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How much do you spend a week on groceries?

by J. Money on Monday, January 10, 2011

food face plate
I was mailing out one of the $50 Christmas Stimulus gift cards the other day that I was kinda slacking on (oops), and I got a pretty interesting email back from the winner.  Get this — she said she could feed her husband and herself for almost TWO WEEKS on that much money!   She only spends $30/week on groceries!!! It almost blew my socks off :)

And then it got me wondering how much everyone else spends on groceries each week?  So I tweeted it out to Twitter land, and Facebooked it around on BookFace (remember Jim’s Halloween costume? haha…) and what I got back was an array of all sorts of different numbers and lifestyles. Of course there are a TON of different variables that come into play here — number of family members, diet, location of where you live, if you include alcohol or toiletries or anything else you can pick up at grocery stores, eating out, etc – but I wasn’t about to sort it all out in 160 characters or less ;)

So, take from this what you will, but all I know is that many of you have far out frugal’d the Mrs. and I! I am taking notes, and I admire your stealthiness. Here’s what you all came back with when I asked what you spend vs the $30/week our friend does:

  • @studenomics: lol that’s how much I spend in a day sometimes!
  • @growrichsimply: $125 for a family of six… my wife says we can shrink it, but only if we become veg… not happening dude.
  • @jopinion: that is insane… I spend at least $50/week and its just me. wtf
  • Meredith Lines: $40 to $50 for two adults. I can get it down to 25 or 30, but that means no booze!
  • Sarah Parsons O’Neill:  Family of 6, and our normal weekly budget is about $100-$125. I will spend $175/week about once every 2 months. I could get it a lot lower if I cut back on buying “easy” foods like juice boxes, packaged crackers, apple sauce cups, etc… but I have 4 kids and I would go insane if I had to portion that stuff out all the time. I used to be that crazy coupon lady, but I really eased up on that too, because it was consuming a lot of my time. I should devote some time to cutting a few and saving at least a couple of bucks though… Well that is just the grocery store, that doesn’t include fast food (shameful), or restaurants.
  • @ItStartsWithUs: $60/week – just me – for groceries & eating out.
  • Lisa Davis: About $80 a week for a family of 5 – I used to spend about $50 but with working full time plus in the end of building a house and moving, I have bought more foods that are convenient (bagged lettuce, precooked chicken, etc)
  • Rachel Adams Howard: We spend $350 every two weeks (2 adults, 1 toddler, 1 infant) BUT I am curious if these low numbers people post are just food, or is this including all the other stuff you pick up at the store like diapers, TP, or bathroom stuff?
  • Kimmie Mirocko: just one in the household, i budget $190 a month (just upped it from $150). but that includes all household items and toiletries as well as cat food and litter. i know i can do better!
  • @devilishdelish: I eat out all the time, so probably at least $100 for just myself.
  • @blondeonabudget: If I just buy groceries/don’t eat out, I probably spend $35-40/week. I’m sure I could spend less if I started couponing! lol
  • @BestMoneyBlog: Um. Try $150+ easily a week for 2 people. Way too much.
  • @Amityville8: Too much.
  • @jerrets: $30/week for food means she’ll need her colon replaced in about 20 years. I spend $160/week for a family of 5.
  • @kitchenpenguin: $50+ depending upon if I want to stock up on sale items or if the pantry is running low.
  • @groceryalerts: We spend around $60 for 2 of us.
  • @brownstoneREIgr: I need that person to teach me a few things.
  • @rhyswynne: I’m on about £30 ($50) a week.
  • @HeatherPierucki: Ummmm, I’m embarrassed…but probably $350 a month for two of us…and four dogs…
  • @abbymaries: Way too much. Prob $50/wk on groceries for myself & fiancé. Then @ least 2 dinners out, 3-5 lunches & one coffee. :(
  • @GrlRedBalloon: I spend $120 per month for myself. So about $30 per week. But it’s just me! :)
  • @krystalatwork: I used to only spend $25/week when I was getting out of debt, but that was just for me. Now I spend $40-50/week
  • @smartstep: way more than $30!
  • @MalnurturedSnay: Way more than $30. How does she do it? I would love to save on my grocery bill.
  • @SS4BC: $300/month. But I’m a family of 1. :)
  • @pixie658: I spend $50-$100/wk. I don’t save a whole lot even if I don’t eat out bc I buy a lot of health food, local goods & seafood. But I almost always stay within my budget which is what matters. ;) I’m including alcohol as food btw. Hehe. ;) Last tweet! Happy Friday!
  • @payingmyself: we spend about $100 cdn per week at the grocery store – incl household supplies
  • @eemusings: Uh, more like $130 for two. Food prices just keep goin’ up and up…
  • @Getalonghome: We spend about $70/wk for a family 5 (6, but one is still nursing.)
  • @ms_candibee: $50-75/wk for 2 people and that’s with a lot of fresh veggies and the more expensive/good whole foods.
  • @foxytuner: Hubs & I spend ~$80 every two weeks on food for us. We like eating out… ^_^;
  • @serendipity85: I spend about that for Rambo and I although I’d love to spend 60 a week
  • @PennyFrugalista: $75 a week for myself and my husband. Yay, coupons & sales!

After running some numbers myself, I quickly realized that we are totally way over what it seems an average couple spends on food.  (If I weren’t so lazy, I’d actually google for that average right now, haha…).  Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy and I spend a whopping $100 every week on groceries! That includes all cat stuff (we have 2), home stuff, hairsprays, toothpastes, shower stuff, and anything else you can pick up at Safeway.  Which we know already puts us behind (We’re considering swapping to Shoppers Food Warehouse, but it’s just a bit farther out from us and not as cozy & nearby as Safeway). And that doesn’t include alcohol OR eating out either. Crazy, huh?

What do your grocery numbers look like? List ‘em out with the following variables:

- Number of family members (including pets): _______
- City of where you live: _______
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? _____
- Does this include alcohol? ______
- Does this include eating out? _____
- These numbers make me _____  (happy? proud? frightened?)

Hope some of you make us feel better!! Haha… nah, no right or wrong answers here.  This is purely for curiosity. We all have different diets and lifestyles, so putting too much stock in these comparisons won’t do ya much good.  But of course we can all use some motivation! :)

(Food face by y2bk)


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{ 193 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve January 10, 2011 at 7:51 am

For the four of us and the golden, we spend about $250 every week…unless we skip the week and then it is more because either my wife or I stop on the way home for dinner. This does not include eating out, but covers everything we need. I think it is too much, but with two young kids, we spend lots on juice boxes and individually packaged fruit. One of our goals this year is to cut back in terms of total weekly spending, or to use more coupons.

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2 Missy January 10, 2011 at 8:00 am

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 toddler, 2 dogs
- City of where you live: Overseas, US Military
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Amount spent weekly on groceries $80 (milk is an insane 2.79 a half gallon and I have a milk guzzling toddler :/ )
- Does this include alcohol? no Alcohol is purchased on the economy for about 20 euro a week
- Does this include eating out? No we very rarely eat out
- These numbers make me freak out

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3 Jaimie January 10, 2011 at 8:00 am

We are a family of five with one dog living in a small town in Ohio. We spend about 120 a week and that includes toiletries and other non food things. This doesn’t include alcohol (we don’t drink it), and it doesn’t include eating out (we only do that once a month or so and that’s about $50 for all five of us). I am pretty happy with these numbers, although I’m sure I could do better!

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4 jolie January 10, 2011 at 8:20 am

- Budget per week: $170
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults. 2 giant teenagers, 2 cats. 3 fish
- City of where you live: very small town Saskatchewan
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? no

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5 Everyday Tips January 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

I spend about 130/week for the 5 of us, but I do have 3 teenagers, and I buy a lot of fresh produce. I buy things almost exclusively when they are on sale, but I know I can’t do that with everything. Or sometimes I just forget and have to run out and get something unexpectedly.

I am ok with how much we spend because we eat at home a lot, and it includes the kid’s lunches 5 days a week. I pay close attention to shopping, so it isn’t like I feel bad about how much I spend. We eat well, I don’t want to force Hamburger Helper down my kid’s throats to save a few bucks.

Number of family members (including pets): __5_____
- City of where you live: __metro Detroit_____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? ___yes__
- Does this include alcohol? __don’t drink much____
- Does this include eating out? ___no__
- These numbers make me indifferent_____ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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6 Kams January 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

Weekly Budget: $100-$125
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 10 month old, and a big dog.
- City of where you live: small town Northern Ontario
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No

If it wasn’t for formula and diapers, this would be about $50 less. I make most of my own baby food, so its not as crazy as it could be.

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7 Jonathan January 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

Budget per Week – $40, of which we sometimes spend $30, sometimes $50, sometimes $0.

Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Johnston
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Nope
- Does this include alcohol? Once or twice a month
- Does this include eating out? Nope
- These numbers make me Satisfied :) (happy? proud? frightened?)

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8 Josh January 10, 2011 at 8:31 am

I spend about $150-$175 every 3 weeks.

- Number of family members (including pets): 1
- City of where you live: Minneapolis
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Sometimes, yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? I actually don’t eat out. My groceries supply me with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- These numbers make me happy. I know these don’t sound like the lowest numbers at the list, but I’ve found that eating out is a luxury I don’t necessarily need. I save a lot of money by bringing in lunch every day to work and making my own dinners. As a result, I don’t mind buying individual servings of food sometimes for packing a breakfast/lunch (see: 6 oz yogurt cups, fruit cups, etc…).

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9 Niki January 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

About $120 weekly
- Number of family members (including pets): 6 (1 cat)
- City of where you live:middle of nowhere PA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me wish I could spend less, but I just don’t see how it is possible. I use coupons, but we live in a place that has one grocery store and a super Walmart, there is not a lot of competition, price wise.

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10 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com January 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

I spend about $80-$120 a month, so about $25 a week on groceries.

- Number of family members (including pets): ___1____
- City of where you live: ___Dallas TX____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? __Y___
- Does this include alcohol? __Alcohol is disgusting____
- Does this include eating out? __N___
- These numbers make me __wish I didn’t eat out so much___ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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11 Tiffany January 10, 2011 at 9:04 am

We spend about $100 per week
Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults + 1 cute little lab
- City of where you live: Boston
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Sometimes, but we usually buy these in bulk when on sale
- Does this include alcohol? No – we rarely buy or drink alcohol
- Does this include eating out? No – we eat out only about twice/month
- These numbers make me a little frightened – we could cut it down…but I love to cook, and eat a vegan, mostly organic diet…so some things are more expensive. I’m ok with that. I’d rather not shop for clothes and put the money towards eating great meals every night.

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12 tom January 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

Amount per week – $80-120
- Number of family members (including pets): ___2+1 dog____
- City of where you live: ___St. Louis____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? __Yes___
- Does this include alcohol? ___Not often___
- Does this include eating out? __no, but it does include leftovers for lunch___
- These numbers make me __happy, we have good meals___

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13 Tea January 10, 2011 at 9:30 am

We budget $50 a week, but usually come in somewhere around $25 a week.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Tampa
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No, alcohol is taken out of the entertainment budget, even if we drink it at home.
- Does this include eating out? No, again eating out is in the entertainment budget.
- These numbers make me aware that I am not a normal shopper. I am couponer with a fully stocked pantry, I could eat out of my cupboards for at least 6 weeks without going to the store, this enables me to only buy what is on sale. Last week that was the “buy one get free” oatmeal (25 cents a box after coupons, I bought 30 cans, that will last all year.) and “buy one get one free” peanut butter (4.5 cents a jar after coupons, bought 34 jars, again, this will last all year). I buy my meat once a month from Land and Sea, usually their weekly special $24.99, since we don’t eat a lot of meat, that lasts us all month. I buy my produce from the farmers market at Hillsborough and 30th. We don’t eat a lot of processed foods and I buy my rice and beans in 25 LB bags. I bake and cook from scratch as much as possible. I have a deep freeze that enables me to take advantage of sales. All of this allows me to keep my food budget low while eating well.

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14 jen January 10, 2011 at 9:31 am

We spend about $85 on average per week on just groceries. Target is right across the parking lot from our usual grocery store (ShopRite) so I try to get all my toiletries and pet supplies (1 dog, 1 cat) there to save some money. This figure is usually for 4 dinners and 4-5 lunches (either sandwiches or leftovers from dinner) for 2 adults. We usually go out for 2 dinners, I always go out to lunch on Fridays, and does not include alcohol… but only I drink so it saves us some money when I’m the only one cracking open the bottle ;) Luckily, Philly has a ton of BYOB restaurants so that saves us quite a bit of money.

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15 Grant January 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

We spend on average about $100-$110 – That’s one big purchase on Sunday then a smaller purchase later in the week. We usually overbuy, but one of our resolutions is to be better about shopping with a food menu in mind and being aware of the fact we have that random spice or this can of beans so we don’t find ourselves overstocked and wasting food.

We have a small mom & pop grocery store that we walk to that has the most amazing produce and deli counter. Prices are about 30-40% cheaper than the national chain nearby. Sometimes we go there if what we need isn’t at the smaller store. We spent $72 yesterday, and if we do it right, we should have enough food to last us until at least Friday. That’s all meals.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Chicago
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Maybe 1 or 2 items
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? NO
- These numbers make me: Happy

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16 Matt January 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

For us, it’s about $120 a week. That’s about 20 meals a week betwee the two of us. Less than $6 per meal (since the figure includes non-food items) really isn’t that bad in New York.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: New York
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Yep
- Does this include eating out? Nope
- These numbers make me want to move to a cheaper city or just live off a fast food $1 menu.

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17 Rachel211 January 10, 2011 at 9:55 am

I just cant believe these low numbers!? What could you possibly be buying that you can feed two people all week with just $50?

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18 Blaze November 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

My first thought as a Canadian is that food is just cheaper in the US and couponing can be a full time occupation there. (we don’t have CVS, Walgreens or many of the stores that have US based websites dedicated to how to maximize the coupons and deals.) Around here I’m happy to find a 50cent off coupon once a month for something I actually buy. We’re far better off (and probably healthier) to just buy fresh unprocessed food and not worry about the coupons.
It could also be regional and seasonal differences – I know when we’re buried in snow in the dead of winter, anything fresh is being shipped up from the southern US, Mexico, Costa Rica etc and the prices reflect it.
Then it occurred to me that many people are saying NO the amount they’ve indicated doesn’t include eating out. If you rarely eat out then its irrelevant, the amount stated is covering all your food. If you eat out a lot, then that’s giant missing piece of the story.
If I have an enourmous dining out budget and eat dinner out 4 nights a week, buy my lunch at the office every day, then heck sure I would cut my grocery bill by half. I’d be making half as many meals. It might be more informative to take the grocery cost and divide by the number of meals served out of it. Far more impressive to serve 84 meals a week (4 people, 7 days, 3 meals per day) for $125 than to feed a couple half the time on the same budget and have them eating at restaurants from a different line in the budget the rest of the time. Personally we spend about $45/person/wk year round, which is down from about $60/person back in 2005 when I first began tracking and looking for ways to reduce it. We almost never eat out so that’s everything. We try to focus on what is in season, and buy local during the summer and fall. We eat very little processed food. We rely more heavily on frozen produce in the winter and a lot more soups and stews that stretch the dollars. My husband’s switch to a low carb diet (read more meat, no rice/pasta to stretch the dollars) has been a definite strain on keeping to the budget.

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19 michelle January 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

LOL i’m with jopinion – wtf ;)

just me, in suburban maryland, with a budget of $50 per week for groceries (hey there, whole foods, enjoy my monies). this includes toiletries and household products, but not eating out. our liquor cabinet is pretty well stocked so that’s not included either. i have a roomie, but we usually buy groceries separately :)

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20 CityFlips January 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

I honestly can’t answer this question. My mom does most of the grocery shopping and I just go along with it. Makes me sound spoiled and I suppose maybe I am. My guess is we spend around $50 for the 2 of us each week, but then there are splurge weeks. There are some great blogs with menu ideas and coupon deals listed every week. I like the “tutorial” for couponing by MoneySavingMom.com. She’s got the rational behind what she does and I’ve got to say she’s pretty convincing.

On the other hand it depends on your perspective on food. Are you trying to get by on as little as possible. Then yeah…I bet anyone could feed 2 people on next to nothing. Are you into more goumet meals? Then good luck! For right now I just deal with what’s in the house and see what I can make with it. When I get a real paycheck instead of a grad school paycheck I have a feeling it’s going to be a pleasure to spend money on all the recipes in Bon Apetit that I’ve been drooling over. So yeah…I’m just trying to say it’s about perspective.

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21 CBrad January 10, 2011 at 10:38 am

- 1, just Me
- I live in NYC where a box of cheerios costs almost $8 at the store near my apt….
- Yes, toiletries (minus face products), cleaning products, and paper good are included.
- Yes alcohol is included. Im a lightweight, plus I don’t go out to fancy drink places very often.
- Eating out is included. Again, I dont go out much to keep costs down, and try to stick to Subway for lunch when I don’t bring something from home.
- These numbers make me frustrated. I feel like I should be able to lower my weekly spending but NYC is expensive. And as much as I try to reign in my eating-out and ordering in, I would love to go out for dinner with my wealthier friends more often.

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22 Angie January 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

We spend about 100-125 per week. This is for a family of 4, no pets, limited alcohol, and includes all toiletries. I could go lower, but my hubby really likes meat (his words: “If it doesn’t have meat, it’s not a meal.”) So this budget includes roughly a pound of meat a day. This doesn’t include any eating out.

I’m ok with this budget. I know it seems big to some, but we are eating really well. I use coupons and shop sales, stock up as much as possible, and we eat lots of fresh produce. If we got into a bind I could shop out of my pantry and freezer for a couple of weeks.

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23 CBrad January 10, 2011 at 10:40 am

yeah and the number would help… budget $75 per week, $300 per month.

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24 Julie January 10, 2011 at 11:04 am

No more than $80/wk. Most weeks less. Past month or so — $60/wk.
We go out to eat maybe twice a year — wedding anniversary and maybe one other occasion. All meals are prepared from scratch — very few “convenience” or prepackaged foods — and leftovers are planned and eaten. No school lunches for the short person — except as a very occasional reward for exceptional behavior. Coupons used when they actually reduce the price below a store brand.
- Number of family members (including pets): 3 humans, 1 cat
- City where you live: Des Moines, IA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? yes
- Does this include eating out?no; don’t eat out
- These numbers make me meh. We could do better. It’s a game.

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25 K January 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

$65/week
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 people; 2 dogs; 1 cat
- City of where you live: San Diego
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? no
- Does this include alcohol? yes
- Does this include eating out? no (we spend $100/week eating out)
- These numbers make me okay

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26 Dawn January 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

OK, I’ll come out of hiding. I’m the winner of the gift card J$ spoke about with the low grocery budget. I agree that it is difficult to compare due to different life circumstances but here’s our info. The $30/week budget is for food and toiletries for my husband and myslef. We do not, unfortunately, have children yet but hope to soom. It includes food bought at grocery stores on sale AND with coupons (not one or the other) but does not include food for our dogs and cats (I have a seperate budget for them.) It does inlcude toiletries and household products also bought on sale AND with coupons. We are fortunate to have a grocery store in our area that has a very generous coupon policy and frequent great sales and I simply stock up whenever they have their best deals. The budget does not include eating out which we very rarely do. We live on a farm so grow a lot of our own food and have chickens for eggs. I have been vegetarian since age 11 and my husband since his teen years so that diet choice was obviously not made to save money but it does help. I think what helps us the most is that we eat a very simple diet (vegs, rice, beans, eggs, homemade breads, minimal milk and cheese), don’t eat too much, don’t drink alcohol, and don’t rely on pre-made anything or purchase what I call “novelty foods.” So, I hate to be contrary, but I will have to disagree with the reader who claims I will “have to have my colon replaced in 20 years.” There is a real assumption out there that you simply can’t eat healthfully without spending a ton of money. I admit it takes work but I think our health and our wallets are worth the effort. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s input!

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27 Dawn January 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

Sorry for the spelling errors! I need spell check on these comment boards!

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28 Jazzy L January 10, 2011 at 11:12 am

Very Helpful Article. I love the other posts! Thanks! I heard about a new site at Church. http://www.mygroceryspy.com It compares prices at the top stores here in Atlanta. From what I’ve read, it updates twice a week and shows where the lowest prices are on a few hundred items. You can print out your shopping list or have it sent to your phone. (I’m not savvy enough for that though). I email them since their not up yet, and they told me they will be up in January in Atlanta and Birmingham AL. then other cities. I can’t wait to try it.

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29 Clare January 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

I spend $50 – $70 every week.

- Number of family members (including pets): just me!
- City of where you live: Denver area
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me nervous!

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30 Michael Senchuk January 10, 2011 at 11:40 am

I was absolutely aghast when I ran our numbers in late 2010 as part of completely taking over household financial management (yeh, that’s a mouthful but that’s what I call it).

Family Members: 2 + 3 pets (2 dogs and a cat)
City: Edmonton Canada
Includes: everything purchased at grocery stores, so yes to toiletries et al. Does not include pet food as we buy that at a specialty store. Does not include alcohol or eating out.

The total: $145 per week. Owch.

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31 Alyssa January 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

-Amount spent/week: $90-120 (depending on how much meat we buy, and usually with $10-30 in coupon savings!)
-Number of family members (including pets): 3 adults
- City of where you live: Boston area
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Sometimes, not always
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me: content, since Boston has a high cost of living and I’m doing my part clipping coupons and checking grocery sales ads.

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32 Yana January 10, 2011 at 11:57 am

Number of family members (including pets): ___3____
- City of where you live: ____Newcastle, CA___
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? _No____
- Does this include alcohol? __Yes, but it isn’t bought frequently____
- Does this include eating out? __No___
- These numbers make me ___resigned__ (happy? proud? frightened?)

This is for food only. Nine months ago, we spent $284 in a month. Last month we spent $386 in a month. I figured we spend a hundred or so more now. I have changed what I buy because I am using food as medicine, treating myself with diet. I keep our accounting records for too long ;) – so I have the numbers of everything we’ve spent for at least a couple of years.

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33 Meredith January 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I spend $35 – $50 every week.

– Number of family members (including pets): Myself, partner, and 1 kittie
– City of where you live: Houston
– Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No
– Does this include alcohol? No (or very, very rarely)
– Does this include eating out? No
– These numbers make me frugal AND healthy!

Several posters have asked how do you shop with such a small budget? It’s all about planning. On Saturday evenings, I go through my cookbooks, fridge, and pantry, and look up recipes that call for items that we already have. For example, if I have frozen salmon in my freezer, I will look for a salmon recipe in my cookbooks, and then only buy a couple of items we don’t have. We also eat vegetarian, and even vegan most of the time, which saves tremendously. We shop at HEB, and look for specials at the asian market (great place to buy super cheap produce!) Here is what a typical grocery run looks like for us, for the week:

dozen eggs: 1.19
Canned Tuna: .79
Whole wheat pasta: .99
Tomatoes (2): .89
Frozen berries: 2.00
Rice milk: 1.00
Cucumber: .50
Sweet potatoes (2): 1.30
Onion: .40
Bananas (5): .85
Oatmeal, bulk (about 8 servings): 1.00
Carrots: 1.20
Peanut butter: 1.25
Whole wheat bread: 1.74
Tilapia (2 filets): 2.50
Mozzarella Cheese: 2.50 (Big splurge for us, but it will last forever.)
Broccoli: .39

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34 slug January 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

$150. This looks high but includes organic produce and as free range, antibiotic-free meats, fish and poultry as you can get. It costs A LOT to live this way.

- Number of family members (including pets): 3
- City of where you live: Raleigh
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Some
- Does this include alcohol? YES
- Does this include eating out? NO
- These numbers make me mostly proud.

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35 Cristina January 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm

We spend about $125/week on groceries, but I cook a lot and this includes cage-free eggs, free-range chicken, etc. when available. We also buy our share of fancy cheeses, tons of produce, and higher-end cuts of meat. I am pretty sure that I could cut this down to $75/week or less if I tried, but I enjoy cooking and don’t mind spending extra to eat well at home.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 small dog, but this doesn’t include his food
- City of where you live: San Francisco
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No
- Does this include alcohol? Yes
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me happy. You are what you eat, after all!

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36 Eric September 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I hope you are contributing to the pay check though or your husband might not be too pleased to know what you could save if you tried ;)

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37 sandra c January 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Average per week: $85

- Number of family members (including pets): ____2 adults +3 cats___
- City of where you live: _London Ontario______
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? ____Yes_
- Does this include alcohol? ___No___ (don’t drink)
- Does this include eating out? ___NO__ (we don’t eat out; once in 12 months)
- These numbers make me ___sad – I think they should be less__ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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38 Jimnet January 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I budget $150 per month – which equals to around $40 per week. Even though I budget $150, generally, I am usually under this.

Number of family members (including pets): One person, one kitty.

- City of where you live: Alberta, Canada

- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes, though I do usually make trips to places like Cost-co in order to stock up for months on toiletries, non-food or other things that I can get cheaper in Cost-co bulk size. I try not to have non-food things in my food budget.

- Does this include alcohol? I don’t drink alcohol.

- Does this include eating out? I don’t eat out. If I do eat out, I put that into my entertainment budget, only because I find that eating out is more entertainment for me.

- These numbers make me happy. I know I don’t spend a lot on food, even though I am always looking for more ways to save more. I try to be aware of food prices and try to shop around as much as I can or willing to do.

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39 jaythebanker January 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Weekly @ ~$150
Number of family members (including pets): 4
- City of where you live: West OKC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? N/A
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me .. happy (happy? proud? frightened?)

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40 pd January 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

average wk $80
- Number of family members (including pets): just me
- City of where you live: seattle
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? no
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? yes
- These numbers make me… frightened, because most of this is from eating out… could definitely be lower

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41 Erin January 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm

We spend an average of $10/day for my husband and I (so we put $310 in the food envelope this month). Our dog get an extra $60/month for her expenses, and our toiletries get an extra $30/month. We take eating out from the $310.

- Number of family members (including pets): ____3 (1 dog)___
- City of where you live: __Atlanta_____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? __n___
- Does this include alcohol? __y____
- Does this include eating out? __y___
- These numbers make me __happy___ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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42 Jennifer Lissette January 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

We spend between $100-$125 per week.

- Number of family members (including pets): 4 1/2 (2 adults, 1 toddler, 1 dog & 1 bun in the oven)
- City of where you live: San Jose, CA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? no
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me: Satisfied. Our numbers include locally grown produce, organic milk, grass-fed beef and whole grains. It includes little indulgences like locally made ice-cream (made just 10 blocks away), gourmet chocolate and artisan cheeses. My husband and I love good food, I love cooking and baking from scratch and we’re willing to pay for it. It’s the largest expenditure in our monthly budget after the mortgage, but it’s totally worth it to us.

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43 Kaye January 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

$80/week
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 child, 1 toddler, 1 small dog
- City of where you live: Savannah, GA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes including diapers
- Does this include alcohol? No–We don’t consume
- Does this include eating out? No–We’re trying not to while we get out of debt
- These numbers make me shrug. I know we can do better, but the time it takes is hard to find.

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44 Christine January 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

$125/week
- Number of family members (including pets): 6 (17 if you count the fish)
- City of where you live: Los Angeles surrounding
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No. Inclusive of cat food. Excludes fish food & toiletries.
- Does this include alcohol? Yes
- Does this include eating out? Nope
- These numbers make me feel I am at a happy medium.

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45 Beckey & Jeff January 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm

$100-$120/two weeks
- Number of family members (including pets): 5 (2 humans & 3 pets)
- City of where you live: Worcester, MA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No, we don’t drink
- Does this include eating out? No, separate budget for that
- These numbers make me happy. We buy a lot of store brand items (Market Basket rocks, taste just as good, if not better, than the name brand) and keep staples in the cabinets (pasta, canned veggies). We’ve actually brought it down from about $150/two weeks so we are doing good!

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46 John @ The Best Money Blog January 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Dear God I can’t be that fat…lol.

We spend about $600-$800 a month on groceries and eating out for 2 people, and we only go out to a “fancy” dinner ($30-$40) like 3 times a month.

Once we move back to our house I bet we can cut that in half, our apartment kitchen sucks the big one on storage and counter space.

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47 Cathy January 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

$100/week on groceries plus $100/mo @ Costco.
Doesn’t include eating out once a week.

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48 Kate January 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Schwing! I just went back and added it up. We’ve spent $835 in the last month, plus at least another $100 in milk from the local shop. Also, we had quite a splurgy month in the food department: standing rib roast for Christmas, and picked up a crown pork roast that is waiting in the freezer, and spent a small fortune in baking supplies.

We live overseas and purchase our food at the military commissary or on the economy.

Six people (two adults and four adolescents) plus two cats.

Includes nearly all toiletries.

Does not include eating out. We don’t have a lot of choices here, but maybe twice a month we have a snack of fast food. I can’t think of one restaurant meal in the last month. It also includes quite a few after-school snacks, as I tend to zip through the supermarket vs. drive-through or convenience store.

Does not include alcohol.

I feel like we could do better, but I also feel like we eat relatively frugally without much in the way of processed foods. Also, I love food. Cooking and eating together is a big part of our family. We are much more likely to spend a Saturday afternoon trying out a new recipe than going to a movie or whatever else it is that people do on Saturday afternoons.

FYI, I do budget counseling and the standard we use is (very roughly) $200 per month for each adult and about $180 per month for the kids. (It is graduated based on age.) My family is estimated to spend about $1000 a month on food.

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49 retirebyforty January 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm

We spend about $100 every two weeks, not too bad.

- Number of family members (including pets): _2 _____
- City of where you live: _Portland
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? __Y___
- Does this include alcohol? __not really __
- Does this include eating out? ___NO__
- These numbers make me ___pretty good__ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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50 Trinnie S January 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

- Number of family members (including pets): 3 adults, 1 toddler
- City of where you live: Colorado Springs, CO
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? once a month or so
- Does this include alcohol? nope!
- Does this include eating out? OMG, no…if it did…wow…
- These numbers make me think I need to cut more coupons…

After figuring out a ballpark figure, If it’s groceries only, we spend about $75/week…with alot of that being orange juice for my son (who seems to think that OJ is like water). If we throw in toiletries and cosmetic-y stuff, that puts it to about $125/week. I buy our bulk stuff at Costco, i.e. toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc…when I make that trip, that’s a couple hundred bucks…but! that’s only a once every 2 months kinda trip.
Keep in mind, with the $75 a week, includes hubby and I eating out for lunch, pretty much every day and (for me), sometimes breakfast.

I think I can do better on my budget.

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51 Jessica January 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I spend roughly $150 every two weeks.
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 5 year old good eater, 4 year old crappy eater
- City of where you live: Suburb of Orlando
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yepper
- Does this include alcohol? Nope, I don’t drink and husband’s beer comes out of his fun money
- Does this include eating out? Nope, we don’t eat out much.

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52 Ally January 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm

We actually have been on a ‘no real grocery shopping’ thing lately – in December we bought a ton of groceries. I did buy some milk, eggs, things like that since we have a 2 year old.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 toddler (2 1/2), 1 large dog
- City of where you live: Rochester, MN
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes, but not Diapers, or dog food- Does this include alcohol? No, we don’t usually buy this except when we have a little extra in the budget
- Does this include eating out? No, but when we eat out.. usually at Chipotle – it is $25 MAX!
\ These numbers make me: giddy, because we are allowing ourselves to work towards being debt free – and adding another child to the family at some point in the future.

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53 Ally January 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I guess I should have posted we have about $200 a month in our budget for groceries, we don’t always use it… coupons are what I am fond on!

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54 Jenn k January 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm

WE spend about $150 a month but know we could do better :(

Number of family members (including pets): ___7____
- City of where you live: ____near DC =, Northern VA___
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? _yes____
- Does this include alcohol? ___yes___
- Does this include eating out? __no___
- These numbers make me _sad..____ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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55 20 and Engaged January 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm

The Mr. and I usually spend about $100-$150 biweekly.
- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Buena Park, CA (in the OC)
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Nope; we’re only 20!
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me want to save a bit more

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56 Mercedes January 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Well, Checking back through my mint.com trends over the last year it looks like I’ve been spending around $200 for the past 6 months. Prior to that I was spending a lot more, but I attribute that to the fact that my brother and I would go to Sams club and I’d usually pay and he’d take it out of my rent, and then there were the “getting established in my house” months. So I guess if it’s about $200 for the month that averages out to around $50 per week. Not bad for having meat nearly every night! (DBF and I came from families that only consider dinner a meat a starch and a veggie, anything else isn’t a meal)

– Number of family members (including pets): 2 + 2 big dogs (but BF pays the ~$40/mo for their food himself)
- City of where you live: Montgomery County, MD
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Somewhat, I do shop at other stores for toiletries from time to time
- Does this include alcohol? nope, but I don’t drink much anymore
- Does this include eating out? Nope, that’d bump the number up higher
- These numbers make me somewhat happy. I know there will be months it’ll be higher.

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57 Kitchen Penguin January 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I crunched the numbers for the last 3 months and we’re averaging $75/week for 2 adults (about 35 meals a week when you subtract free work lunches (every Friday for DBF), eating out and only eating 2 meals a day on the weekends). Sadly, this is still less than what I spend to go to work (aka the transportation budget).

- Number of family members: 2 adults
- City of where you live: MD side of Federal Splat
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes, but the bulk of the cost is food.
- Does this include alcohol? No, that comes out of my hobby and/or gift budget because I brew the beer/wine I drink.
- Does this include eating out? No, but I will take money from the eating out budget when there’s a REALLY good sale on a staple.

It’s reassuring to know that I’m close to the median for your respondents. I must say that keeping the food budget in check is much easier now that I have a separate freezer pantry. My neighbors referred to my refrigerator as “the meat freezer” in college because half of it was full of meat that I would buy when the store was having a sale…it was like meat Tetris.

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58 jen January 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm

We spend about $150/mo. Many months less, but when it is canning season it definitely hits the full $150/mo. We grow our own meat, many vegies & use TONS of coupons!!!

- Number of family members (including pets): 7 people, 4 dogs, 4 cats (llama & chickens don’t count in this one…)
- City of where you live: Flagstaff, AZ (nickname – “Poverty with a View”)
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? YES
- Does this include alcohol? some – any other comes out of my DH allowance
- Does this include eating out? NO (that is about $85/mo, but for all entertainment including eating out)
- These numbers make me – um, motivated to do better? (happy? proud? frightened?)

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59 eemusings January 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm

$130

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults
- City of where you live: Auckland, New Zealand
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No (but we rarely drink)
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me meh. Unless I start buying dried beans and lentils, we really can’t go much lower.

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60 Pam Postle January 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm

About 75-100 I buy only what is on sale and coupons so I save 45 to 50%

- Number of family members (including pets): _____7__
- City of where you live: __Summerville_____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? _yes____
- Does this include alcohol? ___no___
- Does this include eating out? __no___
- These numbers make me ___happy__ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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61 Annalisa January 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm

We spend about $50 per week with a family of three (and one is in diapers & on formula). I’ve got a blog where I teach others in Utah how to do it. It CAN be done! And just so you know, J Money, Safeway is super coupon friendly and has great sale promos. You & wifey could totally cut your budget down if you watched a few blogs that post weekly Safeway deals. Just a thought! :)

- Number of family members (including pets): 3
- City of where you live: SLC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no (we don’t drink)
- Does this include eating out? no (but we try to keep that in check – less than 1 night per week
- These numbers make me: satisfied.

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62 Lynn January 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I plan a menu, make a list, and use coupons. I do the big shopping every paycheck, so twice a month, and then fill in as needed (milk and fresh produce when it runs out).

I average about $125-150/wk. I usually save on average $30 in coupons each big trip. I also shop at the Commissary for most items, where I save anywhere from 25%-50% off the regular store prices. For holidays, birthdays, or other special occasions (when I will be feeding more people or baking more), add another $75-100. Christmas kills me.

Number of family members (including pets): 6 plus 3 teenagers every other weekend and school holidays
- City of where you live: near Baltimore, MD
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me exhausted

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63 Aaron January 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Probably $200 a week…family of four. that includes booze and diapers. I’m fine with this number…

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64 Sarah Stone January 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I spend roughly $60 every 2 weeks for my husband & I on groceries. I coupon like crazy – I may take longer in the store, but I leave w/ more money :)

- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Tampa
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no (we don’t drink)
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me: thrilled.

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65 Barb January 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm

$40 per week most weeks
- Number of family members (including pets): me and a cat
- City of where you live: Houston
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? eat out only once a week (self-imposed limit)
- These numbers make me PROUD

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66 Annie January 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

We average about $80-90 a week at the grocery store. If there’s a sale on meat or fish, I’ll stock up and freeze them. Most household items, flour, sugar, rice, organic chicken broth, cereal, nuts and grains, carrots (for the guinea pig) and OTC medications are bought in bulk and purchased maybe every 2-3 months depending on what we need at Costco (avg trip $70).

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 dog, 1 guinea pig
- City of where you live: Austin, TX
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes.
- Does this include alcohol? No, we don’t drink.
- Does this include eating out? No. We rarely eat out.
- These numbers make me happy, but they could be lowered a tad.

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67 Bobby January 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

About $30-35 per week. If I went to a cheaper store farther down the road it’d be a bit less.

Number of family members (including pets): 1
- City of where you live: Toronto
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? I hardly ever drink.
- Does this include eating out? No, but I eat out maybe once a month.
- These numbers make me feel awesome.

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68 Chelle January 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I spend about $150-$200 per month on groceries, depending on the month. My budget is for $250, but I haven’t gone above $200 in a while (save for months when I was stocking my pantry mostly). That works out to less than $50 per week.

I do a lot of experimental cooking (trying new recipes that sound good), and easily cook for more than one person. I also make a lot of treats to bring with me to class and share with my classmates, so I don’t always eat all that alone.

- Number of family members (including pets): Just me.
- City of where you live: Charlottesville, VA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yup. Everything I get at Kroger, Walmart, and Sam’s Club
- Does this include alcohol? Yep
- Does this include eating out? Yup.
- These numbers make me happy.

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69 Kim January 10, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Two adults, one child in diapers, one cat, and a betta (fish) whose food could last a year, in north central Alabama.

Averages out to ~$125/week. Since we moved to a save-to-spend plan, we stock up on most of the dry goods the first week, and try to keep it to about $40 of produce the remaining weeks.

This does include toiletries, laundry soap, dish soap.

Does not include alchohol. Dear Husband doesn’t drink, and I drink so little that it’s not worth purchasing expensive vinegar.

This also doesn’t include eating out, that would be more.

My mother-in-law clued me in to the USDA data on grocery costs for families. They give different levels, and options to break it out by person.

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70 The Passive Income Earner January 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I give my wife 225$ every week to take care of all the groceries and house needs. It’s for 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog and 2 cats. If she does well, she manages to save money.
I’d have to calculate what comes out just for groceries but I won’t be bothered to do it …

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71 Sense January 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Budget: $450/mo, usually spend at least ~$350/mo. That’s about $80 – $100 a week.

- Number of family members (including pets): uno! (I win)
- City of where you live: Auckland, New Zealand
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Generally, no. occasionally TP or alumiNIUM foil, as they say here, though.
- Does this include alcohol? Nope.
- Does this include eating out? Nope, that’s usually another $10 per week or so.
- These numbers make me: desperately miss America (F Yeah!)

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72 doodles January 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I don’t keep track, I know I should. So because of me reading this post I am going to start keep better track. Thank you

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73 Heather January 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm

We usually spend $50-70 per week. Vegetarian, mostly fresh food, lots of produce.

Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 dog
- City of where you live: Phoenix
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? sometimes
- Does this include alcohol? we don’t drink so… yes? no?
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me … nothing? (happy? proud? frightened?)

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74 Courtney January 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm

$40 per week
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 toddler
- City of where you live: Greenville, SC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No
- Does this include alcohol? No, but we aren’t drinkers, so that’s no where in my budget
- Does this include eating out? Nope, different budget for that
- These numbers make me…happy to know I can actually stick to a budget!

According to my excel spreadsheet budget, we spent $2660 on absolutely everything – food, toiletries, & other non-food items – (that averages to $51 a week).

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75 Stephanie January 10, 2011 at 8:30 pm

- Family of 5 (no pets) $600/month or approx $150/week
- Fort Campbell, KY
- Includes everything
- Don’t drink alcohol
- Includes eating out
- These numbers make me happy. Although I would like to have a little more, so I could build up a little food storage, and have a little more variety and choice of healthy foods like Salmon.

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76 Jenn January 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

- $50 – $55 per wk
- Family of 2 plus a small dog
- Columbus, Ohio
- Includes other items such as cleaning products, toiletries etc
- includes some alcohol but that mostly comes out of entertainment
- Does not include eating out
- These numbers generally make me happy, but I know I could do better. I coupon less than I used to, though I manage to get the vast majority of our toiletries for just the price of tax or at a steep discount.

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77 Ozymandias January 10, 2011 at 10:21 pm

$275/mo (~$63.46/wk), but I use a rollover budget, so some months it’s way less and every 2 1/2 mos. or so I might easily drop triple that at Costco.

2 adults, 1 infant

I budget eating out, home supplies, medicine, and personal care items separately.

Alcohol is basically liquid bread, and thus a grocery staple.

We live in Phoenix AZ. We used the same budget in Greenville SC.

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78 Jennifer Lissette January 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Your question made me go back and run my numbers for 2010. I track every penny but since I shop so many different places (grocery store, farmer’s market, Costco, Chileno Valley Ranch), I have a hard time mentally keeping track. I averaged $91/week, a full $10-35 less than I thought! Thanks for giving me the reason to go back and really analyze what gets spent in my household!

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79 Yana January 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Wow, reading all these shows me that I am no better than average, and probably worse! I need to reform myself :P

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80 Tillie January 11, 2011 at 12:50 am

We are like a few other posters on here… but not like the majority. We are a military family living in Baltimore, Maryland with four children – ages 11, 9, 6 and 2 (and a fifth on the way), two dogs and a cat. We are vegetarians, homeschoolers (so the kids are home ALL day with me – and therefore eating all day, etc.) I make as much as I can from scratch (breads, most snacks, baked goods, etc. and use very few pre-packaged items (and so have trouble finding good coupons to match what I’m buying.) We have a backyard garden that supplements us pretty heavily in the spring/summer months so our costs drop pretty dramatically then. I also try to stick with in-season items for produce. The kids get sick of soups in winter, but what can you do?

Doing *all* of our shopping at the commissary (or nearly all), we spend about $150 – $200 a week on average, including any products found in the grocery store (cleaning products, etc.) but not alcohol as that is not sold in the commissary.

Our numbers also do not include eating out.

- These numbers generally make me happy, but I know I could do better – I need to learn how, but that is hard to do with the kids being around all the time. I plan to work on that as a home school lesson in the future.

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81 Tillie January 11, 2011 at 12:52 am

Oh! We also feed an additional three to five adults and one to three other children on Saturday nights, when the meals tend to be a tiny bit fancier most of the time. If my husband is purchasing, the costs go WAAAAY up; and if he is cooking I have to make sure to budget for that specifically or I won’t have money for groceries that week (but he cooks fantastically gourmet meals for a fraction of what we would pay in a restaurant so I can’t complain!)

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82 Diane January 11, 2011 at 12:52 am

In F’10 I spent $38.70/wk on food. That’s down from $41.80/week in F’09. I cook almost everything from scratch, rarely buy processed foods, and cook and eat tons & tons of Indian food which is healthy and very inexpensive to cook. I eat tons of fresh vegies. I eat some meat & fish, but not every day.

- Number of family members (NOT including my cat, who eats prescription food only bought from the vet): 1 – just me…
- City where you live: San Francisco
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No. That runs <$30/month though.
- Does this include alcohol? No. I spend about $12/month on booze in addition to the above
- Does this include eating out? No, but I don't eat out very much. Maybe 2x a month max.
- These numbers make me pretty happy. I'm a frugal cook, and a shopping ninja. My budget for F'11 is the same as this year: $40/week max.

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83 Jaime January 11, 2011 at 1:58 am

I live in Omaha, Ne. We spend about $70-100/week for two people. This is grocery shopping, doesn’t include eating out, about $20-30 of it is on toiletries and it sometimes includes alcohol. We have no pets. But my bf and I trade off on buying groceries each week.

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84 Sarah January 11, 2011 at 2:50 am

For our family (2 adults and 5 children) I spend around $100 a week on groceries.
- Number of family members (including pets): 7
- City of where you live: Germany with the military, so we mostly shop at te commissary
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things?yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me pretty satisfied, but I think could be lower if I used coupons more.

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85 Lisa Sprouse January 11, 2011 at 7:12 am

$125 a week for two of us. This doesn’t include toiletries, eating out, keurig coffee, dog food for 3 little dogs or alcohol. We only usually eat two meals away from home each week. I don’t know how a family of 6 can get by on this same grocery budget. We are health conscious and I buy a lot of organic food and produce and I cook quite often. We don’t have a weight problem. LOL. I’m curious to see if there are more people like us out there or are we just crazy spenders when it comes to food. We are otherwise very frugal people.

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86 Kacey January 11, 2011 at 8:26 am

$100 a week
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 1 cat
- City of where you live: Pensacola, FL
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me: Okay, we eat what we want pretty much whenever we want, and don’t eat out very often. I like trying new things and specific recipes, so that makes me grocery shop more often, which is fine with me because I love to grocery shop!

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87 Lindsay January 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

$60 a week
- Number of family members (including pets): 1 adult, 1 dog
- City of where you live: Toronto, Canada
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me: If I included how much I spend eating out that number would be a hell of a lot higher. These frugal people inspire me!!

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88 Jerri Lyn January 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

$100/week
Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: just outside of Washington, DC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? yes
- Does this include eating out? yes
- These numbers make me wish I could afford a larger food budget. Food is not optional; we need it to, you know, stay alive and stuff. Yes, we can exist on ramen and mac n cheese, but I sure like fresh vegetables and meat! Meat is not really within the reach of my budget right now. But we should be able to eat food we enjoy, not something we try to figure out how far to stretch.

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89 Eric Lowery January 11, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Hey J. Money! This is my first comment on your blog and this post ties in nicely with my current expense reduction issues. My food budget is the ONLY place I struggle. Here’s my breakdown:

$50/month for dining out.
$200/month for groceries.

- Number of family members (including pets): 4 (Me, two German Shepherds, and a snake, however, my pet food budget is separate from my grocery budget)
- City of where you live: Metro Atlanta
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No (I rarely drink)
- Does this include eating out? Yes
- These numbers make me: Happy when I maintain my goal.

Because I work 12 hour shifts and live alone, I often struggle to pre-plan enough food. I’m getting better about it, but I seem to be going over my budge by $50-$100 bucks each month. I know I can do better, though, so I’m maintaining my planned amount each week.

I’m new to the world of PF blogs, so I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts and sharing in your discussions!

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90 Cristina January 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Hi J Money,

After reading through all of these responses, I’m left wondering why the people who spend so little on food do so (by little I mean $150/month for 2 people and/or going out to eat 1x/month). I assume that some people do it out of necessity, others do it because food isn’t something they place a high priority on, and others are frugal for the sake of being frugal. How do you think this breaks down? I recognize that my boyfriend and I spend a lot on food, because it’s something we enjoy and it provides long-term benefits (in terms of health, the environment, etc.), so I don’t mean to judge anyone else’s choices, I’m just curious. Thanks!

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91 Annalisa Spencer January 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Cristina,

My husband and I do it because it allows us to pay down other debts fast or pour money into our retirement accounts. Living frugally like we do (~$50 per week on groceries & household items for family of 3) allowed us to pay off $17K on our house last year. Wahoo!

Here’s to no house payment in 10 years. :)

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92 Budgeting in the Fun Stuff January 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 Humans and 2 Dogs (Dachshund and Pug)
- City of where you live: Houston, TX
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No
- Does this include alcohol? No – we don’t drink often and only buy $30 of alcohol a year.
- Does this include eating out? Yes
- These numbers make me ambivalent…it’s what we spend and we are happy, so I’m not too worried about it.

My husband and I spend between $400-$500 a month on groceries and restaurants. This might go up a little bit this year since we joined Weight Watchers and are spending more on healthier food (super lean meats cost more than what we are used to and fresh fruit is adding up too). We spend another $25 a month on cleaning supplies, toiletries, and disposable plates and cups for potlucks. Our dogs food comes to about $40 a month ($50 a bag for the Pug’s vegetarian food for allergies and $40 a bag for the Dachshund’s low-fat senior dog food…I’m just lucky they are small and only get a cup of day plus frozen green beans…).

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93 AshleyR January 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

There is an entire group of us working on getting our groceries down to $1/day/person. Most started 1/1/11 but anyone can join in at any time!

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94 Eric Lowery (Thrifty, Wealthy & Wise) January 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm

AshleyR,

Is your group discussing this online anywhere? I’m WAY curious to learn how you guys are doing the $1/day thing!

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95 Yana January 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm

@Cristina – J. Money would have to do another blog post and some analytics to figure that one out, and some people might have more than one reason. Personally, we used to spend $150 – $200 monthly – and that included eating filet mignon at home 2-3 times a month. This is for 2 people, and we have a dog. Prices have gone sky high, and regardless of our income, I want maximum value for the dollar. We gave up beef, at least eating it at home, over a year ago because of the news stories about how bad it is. We switched to ground bison, and eat fish and chicken. We go through phases on eating out, and are currently not eating out more than about once a month. Our food (no non-food) expenses had risen to under $300 a month until I started making health-related changes in my diet. My husband isn’t concerned with eating for the sake of health, except that he does like that I’ve changed from buying 5 dozen flats of eggs for $6.99-$8.99 in favor of one dozen at a time of brown eggs from a smaller family farm. They are $3.99 a dozen, and some are more than that. I hate that price, but it fits in with my efforts to be healthy without medical care. Now we spend under $400 monthly, and I found a meat market where I am willing to buy ground beef. I still prefer chicken, fish and bison, but I’m not afraid to eat this particular market’s beef and it’s good for a change.

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96 Chris January 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm

$165/week average
- Number of family members (including pets): _1 adult, 2 kids, 2 cats____
- City of where you live: _Rockland County, NY
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? ___yes__
- Does this include alcohol? __hell no, that’s a whole separate line item :_)
- Does this include eating out? __no___
- These numbers make me _____ (happy? proud? frightened?)
they make me feel quite extravagant compared to so many others….and I had been so proud of how much I had cut it back since getting “frugal”. But I do buy organic a great deal, and mostly real food – not packaged. I do get jealous though when I see people checking out with twice what I have and paying 1/2 as much. But then there’s not a stitch of real food in their cart. So I pay to eat healthy and am happy to do so. I don’t use coupons so much, cause they’re usually for processed foods we don’t eat much of.

interesting, J, thanks!

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97 J. Money January 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Ummm…. WOW. How did this become one of my most commented posts? Haha…. you all sure do like sharing! I love it. I’m sure you had something to do with it too USAA ;)

This is all SUCH GOOD info though – really makes you double check your own situation when seeing such a vast difference here among everyone. Esp those of you rockin’ the low low numbers – that is incredible! I am beyond amazed.Some interesting thoughts I liked:

CityFlips – Forgot about that variable. DEFINITELY depends on your taste for food, and what you like to eat (cheap vs. gourmet, veggies vs meat, etc)
Angie – “If it doesn’t have meat, it’s not a meal.” – your husband and I would get along GREAT :)
@ – Look what you caused Dawn!! Haha… I’d say I owe you a beer but you wouldn’t drink it ;) instead, maybe I’ll buy you a chicken. SO. DAMN. COOL. That you grow your own food and eggs. Rock it out, girl! You ever talk with Molly from my guest post on her chicken-raising “hustle”? You guys woulg get a long: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2010/10/side-hustle-series-im-a-chicken-farmer/
@Meredith – Thx for sharing your typical grocery run with us :) Love that the cheese is a splurge! we go through those like crazy over here – awesome snacks!
@Jennifer Lissette – I think you have it exactly right. Spending money on the stuff that’s IMPORTANT to you. You can spend $1,000 a week on food for all I care, as long as it’s truly what makes you happy (and you can afford it! haha…). Thanks for commenting.
@John @ The Best Money Blog – DING DING DING I think we have the winner of the biggest spender!! haha… makes me feel better ;) Appreciate your honesty though brother, gives us all a better idea of the ranges out there.
@Kate – I think you and John would get along :)
@Jenn k – A month or a WEEK? That seems great for NoVa and 7 people a month, wow.
@Kitchen Penguin – MEAT TETRIS! hahahahaaha… crack me up girl.
@Annalisa – Safeway coupon bloggers? man, there’s a blogger for everything these days, sweet.
@Aaron/b> – “booze and diapers.” that just doesn’t sound any types of good ;)
@
doodles – Awesome, do it! DO ITT! DOOOOOOOOOO IIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!
@Jennifer Lissette – Great! The more you track it, the more you can see if you’re doing well or not. “Well” being whatever you set it at, of course. Good job.
@Tillie – Yeah commissary! Man, haven’t been to one in years. Actually used to work in one too (many summers ago). I’m product of a Marine Corp family- Hoo Rah!
@Diane – That’s impressive for San Francisco :)
@Eric Lowery – Welcome aboard my man!! Thanks so much for commenting and sharing with us — you’ll love the PF people around here :)
@Cristina – I think you totally nailed it on the head – it’s a mixture of priorities (do I like food? do I care? would I rather spend my money elsewhere? am I lazy?) with the comfortableness with money. Usually the more people have, the more they’ll spend on stuff (“usually” – maybe not the group here! haha…). But totally a LOT of variables that go into all of this for people. You’re on the right track asking around though to better understand how your situation fits in from others :)
@AshleyR – WOW!!!! just. WOW!

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98 Saskia January 12, 2011 at 1:36 am

1000 euro’s a month
Number of family members (including pets): 7
- City of where you live: The Hague (Netherlands)
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? yes
- Does this include eating out? yes

It is a lot of money and we could certainly do better. Once a week my groceries are delivered at home, but I still go into the shops and spend too much on impulse. I’m working on it…

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99 Fig January 12, 2011 at 5:48 am

130-150 a week.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Auckland, NZ
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes…sometimes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me fine since it’s hard to do much less than this where we live without giving up meat. But after reading these comments I remember people spend the same amount we do in one month. AH!

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100 Travis @DebtChronicles January 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

Weekly grocery/necessity budget is $100 a week. I’m the cook in our household, so I also make up a weekly menu. I don’t mean any disrespect in anyway, but if my wife comes with we always go over budget. It’s just a difference in philosophy. She wants to have many, many options for snacks and meals, whereas I feel the ultimate success is to eat every morsal of food purchased by the next grocery shopping trip.

Number of family members (including pets): 4
- City of where you live: Rochester, MN
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me: Always wondering if I can do better

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101 Diane January 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

@Cristina: I spend very little ($40/wk) and I loooooove to cook and eat. Food is my top priority, and I think about it obsessively and happily. But since I cook a lot from scratch, and cook a lot of ethnic food (indian, thai, chinese) I am good at being a very frugal cook. I buy local free-range eggs, good cheeses, meats, etc. I buy tons of fresh vegies. But the meats, cheeses, etc are accent ingredients and I don’t eat them at every meal. I balance the fun stuff and more basic stuff so there’s always a nice mix at every meal. I’m also lucky enough to live in CA where produce is relatively cheap.

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102 Diane January 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

@J. Money: Everyone thinks San Francisco is expensive – and it is for housing (!). But for food we are so lucky to have access to all kinds of great ethnic markets, small farms, and a climate that lets us grow some of our own stuff year round. Personally, I think the Hmong farmers at the Oakland Farmer’s Market are the best deal in town. Super cheap, super fresh vegies, and very few pesticides on their stuff. Great Indian/Chinese/Thai groceries here too.

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103 J. Money January 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

Ahhhhh very nice. Maybe one day you can show me the places to go when I move there later ;)

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104 Kevin I January 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

$100 a week between the grocery store and warehouse club, shopping both once a month.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 Adults, 1 Toddler, 2 Cats
- City of where you live: Central Jersey Rural
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes, toiletries, household supplies and litter and diapers and “shop at home” surcharge included.
- Does this include alcohol? No, but we don’t drink, so it’s still 0
- Does this include eating out? No, eating out adds about $300 a month, bringing the monthly total to $700.

- These numbers make me: Lazy. We could be doing so much better but we refuse to do the work on it. We rarely clip coupons we only look for sales on certain items and we eat out way too much.

However this number has been coming down since we started using our grocery stores “Shop at Home” program. We make out list on their website, they do the shopping for us and we just pick it up. There is a $10 charge for this but they give us discounts we often don’t find in store, lower price substitutions when they can’t find items on our list, and it also rules out all impulse shopping as we’re doing it with a full stomach in our kitchen with a full picture of where we stand. We hope to be down to about $75 a week by next month.

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105 Amy January 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Number of family members (including pets): 6
- City of where you live: St. Louis
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things?yes
- Does this include alcohol?yes, except for the special ‘beer’ my husband buys for his beer blog
- Does this include eating out? No. Eating out comes out of our entertainment budget
- These numbers make me feel like I could do better. We are trying to stick to $75 a week but I know we could do better

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106 Rob January 12, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I, alone, average $50 a week on grocery and $100 eating out! I convince myself I’m a foodie, so obviously I’m not getting by on ramen noodles or eating out at the local McDonald’s…

- Number of family members (including pets): 1
- City of where you live: Conshohocken, PA (just west of Philadelphia)
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? no
- Does this include alcohol? not in PA!
- Does this include eating out? not even close.
- These numbers make me: well fed…

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107 J. Money January 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

@Kevin I – What? Really? You can pay someone to do that? haha…. I think my wife may love you for that ;) Gonna see what Safeway offers…
@Amy – What’s the url to his beer blog??? That’s bad ass.

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108 Kiki January 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm

$20 is my weekly food allocation.

- Number of family members (including pets): ___1____
- City of where you live: sacamento
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? no
- Does this include alcohol? no, that’s expensive
- Does this include eating out? no, but if it does, tack on an extra 5 bucks
- These numbers make me excited to get out of debt so I can buy more food. (happy? proud? frightened?)

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109 Dan Esparza January 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

We budget $150 / week

- Number of family members (including pets): 5 (2 adults, 2 kids and a small dog)
- City of where you live: Scottsdale, AZ
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Nope
- Does this include alcohol? Occasionally
- Does this include eating out? Nope
- These numbers make me Proud, mostly because it’s part of our budget (it’s part of an overall plan)

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110 Kevin I January 13, 2011 at 10:35 am

@J

Yeah man it’s awesome, we do it at ShopRite (you’re too far south for those though right?)
Besides just removing the impulse buys and helping us find coupons it also saves us a ton of time and hassle

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111 J. Money January 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

Yeah, I think we have that around here actually! Although not super close to me…. I can see the benefits though – the impulse buys would save me a bit ;)

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112 Cassandra January 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I spend between $350-$400 per month on groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies and paper products such as paper towels and toilet paper. I can’t really see where I could possibly cut corners any more, short of eating Hamburger Helper four nights a week! We eat well, chicken breast, steak, roast, pork chops. The people that have posted that they spend like $200 per month for a family of five are astounding! I visit 3-4 grocery stores per week in order to get the best deals. I use coupons on the rare occaision that I buy name brand. How on earth do they do it for less?
Approx $75-$100 per week
- Number of family members 3 2 adults 1 child (11 yrs old)
- City of where you live: Kissimmee, FL
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No

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113 Catherine January 14, 2011 at 11:34 am

I spend £60-70 a month. ($95-$111)

- Number of family members (including pets):2-3 (me and my hamster live here, but my boyfriend practically though unofficially lives here)
- City of where you live: Aberdeen
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Yes
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me Happy. I could spend a damn sight more! (happy? proud? frightened?)

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114 PF January 14, 2011 at 10:02 pm

$225/wk
- Number of family members (including pets): 3in family, (plus 2 in-laws, and often 1 Sister in-law, 2 nephews, and 2 brother in-laws) — 6 people a day on average
- City of where you live: near Boston, MA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? usually
- Does this include eating out? Yes, or that’s taken out of pocket money
- These numbers make me want to do a better job with Groceries!
This post inspired me to write out my grocery process, if for nothing else than to see it in writing, and come up with something better!

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115 GBMFMatt January 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

$10-20 a week
- Number of family members (including pets): just me
- City of where you live: near Portland, OR
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me proud (happy? proud? frightened?)

I actually budget $100 a week for groceries, just in case I get a hankering for junk food/processed/imported/expensive. Generally speaking though, I only buy fresh produce or food from bulk bins and often only spend $10 a week. Without couponing. It’s cheap, healthy, and less bulky/package-ridden–which makes taking groceries home on the bus much easier.

Actually, when I was working/volunteering my time at my local university’s organic research farm I would get all/nearly all of my for free, which meant I was only spending about $50 a month on non-produce items.

I’ve given up alcohol for the winter because of my seasonal depression, which has improved things tremendously… though, I still budget $5 a month for alcohol/bars, which amounts to a cheaper bottle of whiskey every 4-6 months, or a well drink with dinner once a month. Though, I also include cigars in that category, so I’ve been enjoying those instead of alcohol.

My big financial goal right now is to save up for property and develop of forest garden. Once that matures, I expect to pay nothing for groceries, except for that occasional splurge on something I can’t make or grow myself.

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116 J. Money January 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

It’s working? That’s awesome dude. I get seasonal depression too but never thought giving up alcohol would help with that (actually thought the opposite! haha.. sad, I know). Although this winter with launching Love Drop and giving back more, I find that’s been really helping too. And now you’ve successfully got me desires a cigar!!! If your forest garden can produce those, I’m buying my plane ticket right now ;)

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117 Laura@nms January 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

$70-$80 a week
4 in family
Nottingham, England
Yes -cleaning / toiletries
No – don’t buy any really
No- eating out

Happy with the figure

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118 J. Money January 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Yeah Nottingham! Waving across the pond to ya!

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119 sarah r January 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm

I avg about $36 a week. That’s just food for me, including coffee and all the spices I buy. Alcohol averages another $10-12 a week. If we add in the cats’ dry and canned food, it averages $6.75 a week, though of course, you don’t buy cat food that way.

I keep my expense categories separate (rather than have “groceries” include household or personal care items) because then I can actually see what I’m spending in any one category… helping me see where I’m OVERspending. That’s actually one reason food and liquor is separate.

- Number of family members (including pets): ___3 (2 pets)_
- City of where you live: ___Los Angeles____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? __nope___
- Does this include alcohol? __nope–add another $10-12 wk for that____
- Does this include eating out? __nope___
- These numbers make me __happy. I eat healthy foods and cook from scratch. I don’t sacrifice quality or special cooking (baking for friends, etc). ___ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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120 J. Money January 17, 2011 at 3:57 pm

You can bake for me anytime ;)

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121 Stuart January 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm

We spend on average of $90 a week on groceries, but that is for 2 plus a 2 year old. We try to use our local shops as much as we can too, this sometimes saves us money, but can also mean that sometimes we spend more than it would cost in the supermarket.

There is no comparison with quality though; our local shops have much better and fresher groceries!

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122 Anne O January 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Still working on bringing ours down. Fiance, dog, and I get by on about $200-250/mth (usually I have 2 trips of $80-90 and 2 trips of about $30). When I lived alone I could do $80/mth.

Survey says:
- Number of family members (including pets): 3 (2 adults, 1 dog)
- City of where you live: Hilton Head, SC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Yes, 1-2 bottles of wine per week, and maybe a 6 beer bottles every two weeks
- Does this include eating out? No. We eat out for dinner one night per week for our date night
- These numbers make me: feel ok, though I always work to go lower. I know I could use more coupons if I ate more packaged foods, but it’s very important that we eat minimally processed food, fresh food, no foods with HFCS or trans fat, and organics on at least the dirtiest produce. So I know my bill will be higher.

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123 Kris January 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I spend about $150 a week. I’m thinking that this might be the cost of living in California. Either that or I’m out of my mind. We usually dine out once a week someplace reasonably priced. For reference, a half-gallon of non-fat organic milk set me back $4.19 for the store brand on Saturday.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 2 cats
- City of where you live: Sacramento, CA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Yes
- Does this include eating out? Yes
- These numbers make me question the State I’ve chosen to live in.

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124 Kyle @ rather-be-shopping.com January 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm

We spend approx $175 a week.

- Number of family members (including pets): ___2adults, 3 kids, w/ 3 pets____
- City of where you live: __Redding, CA_____
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? __yes___
- Does this include alcohol? __yes, but not much____
- Does this include eating out? __yes___
- These numbers make me ___happy ish__ (happy? proud? frightened?)

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125 J. Money January 31, 2011 at 10:30 am

@Kris – Cali sure is beautiful though! You should see what the other Californians here are commenting with – they are finding deals?

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126 Kim March 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

$500 to 600 per month
- Number of family members (including pets): 5 people and one cat
- City of where you live: Georgia
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Yes
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me Crazy we should do better!

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127 Julie May 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Came across this looking at budget’s, groceries, etc.

Up to $160 a week
Family of four (2 adults, 2 young school kids)
Live in Palo Alto, CA
Yes, includes household items
We do not drink
We set aside $25 for eatting out separately

I feel challenged every week. Three of us have lactose issues, my husband is hypo-glycemic and has to have low sugar, me and my daughter need to eat gluten free. I also try to get healthier items (no GMO, certain produce organic, etc.). I buy almost no processed foods, but g/f flours, palm sugar, etc., adds up. I’m going to try using Amazon’s rotating orders (get a 15% discount if it’s sent every 2-3 months) and see if I can get some of those costs down. We both work, so it’s packing four lunches for growing kids for all day. I’m also going to try using a large store again to get bulk. It’s a challenge. I spend about an hour or so a week planning out all meals, grocery list and clipping some coupons. I save around $40-50 a trip with just the sunday paper and some online coupons.

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128 J. Money May 15, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Wow, yeah that def. seems tough! Never heard of that 15% Amazon discount though, that’s interesting… one hour of planning to save money seems highly worth it too!! thanks for sharing with us Julie :)

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129 Yana May 16, 2011 at 12:09 am

Amazon does give a 15% discount on “Subscribe & Save” items. You can choose your shipment intervals, and change or cancel at any time. You get an e-mail when it is near your auto shipping date. I use this on a few food items I buy there regularly. Another thing about this is that even if your order is under $25, shipping is always free.

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130 J. Money May 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Wowwww I like that! Thx guys!

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131 Amanda June 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

$35-$50/week for just me and that does not include toiletries or pet food. I eat well, buy a lot of fruits and vegetables and the amount varies depending on how careful I want to be.

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132 J. Money June 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I need to start eating more fruits and vegetables… my body screams for them sometimes! :)

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133 melissa August 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

I spend on my new husband and I $125 per week on average. I guess all the ingredients I need to make the food I like are expensive. Also, it’s not just for our dinners, we take our leftovers for lunch the next day, so we don’t eat out AT ALL (unless I don’t cook, which never happens lol). the $125 includes all things, food and not food. Then again, I live in Miami, FL and the things are REDICULOUSLY priced here lol…

- Number of family members (including pets): 2, no pets
- City of where you live: Miami, FL
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? Sometimes
- Does this include eating out? No, we don’t eat out
- These numbers make me: Satisfied, I don’t take out the quality of my food… id rather spend it on food than on other things I don’t need lol

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134 J. Money August 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Haha, that works! Congrats :) Seems like you have a great system down over there.

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135 Juli October 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm

$50/wk

Number of family members (including pets): 2, a big dog and a cat (pet food is not included)
- City of where you live: outside of Washington, DC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? No (we rarely eat out)
- These numbers make me: plan carefully. We spent $80-100/wk when we had the 3 teens at home. We buy organic milk (1/2 gal), cage free eggs, grass fed beef, and boxed baby greens. Staples are rice/beans, non-instant oatmeal, smoothies for breakfast, small amounts of meat at meals, quesadillas for lunch, homemade pizza. We gave up our daily coffee (organic, whole bean – expensive!) and now get a cup out once a week instead. I’d love to have another $10-20 a week to play with. I do have an extra freezer and stock up when I can.

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136 J. Money October 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Nice! Can you come and hook me up too? I live in the DC area ;)

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137 Tasha December 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I just recently moved out of my parents and in with my boyfriend and his brother. In desperate attempts to get them to eat healthier we have started shopping and cooking at our apartment.(well I cook)

I actually spend about $100 a week but buy every two weeks

- Number of family members (including pets): 3 adults (2 are hard working men who like to eat) 2 dogs and 2 cats
– City of where you live: Lawrence, KS
– Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? No, roommate buys those
– Does this include alcohol? Only when we feel like it, maybe $10 every 2 months
– Does this include eating out? Nope! That has it’s own budget, $50 a month
– These numbers make me HAPPY!

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138 J. Money January 1, 2012 at 11:44 am

Wow, yeah that is great! How can I get you to come out here and add another hungry working men to your customers? :)

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139 turnerbend January 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm

My wife spend over $200.00 each week for the 2 of us.

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140 J. Money January 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm

You guys must be eating well! :)

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141 Heather February 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I know this is late, but I really liked this post.

My husband eats meat and I’m a vegan. This means we don’t eat dinner together. He also gets home from work two hours before I do so by the time I get home at 6pm or 6:30pm, he’s just finishing his dinner. This also means we have “two” of everything in our fridge. He has cow’s milk, I have almond milk, he has regular butter, I keep vegan butter, he has dairy coffee creamer, I have coconut milk coffee creamer, etc. So he goes to the grocery store to buy his own meats and things and then I’ll go to the store once a week to pick up our standard groceries, dog food, laundry detergent, etc. I don’t go crazy on organic vegan-specific items, but I do pick them up when we have a little extra money in our budget. I try to stick with vegetable stir-fries and big salads for dinner and I’ll have pasta or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch to keep it cheap.

I usually budget $120/week. Last month it was more like $150/week. However, we typically spend less than $100/month on eating out since we cook our own meals every night.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 2 big dogs
- City of where you live: Semi-rural South Carolina (US Military)
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
- Does this include alcohol? No
- Does this include eating out? No
- These numbers make me indifferent.

I wish my husband would quit eating meat so we could cut it out of the budget altogether. But that’s not happening any time soon he says.

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142 J. Money February 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Woah! Yeah, talk about complete opposites there, haha… I’m actually pretty impressed you two can work it out so smoothly like that – good job! :) Your husband and I have that meat loving in common – hard to take it away from us! Haha…Very interesting to read for sure, though, appreciate you stopping by and sharing with us (it’s always nice to see old posts pop up on my radar again!). Have a blessed weekend!

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143 Stephanie2685 June 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

About 500/month. We live in Toronto and the boy insists on shopping in a specialty grocery store buying ONLY organic produce and everything else.
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults + 1 cat
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Sometimes, although often not.
- Does this include alcohol? Nope
- Does this include eating out? Nope
- These numbers make me: frightened, frustrated (happy? proud? frightened?)
Seeing everybody elses’ number’s makes me feel really concerned :| as I (always knew but couldn’t prove!) realize we’re spending waaaaaay too much. We’re also only in our 20′s and I have a buttload of school debt to my name.
Treading water, much??? we’re doomed to drown lol

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144 Kathryn June 22, 2012 at 4:23 am

We spend around $300 a week. Some weeks less, some more. It’s for the four of us, including two girls. We eat mainly organic and that definitely brings up the price on everything. But it is the healthiest option, so I don’t mind.

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145 J. Money June 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm

@Stephanie2685 – Oh no! At least you know have some social proof ;) It can only get better from here, right? Maybe start doing 80% Organic and 20% other, and over time scale it back until both of you find a happy medium?
@Kathryn – Wow, that’s pretty good for four people! Maybe you can help Stephanie there figure out how to do it more cheaply like y’all do? :)

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146 Miranda July 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

Hey Everybody I just found this post this morning and read the whole thing, lol. Not much to do at work ;)
I just added up my spending from last month and it was $800 for groceries, toiletries and eating out. I have decided to put myself on a budget of $150/week for food and doing stuff. After reading all this I am encouraged that this is possible.
Here are my stats:
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults + 2 cats (dif. budget for their food)
- Where do you live: Charleston, SC
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes, except what I get from Vitacost.
- Does this include alcohol? Yes (gotta love Trader Joes! $10 keeps me in wine all week)
- Does this include eating out? Yes
- These numbers make me: I’ll be happy if I can stick to them, but I’m pretty good at sticking to my guns once I make my mind up. (happy? proud? frightened?)

My husband is a chef so he is only home for dinner 2 nights a week but he of course wants to make world class cuisine when he is home and some of those ingredients can be expense. Plus, I insist on local produce from the farmers market, as much organic as possible, cage free eggs, free range chicken, grass fed beef. J Money, I too could not live without meat and often crave a good steak or medium burger.
My advice to other people who like to buy organic but find it expensive is to check out the dirty dozen, any foods on the dirty dozen you should really buy organic b/c they are more effected by the pesticides used in conventional farming. But with other fruits and veggies just buy conventional. Or when I am at the farmers market I talk to the farmers about their pesticide use, just b/c its not organic doesn’t mean they don’t use healthy means of farming.
Here is a link to the dirty dozen
http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dirty-dozen-foods#fbIndex1

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147 J. Money July 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Yeah Charleston! Love it down there – just came back from a bachelor party cple months ago in C town :) So historic and beautiful! Awesome your husband is a chef too, man, must be nice having all that awesome food prepared! $800 is def. a lot (wow) but likin’ the new $150/week plan – I’m sure you can do it :) Thx for stopping by!

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148 jone7007 July 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm

- Number of family members (including pets): _1 + cat______
$75.00 per week.

- City of where you live: _Roswell, NM______
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? _Yes____
- Does this include alcohol? _If purchased for home consumetion (not bars or resturants)_____
- Does this include eating out? _No____
- These numbers make me _OK____ (happy? proud? frightened?)

Groceries in Roswell, NM are the highest or any place I have lived. My budget before moving here was $150 to $250/month w/o alcohol depending on where I was living. I spend 80% of my money on fresh Meat, Dairy and eggs (usualy organic), canned beans, nuts, whole grains (brown rice, whole weat breads, plain oatmeal, etc) fresh fruit and veg. I rarely purchase processed food items.

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149 J. Money July 10, 2012 at 1:32 am

Not bad at all! I passed through Roswell for the first time last year and fell in LOVE with the place! Def. a unique area you live in :)

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150 Dawn T July 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Well, I think that trying to get your food budget to the bare bones minimum is not necessarily a great idea. What happens is that you end up living on very poor quality grains and the lowest quality fats possible. I live in S.C. and the food here is not horribly expensive but also not cheap like in the western states. My grocery budget is $800.00 each month. This is for 2 adults and 2 children plus a dog, cat, fish, and pet chicken. I will quantify this by saying that my budget uysed to be $600.00 before we changed over to all grassfed/pastured animal products and mostly organic/local produce. This amount includes all grocery items like paper products and dog food, etc. We do not eat out often, this is something to take into account when thinking about your budget. We also homeschool so all breakfast (real food like eggs and oatmeal), lunches, and dinners as well as all snacks are eaten from our kitchen. I also rarely use any convenience foods. They are very expensive and usually highly processed and non-nutritious. I can sometimes dip below this amount but I usually pay for it the next month. I have spoken to many people about their budgets and everyone spending less than $600.00 in my region is eating nothing but cheap pasta, cereal, coupon meals like Hamburger Helper, and little to no meat. The sad reality is that a diet like that will make you sick and fat. We wonder why we have an epidemic of diabetes and obesity in this country. I think we can find the answers in our grocery buggies. Even busy working families can make healthy food choices that don’t relay on cheap junk food. A little label reading and some planning can change your life for the better and give your children a future where they can have a chance to be healthy.

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151 CurryinaHurry July 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi !!
Number of family members (including pets): _2 healthy vegan humans + 2 vegetarian dogs_____
$200.00 per week.
- City of where you live: _Long Island, NY______
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? _Yes____
- Does this include alcohol? __yes____
- Does this include eating out? _No____
- These numbers make me _little scared/little proud___ (happy? proud? frightened?)

We go to “Whole Paycheck” whoops I meant Whole Foods. They actually have great prices on specialty items. They also have a coupon book that you have to ask for that comes out every 2 months. I also go to King Kullen because they double coupons.
I agree with Dawn T. in that cutting back on good foods to save a buck could end up COSTING YOU A LOT in medical bills n’ pills in the future. Everyone should watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead or any of the many food documentaries that have been coming out recently.

After all: Heath IS Wealth. Word.

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152 Dawn T July 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Most people would not think twice about a $130.00 cell phone package or paying $100.00 for their satelite tv or even forking out $100 – $200 every weekend on entertainment and babysitters. But when you say they should spend $200.00 more each month on food they think you have lost your mind! Food is NOT a luxury! It is fuel for your body. We all spend several hundered dollars each month on things that we could scale back or even eliminate or replace with something cheaper. Your food budget should be right up their on the priority list with the mortgage. Not an after thought with whatever you have left over. There are, of course, some who can barely pay the bare minimum bills. This is not a discussion for you. You have to just do the best you can and try to just focus on whole real food as often as possible. The rest of us can easily afford good quality food if we decide it is important. We will all make a way for what we want, we will make excuses for the rest. Last I checked even the government allows $174.00 (that may be off by a dollar or two) each week for those on aid. $600 – $800.00 each month on food is not a “crazy” amount for the typical 4 person household. The only way this number should be lower is if you eat out more meals than you eat in. Stop killing yourselves to spend $300.00 which is a “crazy” amount. The time, energy, and health risks are not worth it. Give yourself an honest budget and eat real food.

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153 J. Money July 29, 2012 at 10:21 am

@CurryinaHurry – Hhahahaa…. you crack me up over there. You’re awesome :)
@Dawn T – I agree food IS important for sure, even though I’m the first to admit it’s rarely on my priority list. I admire those who have it in check more than I, and I’m sure it’ll get better for us too now that we have a newborn to take care of :) Can’t be perfect with everything though, eh?

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154 Dawn T July 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Children changed our eating habits for sure. You will be shocked at what you start to notice once you have another human being to care for. Finances can be a real devil. It is so important to manage them well. The trick is to not let the money rule you. You have to master it. Most people talk about money as if it is in control of every decision they make. The reality is that money is a tool just like a shovel. Learn to use it and prioritize it to your needs and it will serve you well. Sites like this are great in that they help give you the tools you need to help master money. Thanks for putting yourself and all your decisions out here for the rest of us to learn from. May you be blessed as you enter into parenthood and may you prosper in all your financial plans.

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155 J. Money July 30, 2012 at 11:02 am

YES!!! LOVE THIS! –> “The reality is that money is a tool just like a shovel. Learn to use it and prioritize it to your needs and it will serve you well.” Absolutely brilliant, my friend :)

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156 Amanda August 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm

After using StumbleUpon and finding this article, I felt the urge to crunch our numbers. We spend a whopping $200 a week on food =/ He works over the road, but takes a backpack full of easy microwave ready food, but when he is home we splurge. A lot. We can easily burn $50 in meat on one night of him being home so he can grill to his heart’s desire.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults & 2 pitbulls
- City of where you live: Atlanta
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Some
- Does this include alcohol? Some, I’d say we buy a bottle a month
- Does this include eating out? Yes, although we don’t eat out much
- These numbers make me horrible. Our finances are not where we want. He makes damned good money and we’re living check to check. I never once realized how much we spent on food until I found this and every one else’s comments on how much they spend. It’s time to seriously save some money! Thanks y’all!!

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157 J. Money August 31, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Awww well starting with “damn good money” sure will help! :) You have plenty of room to tweak and start saving again, you can totally do it. I’m a big meat lover myself too, so just be sure to still keep some of that in action too so your husband remains happy, haha… Thanks for stopping by! :)

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158 Vanchica November 21, 2012 at 1:57 am

I have been searching the web for information on how much is reasonable for groceries per week for one person- it is great that so many people are willing to share their info!

I have no solidified a budget but typical is

Costco 1x mo. $150
Groceries and household stuff 2x mo $75
Fruit and veg stand 8x a month $12

So all in about $325 before dog food and treats (which I need to create a budget for, mutt is spoiled!)

So $80-85 a week including cleaning products. Vancouver, downtown, single meatitarian homechef

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159 J. Money November 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

“meatitarian” – Hah! Love it… And I agree – it’s awesome seeing how many others out there spend on this stuff! Gives you more of a REAL snapshot, ya know?

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160 Mom November 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I just stumbled across this piece and thought I should comment. We budget by the quarter (you’ll see why in a minute), and we average out to about $75/week – but all of our meals have meat in them (and good cuts of meat, like filet mignon and pork tenderloin – I’m of the school that if it doesn’t have meat, it’s not a meal).
We’ve got 2 adults, a toddler, and 2 cats and our budget includes cat food and litter
We live in NoVA – out near Dulles
Yes, we include all toiletries and pet food/litter in the budget
We have separate budgets for alcohol and eating out (total $200/mth)

We shop in spurts.
I spent $500 at Costco in early September and completely filled our deep freezer with ready made meals (a la Dinner Done/Let’s Dish) – since then, we’ve averaged about $30-$40/week to stock up on fresh produce and milk for the toddler. I estimate we still have 2 months of food left in the freezer, so I don’t expect to have a *big* Costco purchase again until February.

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161 J. Money November 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Nice!! I’m also a big “meat = a meal” person too, haha… and we live in the general same area so cool to see you can work it on a budget like that! Thanks for stopping by my new friend :)

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162 Kyla January 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I clearly have a problem. I probably spend atleast $100 a week on food just for myself. Easy. I can easily spend $40-$60 on preparing a single meal that i might eat for a couple of days. I eat out almost every day at $15-$25 a pop.

I just signed up for a weekly meal delivery service to SAVE money at $80 a week. Thats compelled me to find out how much other people spend…Now I know.

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163 J. Money January 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

There you go! Knowing how much you spend is only half the equation, but DOING SOMETHING about it is the most important one. Keep trying things out until you find a happy medium over there – thanks for sharing!

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164 Bishir January 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm

We spent $125/week
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults
- Where do you live: Toronto
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? Yes
- Does this include eating out? No

I am shocked! I thought we were doing well with our spending until I read these comments. $500 is crazy! Got some serious budgeting to do this weekend.

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165 J. Money January 10, 2013 at 10:34 am

Haha… I was shocked too :) At least we now know it’s *possible* to lower it all though, eh?

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166 Heidi January 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm

We spend $30-40/week. I’m one of those crazy drugstore shoppers that buys stuff to make money on it after coupons. I coupon the regular grocery stores heavily too. When items are at least 90% off regular retail, I stock the deep freezer and pantry. Doing this, I haven’t paid for cereal and breakfast bars, those nasty fruit snacks that my children love, juice boxes, pasta, tuna, etc. in years. We eat a lot of yogurt, but I pay no more than $0.10 per cup. Despite what every one would say, we eat well. Most of our grocery budget goes toward 8 gallons of milk, bread, 5 pounds of potatoes, 4 pounds of oranges and another 5-10 pounds in apples, 3 pounds bananas, plus whatever other seasonal produce is on sale for less $1 per pound. For chicken, I stock up when it’s under $1/pound and beef at under $2 per pound.

- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 3 kids, 1 cat (+ my mother eating 5 nights/week w/us)
- Where do you live: Iowa
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes (but I always make money on these items – dental, hair care, make-up, medicine, paper products, body wash, laundry soap, cleaning products, etc. – at the drugstores. I buy diapers when they’re </= $2.50/jumbo pack.)
- Does this include alcohol? don't drink
- Does this include eating out? yes, but we typically don't unless we're gifted with restaurant gift cards. (The in-laws believe my husband is entitled to eating out.)

My husband used to think me insane. I grew up in a house where money was tight; we were "OK" but never splurging. He grew up with a mother who easily drops $200+ in a single weekly grocery run for just herself and my FIL. My husband converted after a few years of marriage. Anyhow, we're in "the" house now, and it'll be paid off in 8 more years – a full 18 years early given the terms of the mortgage. The kids college accounts are maxed out annually, and we contribute maximally to our retire accounts. I hope to instill thriftiness in my kids too.

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167 EJ September 16, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Heidi that is amazing. What do you mean by coupons and making money on products? We don’t have coupons in Australia except for 2 for 1 deals at places like McDonalds. Congratulations on the plan to pay out the loan early that is fantastic. Glad your husband has converted, it would have been a big adjustment coming from a family like his. My partner has occasional struggles .His family were not short of a dollar and as a single guy lived at home and worked in mining until we met so was used to having a lot of money to spend as he wished. Not that he was irresponsible but he was far from frugal! In the beginning he was a a really good student in looking in the supermarket at the best value products but these days is getting a little more complacent now we aren’t struggling the way we used to, hence why i prefer to do the shopping. Do you meal plan at all and eat the same kind of things week to week? Sounds like you should be writing a book! :)

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168 J. Money January 14, 2013 at 10:21 am

NICE!!!! That is GREAT, jeez…. all that thriftiness paying off for years and years to come! Literally! I’m totally impressed – esp. with the mortgage stuff. That’s a big goal of mine too paying it off early, way to go :)

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169 Nicole February 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Counting a normal (not just eating ramen) week, we probably spend $40-50 on food.
- Number of family members (including pets): 2 adults, 8 month old, 3 rats, 1 cat
– City of where you live: Florida
– Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Yes
– Does this include alcohol? No
– Does this include eating out? No

I actually wish I could afford to spend a little more on food…I get tired of spaghetti and chili all the time, and I know my hubby gets sick of chicken fettuccine.

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170 J. Money February 15, 2013 at 9:33 am

Haha we eat lots of pasta and chili too over here :) What do your rats eat?

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171 lana March 19, 2013 at 1:53 am

I think the people who responded are all thrifty, most of the people I know spend at least $150 a week. My MIL spends $180 just on the two of them (FIL.) I try and keep it down to $125 a week in groceries. The problem with this survey is you are missing how much everyone eats out. My family eats out every lunch, a few breakfasts and I usually get two dinners for carry out a week. Our eating out budget is at least double our groceries. Food is our extravagance.
We save about 30% of our budget and have our home paid off. These numbers are high because we have two grown kids that are living with us while going to college. Our budget will change significantly when they are on their own. I’ve always viewed eating out with my family a type of therapy. We communicate so differently at a restaurant than eating at home.

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172 J. Money March 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

haha… “differently” bad, or differently good eating out? I’m gonna guess good since usually kids don’t like sitting around the table talking about their day like parents want them to :) Though I’m TOTALLY keeping up that tradition as I used to love it as a kid!

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173 Poor to Rich a Day at a Time May 3, 2013 at 7:51 am

Prior to Stage IV Breast Cancer Diagnosis we spent $250 a month, after diagnosis $430 due to me needing lots of little things in house to keep weight up and specialty protein items and such. Also prior to cancer diagnosis, we did not have help, after diagnosis we started recieving food stamps and that is what we recieve a month.

- Number of family members (including pets): _______ 4 people, 2 dogs, 1 cat
– City of where you live: _______ Rural Michigan-
Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? ____ Nope
- Does this include alcohol? ______ Nope

– Does this include eating out? _____ Nope

– These numbers make me _____ (happy? proud? frightened ) Happy although I am always looking for ways to reduce it

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174 EJ September 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

I hope you beat this cruel disease. Unfortunately it is all too common these days. I have an aunty who has been living with cancer for 10 years. She credits her longevity to her “bible” called “Shattering the Cancer Myth” by Katrina Ellis. You can get a second hand copy on Amazon for about $6 http://www.amazon.com/Shattering-The-Cancer-Myth-Traditional/dp/1741211069

.It gives you a lot of real information on how you can give yourself your best chance, assist in energy levels etc all through nutrition combined with western treatments. It’s contains some really good explanations of things that your doctors do not explain properly which trusting them to know what is right for you, is half the battle in itself! It’s written by someone who had a rare cancer and beat it. I have read it even though I have not personally had cancer but have applied most of the principles and done the detox and felt amazing. If you choose to read it I hope you get something positive from it. You and your family will be in my thoughts :)

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175 Poor to Rich a Day at a Time May 3, 2013 at 7:54 am

I should also mention we rarely eat out, our toiletries are only TP, shampoo and deoderant, we rarely buy alchohol, and the like so those numbers would be minute anyways.

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176 J. Money May 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Sooooo sorry to hear about cancer :( Man, I can’t even imagine… it seems like it’s hitting everyone these days – I hope you pull through and have a most wonderful life!!!

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177 Meg May 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

We spend $250 per week. Yes, $1000 per month. That also includes some rather expensive nutritional supplements my kids need because of numerous food allergies making it hard to get enough of certain necessary vitamins in the diet alone, and ordinary cheap vitamins having components they are allergic to.

We never eat out, and never buy any processed convenience foods, except rice cakes (which are convenient, are processed and not in natural form, and are expensive). We can’t eat beans, pasta except the expensive rice kind, or ordinary cheapie enriched rice, because of the vitamin B they put in it. We have to buy the expensive medium-grain specialty rice, in large bags. If we could have things like split pea soup, bean and rice, homemade refried beans, etc. we could eat a lot cheaper. My younger 2 can’t have eggs either, so pretty much, their sole protein has to be meat, unless I’m ready to consider things like crickets, which I am not…can’t overcome all my culturally embedded aversions, sorry.

We do the best we can. But it looks like our food costs (even with toiletries and vitamins thrown in) are about what the USDA calculates as average for our family size and location, anyway, so I can’t complain too much. The cheapest diet in America is basically living on starchy things like ramen noodles, cheap enriched rice, beans, and ordinary pasta, with very little of anything else, and that’s a fast-track to serious mental and bodily decline, so not worth it unless it’s the only way you can avoid homelessness or outright starvation…but certainly not something anyone ought to do, just to save a buck.

Number of family members (including pets): 5, with 6 for dinner (we feed my mother dinner most days)
- City of where you live: smallish city in Maine
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes
- Does this include alcohol? no
- Does this include eating out? no
- These numbers make me _____ resigned (happy? proud? frightened?)

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178 J. Money May 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm

That is a lot of money, but not *as* bad considering the circumstances! And that you’re feeding 5-6 people! With that multiplier we’d be spending $300 every week without any health stuff going on, haha… I think you’re doing just fine :)

Thanks for sharing and giving everyone more info to digest! (No pun intended)

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179 EJ August 23, 2013 at 2:36 am

AUSTRALIA
$100 a week for 3 adults and a 14 month old.
$13.30 a week for 3 dogs (2 dalmatians and a great dane so BIG dogs)
menu plan EVERYTHING.
Buy in bulk
Buy whole foods (shop supermarket perimetre not junk food aisle)
Keep tidy cupboards/ fridge and freezer so you know whats in them
have no spend weeks using whats in the house to create meals
Buy no frills brands
Shop at farmers markets
Read junk mail for specials and menu plan accordingly
Buy cheaper cuts of meat and use in recipes where it doesnt matter eg soups stews etc
Frozen is often cheaper than fresh and it contains the same if not more nutrition because it has been preserved from the moment its picked unlike “fresh supermarket produce” that has spent hours on a truck

I used to spend bucketloads and then forced myself to learn to cook from scratch. A cupboard full of spices and herbs ( and a veggie garden) will save you HEAPS in the long run. We never go without, roasts, desserts, soups, fruit veg etc.

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180 J. Money August 23, 2013 at 9:23 am

Haha… good job on going through the junk mail like that – not so junky in your case! :)

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181 Tarynkay September 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

It’s really cool to be able to see what other people are spending on groceries!

1) We spend $40 a week for 2 adults, one two year old boy, and one 45lb dog.
2) That includes toiletries and alcohol and everything else that you can buy at the grocery store. We do use cloth diapers, so we are spared that expense. We did use formula for the first year, that added another $20 a week.
3) We live in Durham NC
4) We do not eat out at all right now. We love eating out, it just isn’t a priority with a two year old.
5) We do eat a lot of fresh produce. I am able to keep the grocery budget this low b.c I do not spend more than 99 cents a pound for produce and 1.99 a pound for meat. I also make nearly everything from scratch, including bread and granola and yogurt. And we like beans a lot. My mom did a great job teaching me to cook, which I am very grateful for.
6) I am okay with this number right now- I can’t really get it lower and continue to feed us all fruit, vegetables and milk for the baby. I would love to spend more on food, honestly!

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182 J. Money September 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm

You guys are doing great!!! And Durham was one of the places we considered moving to also earlier this year, so nice to see what people can spend there :) Also – HUGE dog!

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183 Not Quite Sexy June 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Wow, I lose this contest…by a lot (although I didn’t read every post)

$300 – $350 per week.
- Number of family members (including pets): 5 humans, 1 dog
- City where you live: Orange County, CA
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? yes (grocery, amazon, target (just household stuff))
- Does this include alcohol? yes
- Does this include eating out? yes

We do eat well and probably spend $50 – $75 per week eating out. We have very adult fair and probably eat much more than normal (I run 50 miles a week, which requires a lot of food) and we make smoothies for breakfast that runs up our produce bill. But gosh, these numbers I’m seeing just don’t even seem possible for my family. I don’t want to believe the numbers some people are posting.

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184 J. Money June 9, 2014 at 9:16 pm

You run 50 miles a week??? Holy $hit man, that’s incredible! You’re allowed to spend however much you want in my opinion! Haha…

But seriously though, at least alcohol and eating out are included in your numbers – that counts for something :)

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185 Not Quite Sexy June 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I just re-ran the numbers for the past three years on mint.com and it was REALLY disturbing! I went from $282 a week three years ago to $358 now (double digit percent increases each year!). In the last 4 quarters (1 year), I spent more than EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS on food! (worse yet, the actual figure is $18,626). That number is even worse because three years ago, we were buying most of our households at the grocer…now we buy on amazon, and are now getting categorized as household supplies. I think I score an A on a lot of aspects of financial planning and frugal-ness…but a big fat F on food bills.

Here are my ideas to cut costs:

1. Alcohol is for social consumption only. No more beer at the end of each day, which at 80 cents each, would cut about $24.
2. weeklies have to be reviewed to see what is on sale, then plan meals around that.
3. eat ALL leftovers! nothing gets thrown out! (average family throws out 25% and I have no reason to believe we’re any better).
4. raid the pantry. I bet we have a ton of food that could be used for making some hodge podge dinners to clear out some space. (simplifying would be benefical for other reasons, too.)
5. De-fancy our meals. Admittedly, my wife makes delicious food and I feel like I eat super awesome gourmet stuff. This is a luxury that we don’t always need.
6. reduce our dining out. We’re not horrible in this area as a percentage: probably 78% of food cost is grocery.
7. Reduce milk consumption. It’s not as great for us as we think. and it’s really expensive.
8. Simplify hosted dinners. You’d think you were eating professionally catered food when we host extended family. They love us and would come over if we served spaghetti.
9. Reduce/Eliminate junk food. Ice cream every night? no thanks.

Any other ideas? I need saving, as I’ve brought up, “gosh, we sure spend a lot of money on food” to the wife and the problem has only gotten worse.

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186 J. Money June 21, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Oh wow…. lots of great ideas though!! Honestly the only other route I see is to simply MAKE MORE and then you can keep doing what you want if you choose to ;) Not sure which is easier, haha…

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187 Shay June 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm

We spend around $125 per week on food.

– 2 adults and 2 toddlers (4 year old and a 3 year old)
– Near Madison, WI
– No this doesn’t include toiletries
– It includes alcohol sometimes. If I bring the kids shopping with me, by the time I’m done, I need wine ;)
– Nope, doesn’t include eating out or our Friday night date night.

I will say this, we eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. We went shopping today got 3 dinners, a little for lunch and about 70% fruit and we spent $90, which means I’ll be going back for more by Wednesday. Our kids absolutely love fruits and veggies and snack on them all day.

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188 J. Money June 17, 2014 at 10:29 am

“It includes alcohol sometimes. If I bring the kids shopping with me, by the time I’m done, I need wine ;):”

HAH! Almost spit out my coffee reading that one…

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189 Shelley June 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

Well, shit. I spend ~$50/week on just my single self. That includes all home goods (TP, tissues, paper towels, shampoo). I do eat a lot of chicken (it’s my main protein because it’s so versatile and easy to cook) and fresh fruit, but I also almost never eat out. I mostly need to cut back on my snack habits but dammit, pretzel sticks and cheese are SO good!

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190 J. Money June 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

$200 a month isn’t bad in my book :) Only when you compare it to some of these others here listing ‘em away on the cheap – pretty impressive.

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191 Beeeee July 14, 2014 at 11:40 am

$70!

It’s tricky, eating wholesome, tasty food is one of the/my great pleasures in life. Evaluating whether I want to invest time, toil over it, and reduce something I love so much…to maybe save $30(?), it just is not worth it to me.

- Number of family members (including pets): 1 adult +1 cat
- City of where you live: San Francisco.
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things? Sometimes, not always.
- Does this include alcohol? N/A
- Does this include eating out? No way.
- These numbers make me: (maybe, maybe…) reconsider my approach.

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192 Rene July 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

- Number of family members (including pets): 2
- City of where you live: Somewhere in Ontario :O
- Does this include toiletries & other non-food things?No
- Does this include alcohol? Definitely not.
- Does this include eating out? Nope.
- These numbers make me Frightened.(happy? proud? frightened?)

My boyfriend and I live together..and we average around $130 dollars PER WEEK on groceries alone :/, and this doesn’t include toothpaste, make up, etc.. anything else we might need or decide to do. I’m quite scared to see how high the numbers will go up if I include everything we buy on a weekly basis. It kind of sucks because we just end up throwing away alot of uneaten food towards the end of the week..which probably meant we probably shouldn’t have bought so much food in the first place.

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193 J. Money July 26, 2014 at 8:10 am

That does suck about wasted food :( One of my friends who also was wasting a lot of groceries just challenged herself to cut back from $200-$300 down to under $100 – and so far she’s doing it :) You can read a little about it here, but never hurts to try and keep getting it down!

http://financially-blonde.com/top-ten-ways-i-save-money/

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