for 5 people (2 adults, 7,5,2). This includes our dining out and the stock-piling I like to do (whole grains in bulk--we grind our own flours).

We moved this year, so part of this is Indiana, part is North Carolina. I just used Quicken & asked for food average.

Elaine said...

Wow--I'm glad Heather and Texican wife posted or I'd be ashamed to post. My husband, my grown daughter and I spend $200/wk, including cleaning and paper. I'm ashamed. We are in rural Kansas.

Anonymous said...

I am very dubious about the gal who claims to live on $60/mo, including an occasional meal at Chipotle.

Cathie said...

We 3: man, woman, and 7 year old boy live in South Jersey. We have budgeted $80 a week for food, and I can usually stay within that. We do eat out once every 2 weeks or so, and don't include that in our grocery budget. We don't eat a lot of meat (I eat none, the other two eat little.)

Karen said...

I live in Honolulu, HI and the supermarket prices always make the tourists gasp. I am 1 person living in a 600 sq feet apartment.

I spend roughly $40-$50 a week avg. not including the occasional 1-2/week outing.

This is a rough estimate because I buy meats and frozen food in bulk about once a month and supplement with fresh fruits and veggies at farmer markets and supermarkets weekly.

Kris said...

Oh, man. You guys. These answers are great. Thank you very much for going at this with everything. I'm amazed at how well you manage.

To add to my original answer, I should mention that the $50-$60 number includes meat (we eat very little) and household items (toilet paper, cleaners, etc.) but not alcohol.

We think of the occasional bottle of wine more as a leisure thing. (Thank you, Trader Joe's wine store. Thank you.)

Elizabeth said...

For two people our budget is $50 a week, but the paycheck comes every other week, so usually on payday I spend about $60 stocking the kitchen and the next week is lower. Once every month or so I shoot for having a $20-30 week of groceries and use what's been sitting in the back of the pantry/fridge/freezer for a while. Not everything is made from scratch but a quick plan and having the same few meals at least every other week saves us a lot of money. We're in northwest Arkansas.

Kitter said...

We live in the expensive Bay Area (No CA). 2 adults, 2 kids (4 & 2)... $700/month. That includes our CSA, and about half the meat we eat is organic. We eat a lot of homemade, plus some packaged (crackers!). It is SO hard to spend less than that!

Daniel said...

Whenever I get an attack of the cheaps, I can feed the two of us for a full week on a $20-25 grocery bill--if I focus on making double batches of three or four simple veggie or near-veggie meals, and staying away from high-cost, low-satiety foods like boxed cereals, prepared and processed foods and snacks. I don't think you can get too much cheaper than that in Northern New Jersey.

Otherwise though, our tab for a week of food runs around $50-60.

Dan
Casual Kitchen

Emily @ Relishments said...

I live in Western Massachusetts (Northern Berkshires). I spend probably $65 a week for food for my husband and I. Sometimes I wonder why it's so much...but it is. We pretty much never eat out.

Natalie said...

This makes for fascinating reading!

I'm another international entrant, I live in London, UK and feed myself and my husband.
our bills vary, last week I spent £75 ($118 USD) but that included paper products and staples we had run out of, like olive oil, tinned tomatoes, etc. That doesn't include alcohol but does include all meals and we rarely eat out.

As the DH feels that 'no meat = no meal' we eat some sort of protein almost every night, although I try to eat veggie during the day. As London is an expensive city I've also learnt to find bargains where I can, like local produce markets where I stock up once a week, and I get our meat from our local butcher and fishmonger.

Rebecca H. said...

I live in Austin with my boyfriend. We plan 3 meals a week, buy a few "lunch" items like cans of tuna, and try to live off leftovers for the rest of our dinners. We end up eating out about once a week. Not including dinners out, we average about $50 a week. We would love to get more bang for our buck, though, but aren't sure how!

Jenny said...

We (my husband and I) live in the Kansas City area. We spend $60-75 per week on groceries which includes all our lunches and dinners, plus household items. We eat out about one time per week. Of course some weeks are lower and some are higher, but that is rare.

Martha said...

I spend $130-$150/month on groceries/farmer's market for 1 (plus dinner guests every week or two), and probably about $100/month eating out - a few $5-10 lunches, and a couple of more expensive dinners with drinks. I'm in the Boston area.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

Two people in New York City. Over the last year we have spent on average $570 per month on everything consumable -- groceries, eating out, all snacks including bottled water from the deli, alcohol, etc. It works out to about $140/week.

We could cut back quite a bit in terms of eating out (although we don't eat out all that frequently) but a large part of our social lives includes meeting friends at restaurants. I bet when the weather gets cooler, we'll start staying indoors and inviting people over more often.

Annie said...

I spend about $100/week on groceries for my husband and me. We live in downtown Seattle. We also go out to eat far too often. I can't seem to spend less than $100 a week on groceries - not sure how you manage in Brooklyn.

The Nervous Cook said...

My Manhattan-dwelling husband & I spend on average $65–$80/week on groceries and/or provisions. That includes maybe two dinners out, and only recently has my husband stopped mostly eating takeout at lunch.

I typically shop at Whole Foods (Chelsea) supplemented by some Saturdays at the Union Square Greenmakert, and we normally eat meat about once a week.

It's so interesting to hear how everyone else manages their eating lives!

Julie said...

Des Moines, Iowa. We are a family of three -- 2 adults and a kindergartner. We spend $70-75 a week.

All suppers are from scratch, but with at least one night of leftovers. We might opt for a pizza every couple of weeks (payday treat). Other than that, we don't eat out. The figure includes all breakfasts, lunches and suppers, plus hubby's work lunches/snacks. I buy some organics, use coupons when I have them, and read labels. I often buy ahead or take advantage of really good sales to stretch the money, but my goal is to reduce the spending to $50-$60.

Alas, hubby is also a "no meat, no meal" guy, and he is rather picky about generics and what veggies he'll eat, so that might be more of a challenge than I can reasonably meet (or that I want to meet, for that manner. Deprivation is a baaad thing.)

Megan said...

I live alone and spend about $100 a month at the grocery store, counting alcohol and etc. I shop sales but not coupons. I'm also a bit ashamed to add that I probably spend about $120 a month (or more!) eating out with the boyfriend-- but what can I say? We live in Chicago, and we both feel it would be a bigger shame to not explore the wonderful restaurant options in the city.

Sim said...

Another international poster here, from Sydney australia, one of the more expensive areas. It's amazing to see the difference in costs!

For 2 adults and 2 children I spend about $460 a month US. Apparently the average is closer to $800 a month US.

All my friends are amazed that I can get our budget this low. We don't have coupons here, I shop at aldi and make everything from scratch. It takes a lot of time to get the budget this low.

mark e said...

I don't know how all of you are keeping your numbers this low. I'm single in Oklahoma City and based on the numbers for the past 36 months I average $414.26 per month between eating out and buying groceries. That's a vegan diet with no soda, alcohol, or coffee. I'm not attempting to be frugal, but I'm not splurging either.

Nita said...

Wow, I've never realized how expensive food is here in New Zealand, if you can easily get by on less than $90 in the States! Shopping for two, we spend $140 a week ($100 US) (excluding the cost of takeaways for one night), but that's shopping at the cheapest chain (Pak'n'Save), buying a lot of home brand items, going to the cheaper greengrocer for fruit and veg, and avoiding expensive cuts of meat. I think meat pushes the overall bill up quite a lot - even something like beef mince (hamburger meat) costs around $10 US a kg ($~5 US a pound). I think these comments have inspired me to try and be a bit more frugal with regards to groceries!

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

We spend $100 a week for two adults and 4 children (11 and under).

This includes toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Countrymama said...

For the three of us I spend at most $75 a wk to cover food and household needs here in GA.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I spend about $80 a week on groceries, which doesn't include 3-ish lunches for me or once a week takeout. The main culprit is boxes of cereal... when we get busy we eat like six-year-olds.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I live in midtown Manhattan and shop mostly at the Morton Williams and the Union Sq. farmer's market. (I'm the $80/wk cereal eater!)

to.brasil said...

I, a single, 21 year old uni student, spend on average $30 a week (more when I buy meat, which I tend to buy in bulk and freeze, so I'll buy it once maybe twice a month, weeks when I don't buy meat my bill comes in around $25). I eat cheese and yogurt (when it is on sale), and drink milk. A typical week is 2L of milk and 250g of cheese (sometimes a bit more from the deli if I'm feeling fancy), along with a tub of yogurt.

This $30 does not include wine, I usually buy one or two bottles a month, at about $10 each. I rarely eat out, but when I do I take that money out of my *FUNTIMES* budget, not my food budget.

I think I do pretty well. I cook a lot, making good use of my slow cooker and I intend to start using my dutch oven a lot when I get back to school in the fall. I know friends who are also single uni student and manage to spend anywhere from $30 to $100+ a week on food, which to me just seems like a lot, but to each his own :)

Heather said...

I am glad my confession was of comfort to some of you :)

My husband has some food "issues" from childhood. He and his siblings were feed trash food while the parents feasted on steaks, all while being told kids didn't need/deserve to eat anything better than x,y,x.

That type of hurtful memory lingers and therefore, he does not allow (well, doesn't want me to) m to cut back on the quality of food we eat.

So as long as he can afford it, he eats what he wants. If he spots a $15 a wedge cheese that he likes, he buys it, which is why our food bills are high.

Leslie said...

For 2 people, one being a vegetarian, the other not we spend about $150 a month on groceries. We eat lunch at work during the week(have a cheap cafeteria) and try to shop at the city market usually once a month which has lots of cheap produce. We live in Kansas city, Mo.

Anonymous said...

We spend about $80-100 a week in Baltimore City. When we were broke I spent closer to $40-$50. Now that we have more money, we eat mostly local for our dairy, eggs, meat, fruit, and veg. We rarely eat out and always brown bag for lunch (the benefits of so few good restaurants), but we cook and eat for entertainment at home, which definitely pushes up the bill.
Mary

Anonymous said...

Family of three in Portland OR, we spend $700 per month. I am very conservative (I actually make the crackers). We almost never eat out, I always make my son's lunches and my husband and I work at home and so eat lunch at home. I do shop at New Seasons (a local chain that treats it's employees well, provides lots of local goods, and does good things for the community) even though it's more expensive (less then Whole Foods). I can't be bothered to go to three different grocery stores. Seriously, I think some of you people are rounding down here.

Anonymous said...

Another international here - Glasgow, Scotland. For two adult food snobs, we average about 50-60 pounds per week(about $75-90). We only eat local grassfed meat, which along with cheese and fruit really pushes up that total. We're awfully fussy about our food - not just organic grapes, but also pasta, flour, chocolate, etc. Go to supermarkets, farmer's market, and high-end shops, but apart from his bananas we don't regularly buy out of season.

taqwoman said...

I, too, am astounded by how low these estimates are. Our family of 2 adults and 1 child spends around $600/month on groceries (that includes paper products, shampoo, overnight diapers), plus another $200 or so on eating out (mostly lunches at work). We are vegetarian and don't buy a lot of extravagant stuff.

AmandaLP said...

I live in a lower income area of Brooklyn, but our local grocery stores are horrible when it comes to perishable foods. I usually get delivery from Super Foodtown in Bed Stuy, along with occasional trips to Fairway, BJs, and Whole Foods.

My partner and I spend about 400 a month on groceries. I have to eat a higher protein diet, and my partner refuses to feel full on any meal that does not include meat, so I think that is the largest expense.

Anonymous said...

I budget $60 a week for one person in the DC suburbs, with a pantry stocking of about $200 every few months. Half of my weekly spending is at the Farmer's Market, the rest at the grocery store. I realize I eat very expensive food - organic, local, grass-fed, etc - and work to keep costs down by primarily cooking from scratch and limiting meat. I spend maybe another $75-100 a month on one or two nice dinners out.

Denise said...

We are two adults and one toddler. We budget $400/month. Hubby takes $160 of that and gets himself lunch for work as well as the occasional fast food breakfast or fast food dinner. With the remaining $240 I provide all the meals for the toddler and I,a family dinner 4 nights a week or so, as well as all the other consumables (diapers, wipes, cleaning products, TP, ect.)

On Saturday we may eat out for lunch or dinner while out and that comes out of a different budget.

I love coupons, buy processed food, and I buy very few organics, :(, and I do NOT buy beef in any form. (I do buy chicken and pork and very rarely seafood.) I can't get to the farmer's market very often, but when I do I love to go at the end and bargain for their remaining produce.

I live in Southern California, very inland (much cheaper than the coasts). I believe our food prices here are on the low end of average.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I live in Houston, TX.....I think we spend way too much on food, but it's working for us. During CSA season, we spend $25 per week on that and another $25-$35 on meat, eggs, produce at the farmer's market. We also spend approx. $200 per month at the grocery, but that includes toiletries, etc. If it's not CSA season, you can add on an additional $15ish per week for produce at the market.

Our "eating out" budget is somewhat astronomical. We love to cook, but both work long hours, so on the weekends, we'll eat out a couple of times to rest and then may grab something during the week.... Maybe $150 a week on eating out or more if we go to a nice(er) rest.? Eek! I can't believe I just typed that.


Ummm.....just looked at receipts, credit card statements, etc last night....while the number of $500 ish per month on groceries I listed WAS good....it's more like $250+ per week on eating out. Gah! We really need to start planning our meals at home better...granted that's always with a bottle of wine if dinner is eaten out.

Marcia said...

We - two adults and a four year old...

Generally, we are at $4900/year or $94 a week. I expect this year will be a little bit more than that, as I am working full time and buying more veggies and more convenience items.

I live in Coastal Southern California. Pretty pricey. We eat mostly vegetarian. When I do buy meat, I buy it organic/free range. I belong to a $20/week CSA for most of the year (10 months). I eat a couple of pounds of produce per day.

We eat out rarely. My spouse eats lunch out once/week and I buy my son the school lunch once/week for $2.50.

We buy very little processed food. Produce is by far the biggest expense. I started really working on my food budget about 8 years ago, and this is about as low as I can go and maintain a full-time job. And not go crazy.

Though last year I was aiming for $40 to $75 a week (alternating months), and I did that for 9 months. On my blog I finally fessed up in September that I lost steam.

Anonymous said...

I've been keeping track of my grocery bills for over a year and I spend about $300 a month on food. There's just me here, I cook all my meals, rarely eat out and live in Kansas City. This seems high in comparison to what many of you spend. I eat some, but not a lot of meat, most days, try to buy store brands, stock up on sale items and go to Aldi's every few weeks for staples. I'm not sure what I'd cut out to reduce this bill, or, frankly, if I'd want to reduce the good quality meat, cheeses and produce that I buy. At least it's way cheaper than eating out; I took a friend out to dinner to a well-reviewed steakhouse in St Louis a few months ago; dinner for 2 with wine was just over $200, so I'll live with a $300/month food bill I guess.
mikeinkansascity

Harper said...

Single, Denver. My food spending is wildly inconsistent. I'll go from made-from-dried beans and rice and homemade vats of vegetable soups to imported cheese and olives, french bread, food bar items from Whole Foods, and other pricey treats. My food costs probably vary between $25 and $75 per week. Yikes! Failing to plan ahead is my downfall. And I haven't been hitting the farmers markets this year. However, I have been bringing lunches instead of going out most of the time this year.

amanda said...

3 adults and 4 children in rural Texas. In July I spent almost $600 on just food - not including eating out. Those Sonic runs add up and I'm afraid to add them to the grocery money; I might die of shock!

Anonymous said...

I live in Jerusalem, Israel and spend 60 NIS a week on food - a little less than $15. Although fresh fruits and vegetables are affordable when they go on sale, meat and dairy products are quite expensive in comparison to the US. My budget demands a vegetarian diet and I can't afford to eat out or purchase sweets.

Sandra said...

Our family of 3 (DH, 5 yo DD, and myself) spend 350-400 per month (suburban MD). We eat meat and I do use some coupons. This does not include eating out.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating. I love reading everyone's input.

I'm single, live in downtown DC and spend about $55 per week on groceries. I spend another $40 or so eating out.

I love to cook, and usually prepare two big meals per week and split them up for lunches and dinners. I very rarely eat out or buy fast food on my own, I only go out for social events.

I probably eat an average amount of meat, but usually cook vege at home. I love beans and rice! I use coupons occasionally, and shop sales.

I am getting married in a few months, and think that the two of us, once living together, should be able to eat at around the same budget ($60 or so a week). I am really looking forward to being able to buy more in bulk and have someone to share leftovers with.

From reading comments it seems like DC has one of the most expensive food bills. Great.

Kristine said...

I just finally entered receipts and reconciles my bank account (um, it's been 6 months). We spend from 900-1100 on groceries, diapers, and cleaning products. About 90 of that is just diapers. Yikes! We almost never eat out. We're a family of 8, the oldest child being 11yo, in Oklahoma. Where the produce is always expensive, and rarely good. But I try to cook everything from scratch anyway.

kelly said...

You guys are boggling my mind. We (3 adults a toddler and baby) spend an average of like $600/month on groceries. Including non-food grocery items like diapers and dish soap and stuff. We shop at Sam's and Wal-mart, and maybe $10/week at the farmer's market. I don't use coupons. I do meal plan. We hardly ever eat red meat. We buy meat and frozen veggies in bulk. I buy the store brand usually. What the heck am I doing wrong? How are you accomplishing these $150 a MONTH figures?!

aletheia_vox said...

We spend about $30/week on the two of us and the bf splurges another $10/week on beer. We live in an uber unhip part of Brooklyn (most of the female neighbors dare not appear in public without a head covering).

I was on food stamps for four months last fall (months before the bf and I moved in together) and the pay raise that bumped me out of eligibility was a mixed blessing. On this budget, I was able to stretch 4 months of food stamps over nearly a year. I think there's $40 left in my account.

Anonymous said...

We're two adults in Austin, and we can count on spending $40-65/week on groceries. We probably eat out to the tune of $30-40 per week, too, with the occasional lunch (maybe once a week for each of us) and one moderately-priced dinner out together.

Mammamer said...

I live in the Boston area and, for a family of 4 (2 adults/1 5yo, and one toddler) I can't seem to keep it under $150/wk although I can sometimes get it down to $125/wk. We eat out maybe once a week for $25 more. I clip coupons and shop the circulars but I try to buy mostly organic, hardly any meat, and stick to the "Dirty Dozen." Today I almost had a fit because the organic red peppers were $2.50 per pepper! And I really wanted one!

I am amazed at all the families who can keep the numbers so low!

RaeBerry said...

Our family (2 adults, 1 toddler) spends about $255 per month for all groceries, diapers, and toiletries. I coupon the life out of all non-grocery items (toilet paper and diapers), have a "do not buy above X price" list, and stockpile food and toiletries. We also switched to a meatless-weekday menus (health/environmental reasons and found cheaper bills a side benefit). I also do batch/freezer cooking for soups once a month for lunches so hubby isn't eating out. Usually shop at large local ethnic market, regular grocery store, and drugstore. In Atlanta, Ga.

cAMY said...

After reading these posts I am spending way to much! 2 of us and we spend usually around $300.00. I never feel like I have an abundance of grocieries either. I use a lot of ground turkey (1.19)instead of hamburger. I have been trying to eat better and spend less, but I need to come back to the blog more often! If I could get to $50 a week that would be terrific.

James said...

Family of 4 in southern maryland, I'd say close to $500 a month not including out to eat. Kind of steep, but we buy mainly organic. Don't budget as much as I should either I just but what catches my eye on top of the normal list of groceries.

BlessedBlogger said...

We spend roughly $600 to $800 a month ($150 to $200 a week) for two adults and 12 cats (yes, 12) and that includes non-food (like aluminum foil and detergent and cat food/litter). we live in Wilmington DE and shop between here and Philadelphia where my husband works. I'm told that this area is very expensive grocery wise and have to agree. I have Celiac disease and some food allergies so that and the cats obviously add to the expense. We plan our meals really carefully, use coupons when it's possible (most coupons are for junk) and cook about 75% from scratch.

Anonymous said...

I would love to reduce my food bill per month. I look for the market sales and since I am a chef, I prepare all our meals. Unfortunately, as you all know fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, cheese is expensive. Anything not prepared and in a can is much cheaper. For two people I spend between $250-$300 per week in upstate New York.

Anonymous said...

One person, myself, 27 y.o. girl,in Bucharest,Romania, Eastern Europe, spend about 50 eur per week on groceries and that does not include lunches at the office, which cost an additional 20 euro per week. so unfortunately life is not cheap at all here, although incomes are much lower that everywhere else.