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How much do you/should you spend on food (US)?



  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Posts: 969Member Member Posts: 969Member Member
    To me, it's all relative. My wife and I eat healthier now that we used to. I likely spend around $25 more a week on groceries than I used to. We eat less meat and when we do it's usually fresh salmon or Organic Chicken (I buy it at Costco at $1.99 a pound). Occasionally some organic ground beef or similar but not as often and Organic eggs. We also buy grass fed dairy and limit that. The rest is mostly higher quality produce. We spend less on processed boxed stuff, around the same on meat (because we eat so much less even though the price is more) and a bit more on some organic foods.

    So, roughly a $100 more a month. Our healthcare costs (because I'm self employed and incredibly expensive) have gone from around 22K a year to 6K a year, so I'm OK spending more on fitness equipment and food. My average grocery bill is around $120 a week for both of us. We also go out once a week. The $120 covers lunches, dinners and snacks (and household supplies).
    edited August 2018
  • HoneyBadger155HoneyBadger155 Posts: 1,284Member Member Posts: 1,284Member Member
    I WAS spending way too much money on food - but that's because I was being lazy and eating out all the time, and hardly cooking at home.

    Started doing more cooking at home, cutting back on full meals, and my food budget was slashed in half.

    I've lived on as little as $100/month (actually, less than that a few of those months). Don't recommend that, but I've done it.

    Current food budget (which still includes all eating out) is approximately 8-10% of my monthly take home.

    Generally eat pretty healthy, but I do vary which grocery store I go to based on prices and what I need to buy that week (for example, one store has cheap produce and some meats, but nearly everything else is WAY overpriced; another has cheaper and good condiments/sauces/frozen foods, etc; another has the best prices on canned goods and dairy products - you get the idea). Try to rotate my shopping a bit based on that.
  • justinewillcutyoujustinewillcutyou Posts: 406Member Member Posts: 406Member Member
    I would say about $800/month for a family of four, give or take. We go through a TON of fresh produce, my kids are huge fruit eaters and I eat a lot of vegetables because I can’t tolerate meat well. If my husband is bulking it’s always more expensive because he eats that much more but he’s a big eater anyways.
  • clarinetgurlclarinetgurl Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    I live in a pretty unequal (income-wise) area, so while I technically live in one the poorest counties in Georgia I work as an engineer in a factory so the pay is high. So while I spend ~8% of my income on food (~$200 a month), my rent is the same as my food bill. We also have a college town right nearby with students whose parents are very rich and so while my spending is thrifty compared to them it's probably a little high compared to my neighbors, but here I could definitely feed one person for $150 a month without being too pressured.
  • EvamuttEvamutt Posts: 1,596Member Member Posts: 1,596Member Member
    It's just me & husband &6 dogs. We raised 4 kids that are grown. We spend about $400/month. We don't have to spend that much(we live in California) but without the children we are able to each have more foods we like-finally. We live in our first home we bought for 30+ years so we don't have a mortgage or credit cards. My husband had to quit working due to his health in 2005 & I worked full time till 4 years ago when I along with others got laid off after 15 years so now I work 12hrs/week. We're in our 60's. I CAN work more & make more $ to have more stuff but don't need to & don't need more stuff so we're willing to do with less & focus more on our family(we have 9 grand children) & friends. I also volunteer at a local animal rescue. My husbands lost all his extra weight a while back & could have gone back to work but decided to retire
  • jennaheftjennaheft Posts: 8Member Member Posts: 8Member Member
    We budget $250 per week, so $1000 a month. There’s 2 of us. Includes going out to dinner, alcohol & all groceries.
  • tbright1965tbright1965 Posts: 802Member, Premium Member Posts: 802Member, Premium Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    Gamliela wrote: »
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    There was no way for me to save a year's mortgage plus down payment in California. They were taking too much tax when I had no write off and rent was sky high. I am grateful to be in a house now.

    If you were able to save up enough for a downpayment then wouldn't continuing to wait longer and continuing to save allow you to save up enough to have both a downpayment and a financial cushion in case of job loss? I'm not saying you can't buy a house as soon as you have enough for a downpayment, obviously you can. I'm also not saying that you couldn't save money with a home over rental, obviously you can although unlikely at least until the mortgage is paid down. I'm just saying it isn't that financially prudent to purchase a house if the result is to completely empty out your bank account because that is extremely risky. It is hard to recover from defaulting on a mortgage and job loss or economic crashes can come with little warning (2008 anyone?). Buying a house without a safety net is gambling, it is a gamble that very well might pay off...but it is gambling. I'm just an advocate for prudence over basically betting that you won't lose your job in order to save a few extra thousand a year in the short-term.

    I ended up taking out a loan on my 401K to get the money for the down payment. That was the only way I could do it. I was renting a modest 1 bedroom apartment and driving a paid off used car. Even now, with my write off I only see about 60% of my income in take home pay. That is how bad the tax situation is here. There was no way I could save up the money before.

    wow, things have changed, I didn't know getting loans for a downpayment was even possible! I think you are doing very well to see 60% take home pay. well done!

    edit for spelling

    Thanks but I feel like as hard as I work that I deserve to take home more than 60% of what I earn.

    Do you get state and federal tax refunds? If so, you have too much withheld from each paycheck. If you you're not getting a large refund you must have a very high income.

    I don't. About 40% of what I make goes into taxes of one sort or another, and I usually end up cutting a check to the IRS when I file.

    This whole we need the government to do _______ nonsense needs to stop. I can't afford it.
  • mwoltermannmwoltermann Posts: 15Member Member Posts: 15Member Member
    I budget $650/month for groceries and $400/month for takeout/bar tabs/whatever else we buy. Just two people. This is after I did a serious look at budgeting. We were spending a significant amount more before I decided to start cooking at home. Cooking at home instead of take out is a huge money and calorie saver.
  • shrinking_amazonianshrinking_amazonian Posts: 26Member Member Posts: 26Member Member
    My city puts together a price list each month of what it costs to follow the governments nutritious/health eating recommendations.

    I figured out the cost for my household (2 adults between age 31-50) it is $155.63 per week ($117.67 USD).

    I have to say that is pretty darn accurate for what we are spending.
  • tk2222tk2222 Posts: 195Member Member Posts: 195Member Member
    I generally budget roughly 300 a month for myself (in an expensive coastal city). I'm careful with my grocery shopping - picking out cheaper stores, etc, but do include a fair amount of eating out - nothing fancy, but getting a coffee most morning, grabbing a burrito for lunch a few times a week, a drink on the weekend, etc. I could probably fairly easily cut the total down to under 200.
  • aweeb118aweeb118 Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    I spend around 400€ a month on food, in dollars that's approx euro to dollar 446
  • Safari_Gal_Safari_Gal_ Posts: 152Member, Premium Member Posts: 152Member, Premium Member
    For 2 people we normally spend about 600 a month. We are in NYC. That doesn’t include going out to lunch or dinner a few times a week.
  • Rawrmachin3Rawrmachin3 Posts: 20Member Member Posts: 20Member Member
    I honestly couldn’t tell you. I tend to be a thriftier shopper in the sense that I avoid paying full price on stuff but I don’t add it up.

    I’m probably in the 300-500 a month range for just me. I don’t eat out as being a power lifter I’m on a pretty stringent eating regimen.

    I eat 12oz of flank steak at night with 1 cup of sliced avocado turned into paste for dressing and a whole sweet potato. I eat a crap ton of brocolli and white rice as well as avocados. Most of the money I spend goes to chicken, salmon, steak, shrimp and avocados.

    I try to stick with nutrient dense foods. I’m a creature of habit so once I get it down I’m good.
  • RachelElserRachelElser Posts: 1,030Member Member Posts: 1,030Member Member
    Single and I spend about $100 a month on groceries. I do admittedly drink soda which is pretty expensive.
  • happysquidmuffinhappysquidmuffin Posts: 387Member Member Posts: 387Member Member
    Wow you all spend a lot on groceries!!
    2 adults plus a toddler plus a baby. We used to spend about $280/month on groceries, plus $60-100 eating out per month. Now, it’s about $350/mo groceries, $70/mo eating out regular months, or $120-ish for special months such as birthday or anniversary. We live in the northern Midwest, and are in a low cost of living area. We eat well, though don’t buy meat very often any more. I don’t feel like we’re bare-bones-beans-n-rice by any means. $350/mo felt high to me until I read this thread lol. Not anymore. It’s only about 6 to 8% of our variable take home pay.
  • AllgaunAllgaun Posts: 166Member Member Posts: 166Member Member
    This got me thinking, I'm going to keep track now and see.

    Problem is I'll pick up beans in Walmart along with a garden hose. Or a can of asparagus at Dollar Tree when I'm getting a greeting card. Or a sweater and cereal at Target.

    It's hard to separate the food purchases out if it's not at a grocery store.
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Posts: 6,575Member Member Posts: 6,575Member Member
    on average 150-200 a week. that includes non food items like dog food and laundry detergent.
    when hubby is working out of town and away (which he usually is) tack on another 50-75 between him eating out and groceries he buys to keep in his motel kitchenette

    family of 3 and 4 dogs (1 on special food- i did not count her food into that since hers is ordered online and not done in the store)
    edited August 26
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,003Member Member Posts: 7,003Member Member
    As a single adult who likes to cook from scratch but doesn't always have the time and energy, who shops at a mix of grocery stores (more at full-service, higher-priced grocery stores than at discount grocery stores), farm stands, and farmer markets, who probably eats less meat (from preference) than the average American, and who frequently buys specialty produce and other pricier niche products out of curiosity, I spend about $200 a month at the grocery store (although that also includes most of my toiletries, cleaning products, and paper products such as paper towels and toilet paper), and probably on average about $120 a month dining out or getting carry out/delivery. I also occasionally order products I can't find in my grocery store online (specialty flours and beans, products I used to find in the grocery store and don't anymore). I only do that a few times a year, but shipping costs tend to encourage large orders. My best guess is that it would average to about another $40 a month.
  • bmaw01bmaw01 Posts: 40Member Member Posts: 40Member Member
    I spend about $80 a week for just myself. That's $320 a month, and I think it's a bit too much. I was eating one avacado a day, and I've cut that down to 1/2 per day. I need to look at where I'm spending my money, because I don't buy anything overly pricey. I don't eat a lot of meat, and I've been going vegan recently. Pasta is cheap. I bought these vegan sausages for $5, but that gives me 4 servings. Mushrooms, brocolli, wild rice, almond milk. Every other week it's either chicken or grass fed beef. The beef is $6, but I can get 3 days worth. Chicken will last me 2 weeks. I consume about 3,000 calories. I also buy nuts, peanut butter, 85% dark chocolate. It just ads up. $3 here. $5 here. $4 there. I also do everything at home. Food prep on Sat and Sunday. Oh, and I also do a full fast on Sunday, so I'm not even eating then. My groceries are only for 6 days.
    edited August 26
  • amandaeveamandaeve Posts: 614Member Member Posts: 614Member Member
    My city puts together a price list each month of what it costs to follow the governments nutritious/health eating recommendations.

    I figured out the cost for my household (2 adults between age 31-50) it is $155.63 per week ($117.67 USD).

    I have to say that is pretty darn accurate for what we are spending.

    Wow! What a great service your city provides. I wish more cities did this.
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