Grocery budget is supposed to be $100 a month per person?

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Replies

  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    edited October 2017
    Sometimes factory made is just that much cheaper. Mass production and all that.

    https://g.redditmedia.com/mfT7-T5gNmlHr97Hg_tnOkZefNcuxnxhd0KjOY--3m0.gif?w=320&s=64172d6a1f7675b8252bbeeeb8e61beb
  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    I spend about $150 per week for about 4 people with the expectation that we get take out for at least one meal during the week.

    So, about $200 per month per person for food (including the takeout). Granted, I'm not very thrifty with my shopping now but I'm guessing that I would probably struggle to bring that number much lower than ~$150-$175.
  • jdlobb
    jdlobb Posts: 1,232 Member
    edited October 2017
    I have a local butcher I go to that sells all locally sourced, pasture raised beef and pork. Great meat. It's about the same price as comparable meat at Whole Foods, which is the only grocery store around here that sells comparable meat. It is more expensive than the factory farmed stuff though.
  • 6arrowz
    6arrowz Posts: 14 Member
    I have a family of 8 and we spend about $800/month on groceries and that includes toiletries, pet care, diapers etc...so it's possible. It's a lot of cooking and when you buy larger quantities of stuff it's cheaper. We don't buy a lot of processed foods...i think that's where we could go over budget if we did. We also don't really eat out either so it sounds crazy and I'm just realizing how little we spend considering what I'm reading. I don't think we feel deprived either...we eat pretty good
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    svel713 wrote: »
    I've heard elsewhere multiple times that its "easy" to live off $100 a month for groceries. This was after I patted myself on the back for eating below the food stamps max allotment for 2, which is $357 a month. So of course I felt like I was a super overspender after that.

    I did math for months on and off, and found I could live off rice and dry brown lentils, leaving only $30 a month for fruit, veg, and vitamins. But that sounds like it would be unhealthy with such a lack of variety.

    So is it actually possible to live off that and be healthy? Are these $100/mo people living off just 30g of protein a day? What is the proper lowest amount of money to live off for groceries that is healthy?

    This is impossible to answer because the USA does not have the same price for food everywhere and no one eats the same food or the same amount.
  • changeconsumeme
    changeconsumeme Posts: 229 Member
    My husband and I lived off of $100 a month for awhile when we were newly weds. We ate like absolute crap.

    Hamburger Helper, instant potatoes, rice, beans, canned goods, sandwiches...the luxury was being able to get a Lil' Caesar's pizza after grocery shopping together.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    on average i spend $75-100 a WEEK for my son (11 years old) and I.

    More when my fiance is home.

    generally speaking, the only pre packaged foods i buy are for his breakfast and lunch.

    we eat at home every day. i take leftovers or a salad or sandwich for lunch to work.

    I will say, that usually includes dog food (we have 5 dogs) and at least some non grocery items.

    Could I reduce that cost, yes. But I dont have to. I'm picky about what i eat (mostly meat and veg) and while much of what i get is generic brands(especially for canned/pantry items), there are some name brand items i prefer. If I am baking I am VERY picky about brands and quality.

    I do miss living near an aldis. the nearest one is almost 2 hours from me :(

    100 dollars a month would be living in poverty and not sustainable where I live. I spend about 150 a WEEK. That's just for me and my husband. Not only that, but I'm vegetarian, so that's half the amount of meat. I could probably do $60 a week on my own just because I don't eat meat, but it's nothing for me to spend $100 a month just on meat, and that's just for him. A pack of four chicken breasts is 16 dollars here. A small strip steak can be 6-15 dollars, depending on if there is a sale or not. Even a can of tuna is two bucks.

    Where I live, 100 dollars a month would literally be rice, beans and frozen vegetables. Not much else.
    I'm Canadian btw.

    i was going to say, those sound like Canadian prices (thats where my fiance is from and i spend a lot of time up there LOLOLOL) i dont see how anyone can afford to eat up there! LOL! only the chicken breast packages tend to run around $22 in his stores (outside Toronto)

    Try going up North...a head of lettuce is $26 bucks up there. Yikes!

    That's crazy :o.

    What's usually the highest priced food/food group in Canada?

    based on the shopping i do when im there, i find meat and dairy to be the most expensive. dairy is CRAZY expensive. BUT - their quality control with those products are much much more stringent than the US. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    *most* everything else is slightly higher, but not by much. and with the exchange rate, maybe on par.

    this is all at least as i see it in southern ontario. as the other person said, the further north and more remote you go, the more expensive it gets.
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    on average i spend $75-100 a WEEK for my son (11 years old) and I.

    More when my fiance is home.

    generally speaking, the only pre packaged foods i buy are for his breakfast and lunch.

    we eat at home every day. i take leftovers or a salad or sandwich for lunch to work.

    I will say, that usually includes dog food (we have 5 dogs) and at least some non grocery items.

    Could I reduce that cost, yes. But I dont have to. I'm picky about what i eat (mostly meat and veg) and while much of what i get is generic brands(especially for canned/pantry items), there are some name brand items i prefer. If I am baking I am VERY picky about brands and quality.

    I do miss living near an aldis. the nearest one is almost 2 hours from me :(

    100 dollars a month would be living in poverty and not sustainable where I live. I spend about 150 a WEEK. That's just for me and my husband. Not only that, but I'm vegetarian, so that's half the amount of meat. I could probably do $60 a week on my own just because I don't eat meat, but it's nothing for me to spend $100 a month just on meat, and that's just for him. A pack of four chicken breasts is 16 dollars here. A small strip steak can be 6-15 dollars, depending on if there is a sale or not. Even a can of tuna is two bucks.

    Where I live, 100 dollars a month would literally be rice, beans and frozen vegetables. Not much else.
    I'm Canadian btw.

    i was going to say, those sound like Canadian prices (thats where my fiance is from and i spend a lot of time up there LOLOLOL) i dont see how anyone can afford to eat up there! LOL! only the chicken breast packages tend to run around $22 in his stores (outside Toronto)

    Try going up North...a head of lettuce is $26 bucks up there. Yikes!

    That's crazy :o.

    What's usually the highest priced food/food group in Canada?

    based on the shopping i do when im there, i find meat and dairy to be the most expensive. dairy is CRAZY expensive. BUT - their quality control with those products are much much more stringent than the US. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    *most* everything else is slightly higher, but not by much. and with the exchange rate, maybe on par.

    this is all at least as i see it in southern ontario. as the other person said, the further north and more remote you go, the more expensive it gets.

    I can give some background on the dairy prices. I understand the US protects dairy farmers by subsidy and by buying surplus (American Cheese). Canada protects dairy farmers by quota. There can only be so many dairies. This guarantees a market for the farmer and higher prices for the consumer.

    Our quota system is called unfair by the Americans under the NAFTA agreement. It's one of the areas in dispute. (From our point of view, no undercut dairy prices are welcome here. We protect our dairies.)

  • AnvilHead
    AnvilHead Posts: 18,345 Member
    I just read the title of this post out loud and my wife's response was "In what third world country?".

    We usually do our big/main grocery shopping trip right after the first of the month. That trip alone is usually close to $400 (it's just the two of us). And we do weekly trips after that for fresh vegetables/fruits, special ingredients for particular meals, etc.
  • lucerorojo
    lucerorojo Posts: 790 Member
    I did read an article a while back that in the USA people spend much less on food than the previous generations. I think now we spend so much on RENT (or mortgage) that some people have to skimp on food. I was in Europe last month for vacation and the food was a lot cheaper, and also fresher. But I was in an area that grows produce so they didn't have to ship it from somewhere else. I think I spent about $25-40 US on groceries (if not less) for me per week, and that included fresh turkey each week, ham and beef/pork. Still not $100 per month but less than half of what I spend here.
  • Cbean08
    Cbean08 Posts: 1,092 Member
    I live in Chicago and I work in the heart of downtown. I easily spend 200 to 300 per week on myself. I don't live with anyone (besides my dog). I typically shop at Marianos (Kroger).
  • CynthiasChoice
    CynthiasChoice Posts: 1,087 Member
    $100 or more per person per week for me in the SF Bay Area. Meat and fresh produce are expensive! A gallon of organic milk is $7 here.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,564 Member
    vnb_208 wrote: »
    svel713 wrote: »
    I've heard elsewhere multiple times that its "easy" to live off $100 a month for groceries. This was after I patted myself on the back for eating below the food stamps max allotment for 2, which is $357 a month. So of course I felt like I was a super overspender after that.

    I did math for months on and off, and found I could live off rice and dry brown lentils, leaving only $30 a month for fruit, veg, and vitamins. But that sounds like it would be unhealthy with such a lack of variety.

    So is it actually possible to live off that and be healthy? Are these $100/mo people living off just 30g of protein a day? What is the proper lowest amount of money to live off for groceries that is healthy?

    i have a household of 2 we get $60 p/m in food stamps :(

    Food stamp allotments are adjusted based on your income. The OP said the maximum food stamp allotment, presumably what's allowed for those with zero income.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    I'd be curious to know where this $100/month ideal comes from, how old it is, which agency came up with it, and whether it's before or after sales tax is applied.

    In most areas there is little or no sales tax on staple food items. If you start getting into chips, cookies, pop, etc you may see some higher rates.
  • KANGOOJUMPS
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,477 Member
    I am in Canada. very doable. 4 of us in this family.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,057 Member
    My main food spend is around 120-140 euros a month but that is since I started meal prepping and wasting a lot less money on food I just ended up throwing out. I still have a fairly varied menu as I freeze a lot of my meal preps to mix them up.

    Usually my monthly shopping will look something like this (I will also check what's in the reduced section of the meat/fish aisle) to jazz up my meal prep in future weeks)

    Aldi
    5 cases Sparkling Water
    20 pack of Eggs (used for weekend breakfast and as ingredient in meal prep)
    Berries or Bananas (for weekday breakfast)
    36 pack of Aldi's own Weetabix (equates to 5 weeks of weekday breakfasts at work)
    2 or 3 packs of Pancetta (used for weekend breakfast or in pasta)
    Usually 5-10 euros Fresh Vegetables (for Meal Prep Recipes such as soups, curries, etc)
    2-3 Bags of Frozen Vegetables (for a quick side to evening meals)
    Bag of Potatoes (for soups, homemade fries/roast potatoes)
    Bag of Grated Cheese (kept in freezer for melting on top of food/grilled cheese sandwiches)

    Local Butcher
    2 Packs of 10 Large Chicken Breasts (sets me back around 20 euros and will normally last me a month)
    1-2 packs Steak Mince/Lamb Mince (for various meal prep recipes)

    Tesco - weekly top up shop
    Fresh Milk
    Orange Juice
    Low Fat Yoghurt
    Fresh fruit/veg as needed
    Microwave Rice for hot lunches
    Small Chocolate Bars

    Staples kept in cupboard/fridge at all times - replenished every couple of months as needed
    • Herbs & Spices
    • Low Fat Coconut Milk
    • Chopped Tomatoes
    • Kidney Beans
    • Gravy
    • Tinned Salmon/Tuna
    • Dried Soya beans/Chickpeas/Lentils
    • Stock pots - Veg, Chicken & Beef
    • Low Fat Mayo
    • Mustard
    • Ketchup
    • Flour
    • Ground Almonds
    • Dark Chocolate Chips
    • Butter

  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,064 Member
    I probably spend about 400 a month on groceries for a family of 4. We eat A LOT of eggs (which are cheap). I roast a whole chicken twice a week. We eat the meat and then boil down for bones/skin for soup. Frozen veggies are usually cheaper, last longer, and aren't significantly less nutritious than fresh.

    I buy a lot of items in bulk too (oatmeal, nuts, seeds), which is a cheaper way to buy those items (usually). Canned meats like chicken and tuna aren't extremely expensive, easy lunches, and last a long time in the cabinet.

    Eating on a budget just requires pre planning.

    This, except we have 6 in my family.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    crazyravr wrote: »
    I think anyone who thinks it's easy to live off 3 dollars a day 1 dollar a meal has probably never done that for longer than a week!

    Nahhhh it would be boring sad life (month) but it can be done. But you will not be eating the best nor the most nutritious stuff. Im in Canada (Mississauga) spend about $100 / week for myself only, cook all of my food, hardly ever go out to eat. I buy grass fed, organic meats and dairy, organic fruit and vegg if it makes sense taste wise, mostly WF (some things are worth it some absolutely not).

    Moderately boring, requires a good bit of imagination, and the $100 a month is generally an aggregate taking economies of scale into account for a family of 4. It's hardest as an individual.

    Staying healthy means shopping coupons and chasing deals for frozen food that makes multiple meals.